Dr John-Henry Clay
My main research interests are in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon history and archaeology, particularly concerning themes of conversion and religious identity, landscape perception and the transition from the late Roman to the early medieval period both in Britain and on the Continent.
I am currently working on my second academic monograph, a study of the conversion of northern Germany under the Carolingians.
After obtaining BA in Archaeology (2001) and MA in Early Medieval Studies (2002) from the University of York, I worked for two years as a commercial archaeologist in the Republic of Ireland. I returned to the Centre for Medieval Studies at York in 2004 to start my PhD, a study of Christian missionaries in eighth-century Germany. A book based on my thesis, the melodramatically titled In the Shadow of Death, was published in 2010.
After completing my PhD I conducted fieldwork in Germany (2009), and spent six months as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna (2009-2010). I was appointed Lecturer at Durham University in October 2010.
From September 2015 to May 2016 I was a visiting Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I am also a published historical novelist. I see fiction as a way of exploring the past in a more imaginative and emotive (not to say entertaining) fashion, and also a way of secretly teaching people about history without them realising it...
The Lion and the Lamb (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2013)
At the Ruin of the World (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2015)
- Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia
- Continental Europe and Russia
- Landscape and Memory
- Theology and Religion
- Anglo-Saxon history and archaeology
- Early medieval missionaries and conversion
- Post-Roman western Europe
- 2010 In the Shadow of Death: Saint Boniface and the Conversion of Hessia, 721-54, Brepols, 487 pp.
Chapter in book
- 2017 'Boniface in Hessia and Thuringia', in Aaij, Michel & Godlove, Shannon (eds.), A Companion to St Boniface, Brill.
- 2017 'In heremo vastissimae solitudinis: the monastic frontier in conversion-period Germany', in Delouis, Olivier & Mossakowska-Gaubert, Maria (eds.), La vie quotidienne des moines en Orient et en Occident (IVe-Xe siècle). Vol. 2: Questions transversales, French Institute of Oriental Archaeology.
- 2016 'From conversion to consolidation in eighth-century Hessia', in Ó Carragáin, Tomás & Turner, Sam (eds.), Making Christian Landscapes in Atlantic Europe: Conversion and Consolidation in the Early Middle Ages, Cork University Press, pp. 385-402
- 2015 'The everyday life of monastic communities in Anglo-Saxon England and the Germanic west up to 1000: The literary sources', in Delouis, Olivier & Mossakowska-Gaubert, Maria (eds.), La vie quotidienne des moines en Orient et en Occident (IVe-Xe siècle) Vol. I: L’état des sources, French Institute of Oriental Archaeology, pp. 493-508
- 2013 'Adventus, warfare and the Britons in the development of West Saxon identity', in Pohl, Walter. & Heydemann, Gerda. (eds.), Post-Roman Transitions: Christian and Barbarian Identities in the Early Medieval West, Brepols, pp. 169-213
- 2009 'Gift-giving and books in the letters of St Boniface and Lul', Journal of Medieval History 35, pp. 313-325
- 2008 'Sacred Landscapes and the Conversion of Eighth-Century Hessia', Landscapes 9, pp. 1-25
- HIST 1011: The Birth of Western Society
- HIST 2922: Conversations with History: The End of the Roman Empire
- HIST 31A3: The Ruin of the World
- HIST 41830: Issues in Medieval History
- HIST 43430: Anglo-Saxon Societies and Cultures