Cullen Chandler, Ph.D., associate professor of history and department chair, as well as director of the Scholars Program at Lycoming College, has been appointed the Donald Bullough Fellow in Mediaeval History by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
The residential fellowship, awarded on the basis of an international application process, will allow Chandler to spend the 2019 spring semester abroad working in the St. Andrews Institute for Mediaeval Studies on his research project, “Early Medieval Food and Culture.”
The Fellowship carries with it no teaching duties, though Chandler is expected to take part in weekly seminars with other mediaeval historians during his stay in St. Andrews. He is also expected to present a research paper at the seminar and lead a workshop attended by faculty and postgraduate students.
Chandler will be provided with an office alongside other mediaeval historians in the Department of Mediaeval History, which was founded in 1955 and is the largest of its kind in the world. He will also have access to the university library’s excellent collection for mediaeval historians.
“This fellowship means a great deal to me. There is only one Bullough Fellow every year, and it is quite an honor to be selected to join such a distinguished list of past fellows, particularly since most come from larger research institutions. I am proud to represent Lycoming College and spread the word to other countries about what we do,” said Chandler. “I am really looking forward to working in the world-class facilities at St. Andrews. Beyond that, the opportunity to work alongside and engage regularly with so many other medieval historians will be beneficial to my work as it will stimulate me to sharpen my thinking while allowing me to share and therefore develop my ideas with feedback from others. I will be able to make a good deal of progress much more quickly than I would otherwise.”
Ultimately, Chandler plans to produce a book manuscript on the subject of early medieval European food history with emphasis on Charlemagne’s empire during the eighth and ninth centuries. There is a considerable body of modern work on medieval food, but most historians have concentrated on later developments, especially in the fifteenth century, because the nature of surviving evidence makes it easier to study. Chandler’s goal is to offer a study that touches on economics, religion, and everyday life that both specialists and newcomers to the field will appreciate.
In 2017, Chandler introduced his first-year seminar course, “Medieval Food and Culture,” at Lycoming. The highly popular course explores how food practices were shaped by social class, status, gender, and religion, and encourages students to think about how they still are. “I have found that students, regardless of their main academic interests, can identify with the societies of the past when we approach them through the avenue of food. The more I learn about medieval food and culture, especially from the research I will conduct at St. Andrews, the more I will be able to help Lycoming students and others achieve a greater understanding and awareness of this topic.”
Cullen Chandler, Ph.D., with Lycoming College students during their final feast in his “Medieval Food and Culture” course, Spring 2017
Lycoming College students enjoy their final feast in the “Medieval Food and Culture” course, Spring 2017
Lycoming College students prepare their final feast in the “Medieval Food and Culture” course, Spring 2017