Bonnie Effros joined the Department of History at University of Florida in August 2009. In addition to her appointment as Professor of History, she is the inaugural Rothman Chair and Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. She oversees a host of activities at the Center, including a speaker series each semester, grant support for faculty and graduate students in the humanities, and funding competitions in the humanities for University of Florida faculty and graduate students.
Professor Effros earned her Ph.D. in history at UCLA (1994), where she specialized in the European Middle Ages. Her dissertation, based on written and archaeological evidence for burial rites in Merovingian Gaul, offered fertile ground for her first two books: Caring for Body and Soul: Burial and the Afterlife in the Merovingian World (Penn State University Press 2002) and Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages (University of California Press 2003). Her abiding interest in ritual practice thereafter formed the basis for a series of essays on early medieval feasting and fasting published as Creating Community with Food and Drink in Merovingian Gaul (Palgrave 2002). This research enabled her to explore pagan-Christian interactions, female and clerical ascetic practice, food rites associated with burial custom, and dietary discussions in the post-Roman West. Her work has appeared in the peer-reviewed journals: Antiquity, Early Medieval Europe, Journal of the History of Collections, MVSE, Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, and Viator. She has also published chapters in the Transformation of the Roman World series (published by E. J. Brill), the supplementary series of the Reallexikon für Altertumskunde (published by Walter de Gruyter), the series Forschungen zur Geschichte des Mittelalters (published by the Austrian Academy), and MittelalterStudien (published by the Institut zur interdisziplinären Erforschung des Mittelalters und seines Nachwirkens at Universität Paderborn), and a variety of other edited collections.
Most recently, Professor Effros has completed a study of early medieval antiquarianism and archaeology in nineteenth-century France titled Uncovering the Germanic Past: Merovingian Archaeology in France, 1830-1914 (Oxford University Press 2012). The unexpected discovery during the industrial revolution of long-forgotten cemeteries containing "Germanic warriors" caused the French to reconsider the role of the Franks in their national origins. This work also examines the professionalization of the discipline of archaeology in the late nineteenth century, a subject she will be pursuing at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, in her current monograph project on French colonial archaeology in Algeria.
Professor Effros previously taught at the University of Alberta, where she held an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of History and Classics, at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and at Binghamton University, where she served as chair of the Department of History. Among other awards, she has received a Sylvan C. Coleman and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Berkshire Summer Fellowship at the Bunting Institute (now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), a Camargo Foundation Fellowship in Cassis, France, the Franklin Research Fellowship from the American Philosophical Society, as well as grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Munich, the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, and the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna. For the past several years she has served as a sponsored lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America and as a member of the Breasted Prize Committee of the American Historical Association. She is currently a Councillor of the Medieval Academy of America, on the editorial board of the Journal of Women's History, and is the series editor of the Brill Series on the Early Middle Ages, a continuation of the Transformation of the Roman World series published by E.J. Brill in the Netherlands.