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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 historiographical and ethnographic traditions with particular attention to the forms of cultural and political interaction between these two civilizations and the peoples living beyond their respective frontiers. His dissertation will focus on the rhetorical functions of direct speech in the classicizing 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 project will consider the ways in which representational categories that were established in the classical era were perpetuated or transformed in the process of transition between periods of imperial fragmentation and re-unification.