International Debate

History Professor's Expertise Becomes Part of Global Conversation

Springfield, Ohio - Wittenberg University Associate Professor of History Christian Raffensperger's expertise on Medieval Europe found its way into a Twitter debate between Russia and Ukraine recently.

The debate began following Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to France, which brought up historical relations between the two countries. Ukraine's Twitter feed apparently took exception to the fact that Moscow/Russia claimed Anna of Kiev, the 11th-century princess who became the queen of France. 

The marriage of Anna of Kiev and Henry I of France is actually featured in Raffensperger's latest book, published by Harvard University Press, Ties of Kinship: Genealogy and Dynastic Marriage in Kyivan Rus'. As a result, his publicist quickly entered the international Twitter debate to highlight Raffensperger's expertise.

See the conversation that ensued on Twitter here:

Raffensperger, who previously won the Ohio Academy of History Publication Award in 2013 for his work Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus' in the Medieval World, 988-1146, also noted that Ukraine just issued a series of stamps focusing on the princesses of Rus' who became European queens, including Anna of Kiev.

Active in multiple scholarly organizations, Raffensperger currently serves on the governing board of both the Byzantine Studies Association of North America and the Ohio Academy of History. He is also a founding member of the editorial board for the journal, The Medieval Globe, which brings scholarly interconnectivity to our modern understanding of the medieval world. Additionally, Raffensperger serves as an Associate of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. He earned his B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Currently he is at work on a new project focusing on intra-familial conflicts in Medieval central and eastern Europe, and how those families manage those conflicts through the creation of "situational kinship networks," as a way to mitigate the effects of the conflicts. Read more about his forthcoming book "The Kingdom of Rus'" here.


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Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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