Department of History
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Dr Becca Grose is a Lecturer in Early Medieval History. She completed her undergraduate studies at York, and postgraduate research degrees at Utrecht and Reading, with time as an exchange student and visiting doctoral researcher in Aix-en-Provence, Cologne, Exeter, and Tübingen. Before joining York, she contributed to courses in ancient history, Latin and late-antique literature at the University of Reading, and was a research assistant and later postdoctoral research associate at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she worked on Dr David Natal’s ERC project, Connected Clerics. Building a Universal Church in the Late Antique West (380-640 CE.)
She is a historian of the post-Roman West, with a particular emphasis on family, gender, and social relationships in the early Middle Ages. Other research interests include the material dimensions of early-medieval written culture, and the reception of the ancient and medieval social structures in modern video games.
My doctoral research focused on social transformations in late-antique and early-medieval Gaul (modern-day France and Switzerland,) and how these are attested in the changing ways that people’s relationships and commendable traits are described on their tombstones. I am now in the process of separating this into two separate outputs. First, a book that compares these transformations across a wider range of sources, provisionally entitled, Moral Communities in Late Antique Burgundy: Value Words and the Transformation of the Post-Roman Gaul, Fourth to Seventh Centuries AD. Second, how people in the early Middle Ages interacted with writing and its (unexpected) presence, destruction, and absence. One output from this will be my first co-edited volume on Erasure in Late Antiquity (with Rebecca Usherwood, Kay Boers, and Guy Walker.)
My postdoctoral work at the ERC CONNEC project (2021-22) focused on how early-medieval clerics responded to the emergence of new political borders and entities, and how they used personal and institutional relationships to further the interests of their local churches and communities vis-à-vis rulers and other churches. This will result in two first-authored Open Access databases, detailing all the people, relationships and extant and now-lost letters, texts, and objects attested in the letter collections of two clerics from Gaul, Paulinus of Nola and Avitus of Vienne, and one co-authored database on Augustine of Hippo, a North African cleric. As part of the project, I also worked extensively with Social Network Analysis and GIS mapping and their uses (and limitations) in pursuing medieval research questions.
I am increasingly interested in how changing communication networks altered relationships and connections as the Roman Empire collapsed in the West and am in the early stages of developing plans for a future research project in this direction.
I am unable to supervise prospective PhD students but am very happy to chat with current York students who are interested in early-medieval social history and written culture about other potential advisors and proposals.
Summer term 2023
Please book here via my calendar. By default, meetings are held in-person. Email me if you would like to have yours online or if you would like to schedule outside these timings.