Sarah Davis-Secord

Photo: Sarah Davis-Secord

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: 505-277-0172
Office: Mesa Vista 2092


2007 Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

Research Interests:

Middle Ages, History of the Medieval Mediterranean, Christian-Muslim-Jewish Relations, Medieval Europe and the Islamic World

Research Statement:

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, Where Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean ( 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 working on a short book about migration in the medieval Mediterranean. 



Dr. Davis-Secord joined UNM’s History Department in 2012. She completed her Ph.D. under Dr. Olivia Remie Constable at the University of Notre Dame. 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.

Recent/Select Publications:

Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean(Cornell University Press, 2017)

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.


2019 Dionisus A. Agius Prize, Cornell University Press , Society of Medieval Mediterrnean Studies

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


Western Civilization
Early Middle Ages
Medieval Travelers and Travel
Medieval Miniorities