Laura is currently a third-year PhD student in the Department of History, working with Dr. Jacob Latham. Before coming to the University of Tennessee, Laura received two Bachelor’s degrees in History and Classics from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2012. She then came to UTK for her Master’s degree in History, which she received in 2015.
Laura's research focuses on conceptions and intersections of landscape and violence in the Late Antique Latin West. She is predominantly interested in textual depictions of landscapes, and she is currently working primarily with poetry from the fourth century CE. In particular, Laura works with the violent poetics of Prudentius, a late-fourth-century Spanish Christian of the provincial elite, though she aims to expand to additional authors as her project progresses. In terms of violence, she is most interested in depictions of it related to martyrdom. In her research, she aims to explore how poetic representations of landscapes and violence overlap and feed off one another, and how poetry in particular provides a flexible, dynamic medium to investigate these interactions further. In so doing, she hopes to further discussions of early Roman Christian identity formation among the laity and the clergy, as well as power structures in Late Roman society.
Laura has been a member of the Marco community since she came to Tennessee, and she presently works as the GTA for the undergraduate Marco survey. She is also the Marco Steering Committee Graduate Representative for 2017-18, and belongs to the North American Patristics Society.