Ten years ago this month, I submitted my dissertation, Church, Society, and the Sacred in Early Christian Greece, for final approval at Ohio State and became Dr. Bill Caraher. A year later, I was lucky enough to become Visiting Assistant Professor Bill Caraher and a year after that Assistant Professor Bill Caraher. And finally, last year, Associate Professor. Pretty exciting business, academia is.
Last week, over dinner with my Ph.D. advisor in Greece I was once again asked why I hadn’t made progress toward publishing my dissertation. The easy answer always has been: it’s available here for free so I felt no need to work on it more so that someone else could make money from it.
A more complex answer usually involved me explaining that I was extremely fortunate to get a job at a school that supported faculty research, while not requiring a book for tenure. So instead of re-heating my dissertation for a quick monograph to ensure tenure, I started a new project – the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project – on Cyprus, and have managed to bring it almost to completion over the last decade. In fact, a monograph based on the survey we conducted at the site between 2004 and 2010 is in final revisions and will appear as a volume in the American Schools of Oriental Research Archaeological Report Series.
That being said, people still bug me about my dissertation. So now, I tell them that there are other scholars doing great work on some of the same issues that I explored in my dissertation. Ann Marie Yasin’s book on saints and churches appeared in 2009 (some thoughts on it here and here); Kim Bowes has produced some good scholarship in private churches (my thoughts on it here); and Rebecca Sweetman has attacked the complex evidence for Early Christian architecture in Greece with insight (my thoughts on it here). There seemed little need for another book on Early Christian architecture in Greece. The field was in good hands.
All that being said, I have continued to churn out little papers and articles on the topic of Early Christian architecture and churches. Few of them have appeared in print largely owing to the vagaries of academic publishing, but all of the papers below are either forthcoming or in press except the epilogue. Whenever possible I have posted working drafts or pre-prints to my Scribd page. I guess people can put these papers in order and make them almost like a little book.
Chapter 1: Monumentality and Early Christian Architecture. (I just uploaded this today!)
Maybe sometime soon, I’ll find a bit of time to write an introduction to this little pseudo-/cyber-volume that will make explicit how the various parts link together, but I feel like these chapters represent range of my thoughts on Early Christian architecture in Greece.
Here’s Chapter 1: