Hollis Shaul

Visiting Assistant Professor, Miami University

Hollis is a Ph.D candidate studying monasticism, religious property, kingship and state-craft in High Medieval Europe.

Her dissertation research is focused on the Carthusian monasteries of Provence in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and their interactions with the Angevin monarchy and its administrators. When Charles of Anjou inherited the County of Provence in 1245, he embarked on a program of administrative centralization that would be continued in earnest by his his successors, Charles II and Robert the Wise. This politics of integration transformed how political power was exercised in the county of Provence. Even those living in rural communities, far from the capital of Aix-en-Provence, began to feel the tentacles of the Angevin state, its bureaucrats, its courts and its ideology of sacral kingship, reaching into their everyday lives. In the last twenty years, French historians have turned with new vigor to the study of Angevin institutions and notions of sovereignty in the county of Provence. Most of this work has focused on how the kings of Naples used their bureaucracy in Provence to agglomerate rights and revenues and to project their authority at the expense of the high nobility. Hollis's dissertation tells the story of the burgeoning Angevin administration from a different perspective: that of the Carthusians, a well-endowed religious order with deep roots in Southeastern France. On a larger scale, her dissertation uses these Provencal charterhouses as a case study for evaluating how religious institutions are affected by and adjust to periods of intensive state-building. 

Prior to attending Princeton University, Hollis received her B.A. in History with a minor in French from Northwestern University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2011. She was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa in the Spring of 2011. At Northwestern, Hollis was awarded the Johnston Prize for the best senior honors thesis, in which she examined and contextualized the high medieval polemical belief in a Jewish male blood flux. 

Dissertation Title:

"The Prince and the Priors: Carthusian Monasticism and the Experience of State-Building in Angevin Provence, 1245-1385"

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