Q&A with CSLA postdoctoral research fellow Janet Kay

Jan. 27, 2020

Four questions for Janet Kay, CSLA postdoctoral research fellow, 2017-18

1.   Can you describe your research interests for us?

I study the period between the end of Roman Britain and the beginning of the early medieval kingdoms there, c. 350-550 CE. I work primarily with archaeological data from burials. Contemporary texts from the island have not survived, so historians have traditionally worked with later textual sources. In my research, I read burials like “texts,” interpreting how people living during the long fifth century understood their communities and their place in the world.


2.   What did you work on while you were a postdoc with the Committee? Is there anything in particular you’re enjoying about your time at Princeton?

I am a postdoc in the Society of Fellows here at Princeton, and the CSLA helped support my first year here. I really enjoy being a part of such a vibrant and engaged academic community, and I love that interdisciplinary research is really encouraged.


3.   What are you working on currently?

My book project is about changing burial practices and questions of identity, ethnicity, and cultural memory during the transformation of Roman Britain into the early medieval kingdoms.


4.   What book have you read recently that you recommend?

I just finished “The Bear and the Nightingale” by Katherine Arden. It’s a kind of historical fairytale set in medieval Russia, and I really recommend it.