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Early Christian Deathscapes

Sarah F. Porter, Harvard University, William R. Tyler Fellow 2019–2021

During the first year of my Tyler Fellowship, I catalogued Byzantine seals with Jonathan Shea, associate curator of coins and seals. I also completed editorial work for the Latin series of the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. I substantially narrowed my dissertation on early Christian deathscapes to focus on fourthcentury Antioch. I drafted two chapters of my dissertation, which assess the cruciform church in Antioch. I wrote while sitting under a dedicatory mosaic from the same church, which now hangs in the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. I presented parts of my dissertation at the Society of Biblical Literature in fall 2019. I also prepared a presentation for the North American Patristics Society in 2020. The conference was postponed, but the paper received a Graduate Student Prize.

The second year of the Tyler Fellowship is often used for research travel abroad. Due to COVID-19, no travel was permitted. I resided in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and drafted two more chapters of my dissertation. I presented parts of the dissertation at the Society of Biblical Literature in 2020, and I prepared a peer-reviewed publication (currently under revision) and a coauthored encyclopedia entry.