I never suspected that I would come back to teach at my
alma mater, but I did know that there would be a time I
would move on.
With fondness looking back and enthusiasm looking forward,
I'm thrilled to say, I have been asked to join the History
Department at Saint Louis University, where I will
begin in the summer of 2013. Moving from the oldest Jesuit
university in the U.S. to the second oldest Jesuit
university, I'll be joining an amazing group of historians
and a great undergraduate and graduate program!
I'm also excited to say that the new position will allow me to finish work on my next book, Coming Out Christian in the Roman World, to be published by Bloomsbury Press. Challenging the widely held belief that martyrdom led to the "triumph of the Church," this book will be one of the first to show how many people could be both Christian and Roman at the same time. Their creative compromises, I suggest, led to new legal rights and greater social visibility, so much so that the "triumph of Christianity" had little to do with the wholesale conversion of Rome.
This book builds upon research from my first book, Ostia in Late Antiquity, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press (2013). It uses textual and material evidence from Ostia Antica, Rome's old harbor town, to construct a history of Rome "seen from below" during the period often referred to as the "Fall" of the Empire: the third through sixth centuries C.E.