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Lycoming College history professor co-edits and contributes to book

Lycoming College history professor co-edits and contributes to book

Cullen Chandler

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Cullen Chandler, Ph.D., professor and chair of the History Department at Lycoming College, has co-edited and contributed to “Discovery and Distinction in the Early Middle Ages: Studies in Honor of John J. Contreni,” a book published by Medieval Institute Publications in 2013.

Chandler and Steven Stofferahn, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Indiana State University, came up with the idea for the book to honor Contreni, professor of history at Purdue University, on the occasion of his retirement. Contreni, who specializes in intellectual, religious and political culture of the early medieval period, visited Lycoming in spring 2006 as the 33rd Ewing lecturer.

According to Chandler, compiling a volume of collected studies is a tradition for medieval historians that was borrowed from the German custom of “Festschrift,” which means “celebratory writing.” Chandler contacted several scholars throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to elicit participation in the project and many were eager to get involved.

“Most were excited about the prospect of contributing to the volume in John’s honor because he is well-known in these circles as a good scholar and a good friend,” Chandler said.

The chapter Chandler wrote, “A New View of a Catalonian Gesta contra ludaeos: Ripoll 106 and the Jews of the Spanish March,” is about a manuscript book produced around the year 900 in the region of northeastern Spain now called Catalonia.

Chandler also is in the final stages of completing a single-author book project titled “Carolingian Catalonia,” which is a study of the March of Spain from Charlemagne’s invasion of Spain in 778 to the end of his dynasty in 987. It investigates the strategies that Charlemagne and his successors used to integrate the march as a conquered province.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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