Dr. Mateusz Jakub Fafinski


Fellow (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies)


Weltbeziehungen / C19.03.31

Office hours

by appointment

Visiting address

Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Nordhäuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt

Mailing address

Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Dr. Mateusz Jakub Fafinski

Personal Information

Dr. Mateusz Fafinski is a medieval historian and a digital humanist. His research focuses on the interface of medieval and digital history and the adaptation of societies in the first millennium, with a keen eye to manuscript studies.

Short CV

  • August 2022-December 2022 | Fellow
    Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, „Migration und Mobilität in Spätantike und Frühmittelalter"
  • June-July 2022 | Fellow
    Cambridge University, St John’s College/Cambridge Digital Humanities
  • June 2020- | Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher
    Stanford University, CESTA
  • April 2021-April 2022 | Academic Assistant
    Freie Universität Berlin
  • March 2020-April 2021 | Senior Researcher
    Université de Lausanne
  • January 2020-March 2020 | Fellow Trierer Kolleg für Mittelalter und Frühe Neuzeit Fellow
    Universität Trier
  • October 2019-April 2021 | Assistant Lecturer
    Freie Universität Berlin
  • October 2018-October 2019 | Stanford University TextTechnologies Fellow
    Stanford University, CESTA
  • 2015-2018 | PhD Candidate in History
    Freie Universität Berlin, Topoi

Research Project

My second-book project, Adapted Landscapes, focuses on the history of the city in the post-Roman world. The twilight period between the sixth and eleventh centuries is usually seen as a time of decline of urbanity, but it was also a time of adaptation and transformation. The Long Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages were replete with innovative forms of urbanity: their creation was tightly connected, through a process of reciprocal formation, with institutionalized forms of religious life. My project investigates how movements like monasticism and structures like church organization influenced existing urban spaces and created new ones. Through textuality, adaptation, and social interaction these helped to create a cornucopia of urban and para-urban landscapes, unique in their ability perform urban functions in a world transformed. These landscapes were a foundation of the urban explosion of the High Middle Ages and shape our urbanities to this day.


Publications (selection)


  • Monasticism and the City in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, with Jakob Riemenschneider (Eds). Elements in Religion in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023)
  • The Past Through Narratology, with Jakob Riemenschneider (Eds.) Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung / Beihefte, Band 18. (Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2022)
  • Roman Infrastructure in Early Medieval Britain. The Adaptations of the Past in Text and Stone (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2021)
  • Beowulf by All, with Jeannie Abbott and Elaine Treharne (Eds.) (Leeds: ARC 2021)

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

  • “Facsimile Narratives: Researching the Past in the Age of Digital Reproduction”. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 37 2022 (1): 94–108. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqab017.
  • with Jakob Riemenschneider, “Literarised Spaces Towards a Narratological Framework for Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages”. In The Past Through Narratology. New Approaches to Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, edited by Mateusz Fafinski and Jakob Riemenschneider, 7–23. Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven Mediävistischer Forschung. Beihefte 18. Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Press 2022.
  • “Glocal Matters: The Gospels of St Augustine as a Codex in Translation”, in: Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age ed. by Elaine Treharne, Benjamin Albritton, and Georgia Henley (London: Routledge 2020), 93-99.
  • “Challenges for visualising spatial and chronological distribution of medieval manuscripts: towards a fuzzy ontology”. Data for History 2020: Modelling Time, Places, Agents (2020).
  • with Piotrowski, Michael, “Modelling Medieval Vagueness. Towards a Methodology of Visualising Geographical Uncertainty in Historical Texts, in: INFORMATIK 2020: 50. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik; 3. Workshop InfDH 2020 “Methoden und Anwendungen der Computational Humanities”. Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI), ed. by Ralf H. Reussner, Anne Koziolek, Robert Heinrich (Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik), p. 1303–1312.
  • “Faraway, so close: Liminal thinking and the use of geography in Old English Orosius”, Studies of Warmia 56, 2019, 423-437. https://doi.org/10.31648/sw.3252
  •  “The moving centre: trade and travel in York from Roman to Anglo-Saxon Times”. In: Gale R. Owen-Crocker and Brian W. Schneider (ed.) The Anglo-Saxons: The World through their Eyes, BAR British Series 595 (2014), 71-77.