John F. Romano, Ph.D., L.M.S., is passionate about the religion, ritual, mentalities, and the power in the Middle Ages. He is a dedicated
researcher and instructor. As the editor of medievalliturgy.com, he wants to help scholars and students discover the riches of medieval liturgy.
Romano's research interests focus on the interconnected history of religion, ritual, and power in medieval Europe. In his dissertation Ritual and
Society in Early Medieval Rome, he draws upon a wide range of primary sources including papal biographies, saints’ lives, and archaeology and
incorporate computer-based research, anthropology, and architecture to increase our knowledge of early medieval Rome. He focuses on the
multifaceted history of papal ceremonial. Liturgy had a decisive role in two closely contested papal elections. At the same time, the forms of
worship shed new light on early papal leadership. While the city of Rome was wracked by political and cultural dissension, worship was one of the
few markers of shared identity in a rapidly changing city. The religious practices of Rome helped to generate esteem for Rome and the papacy as
the head of Christianity in the West. He has already turned his research on the history of the liturgy into articles for the journals Archiv für
Liturgiewissenschaft, Viator, and Antiphon. Romano is currently working on composing his first book based upon the material in his dissertation
and new research he is undertaking. In it he will show the integral role that worship played in every aspect in the society of early-medieval Rome.
Romano has already published his work and presented his research in various settings. He had an article published about a fiery preacher from
Burgundy as well as another article that re-examines the genre of liturgical parody and what is can tell us about the mentalities of the medieval
clergy. In addition, he wrote three entries for the Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage on Rome, the Roman church St. John Lateran, and the
relationship between medieval pilgrimage and the liturgy. He has given papers at the international medieval conferences in Kalamazoo, Michigan
and Leeds, England, as well as the Medieval Academy of America and the German Historical Institute.
Romano is an experienced instructor. As an undergraduate he was a Teaching Assistant in German Language at Brown University in Providence,
Rhode Island. Next he secured a full-time position teaching English and French to junior-high and high school students in Brooklyn, New York. As
a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, he taught surveys of Western history, the history of Christianity, and imperial Rome (a course that
combined art, literature, and history). Additional courses included Late Antiquity, the early Middle Ages, Irish saga literature, and the culture of the
United States in 1941. While teaching in a course on the Crusades, he was responsible for all aspects of administration. He received two awards
for outstanding teaching while at Harvard.
Romano went on to teach at the History Department at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2007-08. During this time, he taught
five intensive courses, which ranged from surveys in Western civilization and medieval history to more specialized courses on women in the Middle
Ages and medieval intellectual history. For his syllabi, see the website of the History Department (See under "Sites and Syllabi"). In his courses,
Romano encouraged discussion on primary sources and often incorporated music and art to complement written primary sources students read.
He encouraged hands-on learning, including visits to the Denver Art Museum, the American Numismatic Association to examine medieval coins,
and Special Collections at Tutt Library to view and discuss medieval manuscripts and early books. In one case, Romano and a group of students
attempted to decipher the words of a mid-thirteenth-century indulgence with the aid of ultraviolet light, as can be seen here and here.
In 2008-09 Romano was a postdoctoral Mellon fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, Canada. In this unique medieval
research center, Romano had the opportunity to devote a year to his scholarship and participate in the interdisciplinary seminars of the Institute.
While at the institute, he pursued the postdoctoral degree the Licence in Mediaeval Studies (L.M.S.), which he was awarded in October 2009. For
this degree, he investigated the mysterious history of the liturgical celebration known as Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday in Advent.
In 2009-10 Romano was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. There he taught a survey of medieval
history; courses that examined the historiography of current debates among medieval historians and on medieval religion; and a seminar that
probed the relationship between religious faith and reason among medieval thinkers. Romano's courses emphasized engagement with and
discussion of primary and secondary sources, and he frequently incorporated images, film, and websites into his lectures.
The 2010-11 academic year finds Romano in a new academic home, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Benedictine College
in Atchison, Kansas. Romano is excited to be joining an institution that allows him to combine his love of teaching in a liberal arts setting with a
receptive environment to his research interests on the history of religion, the papacy, and the liturgy. Romano will be responsible for all courses in
pre-modern history, including the first part of the sequence of world civilization and surveys of ancient and medieval history.
Romano is a native of Brooklyn, New York. In his free time, he is a runner and swimmer. He took part in the 2008 New York City Marathon,
finishing with a time of 3:54.13; he also participated in the 2009 Philadelphia Marathon with a time of 3:36.50. In addition, he enjoys listening to
music and watching classic movies.
John F. Romano, Ph.D., L.M.S.
For Romano's CV, see here.