Christian Raffensperger, 2021–22

Project Title:

Political Culture in the Arc of Medieval Europe, 1000–1300

Archie K. Davis Fellowship, 2021-22

Kenneth E. Wray Chair in the Humanities, Professor and Chair of History, Wittenberg University

Christian Raffensperger’s academic goal has remained the same since the completion of his PhD at the University of Chicago (2006)—the integration of the medieval polity of Rus into the larger medieval European world. This theme is present throughout his research and teaching, and is most evident in his book publications.

From Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World (Harvard, 2012) to Conflict, Bargaining, and Kinship Networks in Eastern Europe (Lexington, 2018) to his current project Rulers and Rulership in the Arc of Medieval Europe (in progress at the National Humanities Center), he has traced the medieval kingdom of Rus’ becoming more and more a part of medieval Europe. In so doing, the definition of medieval Europe may change, but so does our understanding of heretofore normative institutions like “kings” and polities. Adding in new territories to reflect the lived experience of the medieval world, rather than our modern territorial conceptions, forces us to think differently, but that is not such a bad thing.

Selected Publications

Conflict, Bargaining, and Kinship Networks in Medieval Eastern Europe

  • Raffensperger, Christian. “Kingdom of Rus’: A New Theoretical Model for Rulership in Medieval Europe.” In Rulership in Medieval East Central Europe: Power, Rituals, and Legitimacy in Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland, edited by Grischa Vercamer and Dušan Zupka. Leiden: Brill 2022: 325-339.
  • Raffensperger, Christian. Conflict, Bargaining, and Kinship Networks in Medieval Eastern Europe. New York: Lexington Books, 2018.
  • Raffensperger, Christian. “Reimagining Europe: An Outsider Looks at the Medieval East-West Divide.” In Medieval Networks in East Central Europe: Commerce, Contacts, Communication, edited by Balázs Nagy, Felicitas Schmieder, and András Vadas, 9-24. New York: Routledge, 2018.
  • Raffensperger, Christian. The Kingdom of Rus’. Kalamazoo, MI: ARC Humanities Press, 2017.
  • Raffensperger, Christian. Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World, 988–1146. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
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