Rothman Chair and Center Director 2009-2017
Bonnie Effros earned her Ph.D. in history at UCLA (1994), where she specialized in the European Middle Ages. Her dissertation, based on written and archaeological evidence for burial rites in Merovingian Gaul, offered fertile ground for her first two books: Caring for Body and Soul: Burial and the Afterlife in the Merovingian World (Penn State University Press 2002) and Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages (University of California Press 2003). Her abiding interest in ritual practice thereafter formed the basis for a series of essays on early medieval feasting and fasting published as Creating Community with Food and Drink in Merovingian Gaul (Palgrave 2002). This research enabled her to explore pagan-Christian interactions, female and clerical ascetic practice, food rites associated with burial custom, and dietary discussions in the post-Roman West. Her work has appeared in the peer-reviewed journals: Antiquity, Early Medieval Europe, Journal of the History of Collections, Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, and Viator. She has also published chapters in the Transformation of the Roman World series (published by E. J. Brill), the supplementary series of the Reallexikon für Altertumskunde (published by Walter de Gruyter), the series Forschungen zur Geschichte des Mittelalters (published by the Austrian Academy), and MittelalterStudien (published by the Institut zur interdisziplinären Erforschung des Mittelalters und seines Nachwirkens at Universität Paderborn), and a variety of other edited collections.
Most recently, Professor Effros has published a study of early medieval antiquarianism and archaeology in nineteenth-century France titled Uncovering the Germanic Past: Merovingian Archaeology in France, 1830-1914 (Oxford, 2012). The unexpected discovery during the industrial revolution of long-forgotten cemeteries containing “Germanic warriors” caused the French to reconsider the role of the Franks in their national origins. This work also examines the professionalization of the discipline of archaeology in the late nineteenth century, a subject she continues to pursue in her current project on French colonial archaeology in nineteenth-century Algeria. Her research on this topic has recently been awarded a NEH Summer Stipend (2013) and a year of membership at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in 2013-2014.
Professor Effros previously taught at the University of Alberta, where she held an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of History and Classics, at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and at Binghamton University, where she served as chair of the Department of History. Among other awards, she has received a Sylvan C. Coleman and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Berkshire Summer Fellowship at the Bunting Institute (now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), a Camargo Foundation Fellowship in Cassis, France, the Franklin Research Fellowship from the American Philosophical Society, as well as grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Munich, the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, and the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna. For the past several years she has served as a sponsored lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. She currently serves as on the executive committee of the Medieval Academy of America and is the series editor of the Brill Series on the Early Middle Ages, a continuation of the Transformation of the Roman World series published by E.J. Brill in the Netherlands.
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