Glenn, Jason 1967- (Jason Kahn Glenn)

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Glenn, Jason 1967- (Jason Kahn Glenn)


Born 1967. Education: University of California at Berkeley, B.A. (double major in history and mathematics), 1989, M.A., 1991, Ph.D., 1997.


Office—Department of History, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0034. E-mail—[email protected].


Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, department of history, visiting assistant professor, 1997-98; University of Southern California, Los Angeles, department of history, assistant professor, 1998-2004, associate professor, 2004—; also served as instructor, Mellon Foundation Seminar in the Humanities, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2002. Served as writer/consultant for Notre-Dame de Paris, Walt Disney Imagineering, 1996; consultant for the television series Joan of Arc, Atlantis Films, for CBS television, 1999.


Medieval Academy of America, Phi Beta Kappa.


National Science Foundation, graduate fellowship, 1990-93; Fulbright Award, France, 1994-95; Phi Beta Kappa scholarship, University of California at Berkeley, 1995; residency at the Institute for Advanced Study, Mellon Fellowship, 2001-02; American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, Ryskamp Fellowship, 2004-07.


Politics and History in the Tenth Century: The Work and World of Richer of Reims, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to anthologies and various journals.


Writer and educator Jason Glenn was born 1967. He attended the University of California at Berkeley where he double majored in history and mathematics, then went on to earn a master's degree in the history of science and a doctorate in medieval history. He worked for a year as a visiting professor at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, then joined the faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles. He served as an assistant professor in the department of history until 2004, when he was promoted to associate professor. He also served as an instructor for the Mellon Foundation Seminar in the Humanities held at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Glenn was the recipient of a number of financial awards to support his work, including a three-year graduate fellowship from the National Sci- ence Foundation and a Fulbright Award. His primary areas of research and academic interest include medieval history and the early Middle Ages, particularly the politics, religion, and intellectual culture of the era. He is the author of Politics and History in the Tenth Century: The Work and World of Richer of Reims.

In Politics and History in the Tenth Century, Glenn takes a close look at the Historia of Richer of Reims, one of the only surviving sources of information regarding the tenth century. Historians hold varied opinions regarding the work, some of them considering it a viable piece of scholarly information and a useful resource, and others considering it a biased work with a political agenda that therefore cannot be relied upon, or as simply a rehashing of other Roman documents and not original enough to be considered seriously. Rather than simply attempting to determine the level of accuracy of the document, Glenn sets out to understand how Richer wrote the Historia, and to use the document as a way of determining what type of culture served as an underpinning of the politics of the era, whether or not the politics described in Richer's work are accurate. He starts with the understanding that authors merely present their personal views on a particular situation, rather than an accurate and perfect rendering of the truth. With this in mind, he can then work backwards from the text in an attempt to gain an understanding of Richer and his character, the community he lives in, and the society that surrounds him.

Glenn has divided his analysis into three sections. The first provides what biographical material is available on Richer, presenting him in both social and religious context. The second section provides more general political history of the day and the ways in which the political shifts affected the religious leaders. Lastly, the third section addresses Richer's position as a historian and the political commentary that shines through his work. Glenn also looks at Richer's relationship to the earlier Historia by Flodoard, and how his own effort differed, updating what he felt was incorrect in the earlier text or required added emphasis. Cullen J. Chandler, writing for History: Review of New Books, remarked that "this methodological call, as the study itself, is geared toward specialists, who may react quite critically to Glenn's admittedly speculative findings." Thomas F.X. Noble, in a review for Church History, found the book to be informative, but disliked much of the style, stating that "Glenn's basic approach is to speculate and hypothesize, spin out his speculations and hypotheses at rather self-indulgent length, and then tell us how it might have been." Janet L. Nelson, reviewing for the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, commented that "much is evident from Richer's text. But it is Glenn's expert decoding of the manuscript itself, Richer's autograph, that reveals both the tenth-century monk's innermost concerns, and, at the same time, … the palaeographer's."



Church History, September 1, 2006, Thomas F.X. Noble, review of Politics and History in the Tenth Century: The Work and World of Richer of Reims, p. 657.

History: Review of New Books, June 22, 2005, Cullen J. Chandler, review of Politics and History in the Tenth Century, p. 158.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 1, 2007, Janet L. Nelson, review of Politics and History in the Tenth Century, p. 319.

Medieval Review, May 1, 2006, Leah Shopkow, review of Politics and History in the Tenth Century.


University of Southern California Web site, (May 22, 2008), faculty profile.

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