'Lay Religion in the Iberian Peninsula, c. 408-711 AD'
My research focuses on the history of lay religion in Hispania from the Late Roman Empire to the end of the Visigothic kingdom. The idea of 'lay religion' - that is, religion as experienced by people who were not clerics - allows us to decentre the overly institutional and episcopal picture we often have of late antique religion, thereby seeing greater diversity and conflict. It also adds an important social dimension to our understanding of a period in which socio-economic and cultural history are too often kept apart. I look at interactions between clerics (the authors of almost all our sources) and laypeople, thinking not only of how clerics interacted with ordinary people but also how some laypeople could acquire power in the religious sphere. This also entails thinking critically and historically about the very concepts of 'religion', 'superstition', 'secular' and so on - all of which had the capacity to be used fluidly and polemically.
I also have strong interests in the historiography of late antiquity and the early middle ages, particularly in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spain and France, as well as the history of cross-pollination between history and the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, and comparative religion. I also take an interest in the politics of education. I work on initiatives around access and admissions, having myself come to Oxford as an undergraduate via the UNIQ programme.
I studied for my BA in History at Exeter College, Oxford (2012-15), before completing an MSc in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies at the University of Edinburgh (2015-16). I began my DPhil in 2016 at Mansfield College, Oxford with funding from the Leventis Foundation. As of November 2017 I am continuing the project as an Examination Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.