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Randolph Ford

Dissertation

Randolph Ford received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Scandinavian Studies. With a focus on Old Icelandic/Old English Literature and Medieval History, he also completed coursework in Classics and East Asian Studies. Between his BA and MA degrees, he spent several years in Oslo, Norway and Sichuan, China. At ISAW, he has pursued the study of Greco-Roman and Chinese historiography and ethnography with particular attention to cultural and political interactions between these two civilizations and the peoples living beyond their respective frontiers. His dissertation focuses on ethnographic discourse in the historiography of late antiquity and early medieval China as a platform used to negotiate, construct, and/or problematize the identities and political legitimacy of peoples identified as non-Roman and non-Chinese. The dissertation considers ways in which representational categories that were established in the classical era were perpetuated or transformed in the transition between periods of imperial fragmentation and re-unification.