Jake Ransohoff

Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global Postdoctoral Fellow (2022/2023)


 AQ 6191


Research interests

  • Byzantine and Mediterranean History
  • History of the Medieval Balkans
  • Disability Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Reception Studies


  • PhD, Byzantine History, Harvard University
  • BA, History with Honors, University of Chicago
  • BA, Medieval Studies with Honors, University of Chicago


Jake Ransohoff is the 2022/2023 Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, Simon Fraser University. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago, and defended his PhD dissertation in History at Harvard University in June, 2022. His current research focuses on the intersection between power, political legitimacy, and attitudes toward the body in the Byzantine world—especially the disfigured and disabled body. He is editor (with Nathanael Aschenbrenner) of The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe, published by Dumbarton Oaks Press in 2021, and co-editor of the forthcoming web resource “The Justinianic Pandemic (541–c. 750 CE): The Historical, Archaeological, Geospatial and Genetic Evidence.”


Journal articles and book chapters

  • “Two Approaches to Political Blinding in Byzantium.” In Peter Sarris, ed.,Blood in Byzantium: Papers from the 52nd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Cambridge, March 2019. London and New York: Routledge, forthcoming.
  • “Hieronymus Wolf’s Silver Tongue: Early Byzantine Scholarship at the Intersection of Slavery, Colonialism, and the Crusades” (with Nathanael Aschenbrenner). In Benjamin Anderson and Mirela Ivanona, eds.,Is Byzantine Studies a Colonialist Discipline? Towards a Critical Historiography. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Blinding as Punishment and Politics in Byzantium.”In Clive Emsley and Sara McDougall, eds., A Global History of Crime and Punishment, vol. 2: Crime and Punishment in the Medieval Age (800–1450). London and New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2022.
  • “Introduction: The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe” (with Nathanael Aschenbrenner). In The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe, pp. 1–23.
  • “Byzance avant Byzance: Toward a New History of Byzantine Scholarship” (with Nathanael Aschenbrenner). In The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe, pp. 369–382.
  • “‘Consider the Future as Present:’ The Paranoid World of Kekaumenos.” Speculum 93/1 (2018):pp. 77–91.
  • “An Empire ‘Between Three Seas?’ Mapping Late Medieval Bulgaria at its Territorial Apogee,” Balkanistica 30/2 (2017):pp. 233–255.
  • “All the Tsar’s Men: Reflections on Power and Society in Asenid Bulgaria (1257–1393).” In Maximilian Lau et al.,eds.,Landscapes of Power: Selected Papers from the XVthOxford University Byzantine Society International Graduate Conference, pp. 253–273.Byzantine and Neohellenic Studies 10.Berlin: Peter Lang, 2014.
  • “Ivan Šišman and the Ottoman Conquest of Bulgaria (1371–1395):A Reconsideration.” Palaeobulgarica 37/1(2013): pp. 89–100.
  • “The Relationship Between Land and Power in Terterid Bulgaria: a Comparative Study of the Appanages of Eltimir and Smilets.” Palaeobulgarica 35/2 (2011): pp. 37–47.

Select conference presentations

Select awards

  • 2020, Mellon Graduate Fellow, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University
  • 2017-2019, William R. Tyler Research Fellowship in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks 
  • 2012-2013, Fulbright Research Fellowship (North Macedonia), Institute of International Education