Office: Mesa Vista 2092
2007 Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
Middle Ages, History of the Medieval Mediterranean, Christian-Muslim-Jewish Relations, Medieval Europe and the Islamic World
I am a historian of the early and central Middle Ages, particularly interested in inter-cultural and inter-religious relations within the Mediterranean Sea region. My book manuscript, Between Three Worlds: Communication Networks among Sicily and her Neighbors in the Middle Ages, explores the intercultural relationships between Greek Christians, Muslims, and Latin Christians in the central Mediterranean through analysis of communications and travel that occurred to and from the island of Sicily. Governed at various times by Greeks, Muslims, and Latins, Sicily was a locus of both contention and communication across the Middle Ages. By understanding the types, reasons, and destinations of travel that took place between Sicily and other regions, we understand more fully the interconnectedness of the Muslim and Christian worlds of the medieval period. At the same time, this manuscript asks historians to reconsider the periodization of Sicily’s history, which has traditionally been separated into Byzantine, Muslim, and Norman periods for study and analysis. By looking across these periods, and thinking about political conquest as a point of union rather than division, I argue that Muslim-Christian interaction and exchange has been a primary constructive element in the history of medieval Sicily and the central Mediterranean. I am also currently developing my second major research project on family history within medieval Muslim minority communities in Christian Europe.
Dr. Davis-Secord joined UNM’s History Department in 2012, after teaching for several years at the University of Texas at Arlington. She completed her Ph.D. under Dr. Olivia Remie Constable at the University of Notre Dame in 2007, with a dissertation on the regional communication networks between Sicily and her neighbors, both Muslim and Christian, during the early and high medieval periods. That dissertation is currently being revised into a monograph, and she has also published portions of that work as journal articles. She offers a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on the Middle Ages, particularly of the Mediterranean region, medieval minorities, travel and travelers, and the Crusades.
Sarah Davis-Secord, “The Crusades,” in Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, 2nd ed. 4 vols. Edited by Patrick L. Mason (Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2013), vol. 1: 465-70.
Sarah Davis-Secord, “Sicily and Southern Italy,” in Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage (Leiden: Brill, 2009): 683-4.
Sarah Davis-Secord, “Medieval Sicily and Southern Italy in Recent Historiographical Perspective,” History Compass, vol. 8, no. 1 (2009): 61-87.
Sarah Davis-Secord, “Muslims in Norman Sicily: The Evidence of Imām al-Māzarī’s Fatwās,” Mediterranean Studies, vol. 16 (2007): 46-66.
Philip Gleason Prize, Department of History, University of Notre Dame, for Best Completed Dissertation of the Year
Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant, Medieval Academy of America