History: Department chair and associate professor
Scholar Program: Director
Archaeology and Culture of the Ancient Near East: Associate professor of history
Classes: Medieval Europe and Its Neighbors, Ancient Rome, The Rise of Islam, Origins of Europe, The Middle Ages in Modern Eyes, Historical Methods
I grew up in Texas, where I attended a small, liberal arts college quite similar to Lycoming. I have an appreciation for the mission and goals of this college, and I find its intellectual environment and community atmosphere stimulating. My training in graduate school took me to various other parts of the country, and even led to study abroad experience, so I feel like I can get along with anyone. We all have something to contribute.
HIST 115: Western Civilization I: The Beginnings to 1500
HIST 210: Ancient History
HIST 212: Medieval Europe and Its Neighbors
HIST 232: The Rise of Islam
HIST 334: The Origins of European Civilization
HIST 336: The Crusades: Conflict and Accommodation
HIST 401W: The Middle Ages in Modern Eyes
HIST 449W: Historical Methods (in rotation with department faculty)
As is evident from this list, I am responsible for teaching various aspects of the history of Western Civilization, which our current American culture inherits. All my courses cover material dating before c. 1500, except "The Rise of Islam," which ends with a historically-based consideration of modern issues related to Islam and the Middle East. Students majoring in ancient and medieval history, religion, and archaeology tend to enroll in my courses. Of course, a student does not have to pursue one of these majors to be interested in the subjects I teach and sign up for these courses. Chemistry, creative writing, and communications majors have been in these classes, and I have learned from all of them.
Recent technologies have made important changes in the way information is distributed and how we access and use it. In turn, these changes affect the way we teach and learn. I have harnessed the power of current information technology in my courses, especially as we explore the nature of Wikipedia, arguably the first option for those exploring new topics. I teamed with a colleague in Snowden Library to publish the results of an early foray into this exciting area of learning and study: Cullen J. Chandler and Alison S. Gregory "Sleeping with the Enemy: Wikipedia in the College Classroom," The History Teacher 43 (2010), 247-257.
I am currently at work on a book manuscript on the Carolingian Spanish March. In the period 778-814 the Frankish empire of the Carolingians (Charlemagne and his successors) expanded its political reach south of the Pyrenees into Spain. I seek to determine the impact of Frankish rule on the area, centered on Barcelona and now known as Catalonia, especially since it possessed an established, Christian culture that pre-dated the Muslim conquest of Spain the early eighth century. Catalonia became Western Christendom's frontier on Islam. I have found that Carolingian rulers invented new ways of making their power felt in a distant province like the Spanish March; these included political appointments, religious policy, and legal maneuvers. An important issue is the question of how "Carolingian" Catalonia was during the ninth and tenth centuries, so the study also emphasizes local social structures, including the economy, the roles and status of women, and cultural conditions. By investigating the regional history of Catalonia, my work can shed light on larger questions such as the nature of empires, cross-cultural interactions, and the role of religion in medieval politics.
My articles serve as early examples of this kind of study:
- “Barcelona, BC 569, Dhuoda’s Liber manualis, and lay culture in the Carolingian Spanish March,” Early Medieval Europe 18 (2010): 265-291.
- “Regna et regnum: Studies of regions within the Carolingian Empire,” The Heroic Age 12 (2009) [http://www.heroicage.org/issues/12/chandler.php.].
- “Land and Social Networks in the Carolingian Spanish March,” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, third series, 6 (2009): 1-33.
I also recently co-edited a book, Discovery and Distinction in the Early Middle Ages Studies in Honor of John J. Contreni.