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Occupying Space in Medieval and Early Modern Britain and Ireland


Gregory Hulsman and Caoimhe Whelan

This collection offers a range of interdisciplinary viewpoints on the occupation of space and theories of place in Britain and Ireland throughout the medieval and early modern periods. It considers space in both its physical and abstract sense, exploring literature, history, art, manuscript studies, religion, geography and archaeology. The buildings and ruins still occupying our urban and rural spaces bridge the gap between the medieval and the modern; manuscripts and objects hold keys to unlocking the secrets of the past. Focusing on the varied uses of space enriches our understanding of the material culture of the medieval and early modern period. The essays collected here offer astute observations on this theme and generate new insights into areas such as social interaction, cultural memory, sacred space and ideas of time and community.
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Preface (Gregory Hulsman and Caoimhe Whelan)




This volume arises out of early career work showcased at the 2013 three-day Borderlines XVII medieval and early modern conference held at Trinity College Dublin. The annual conference rotates between four Irish universities: Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s College Belfast, University College Cork and University College Dublin, and focuses on current research being undertaken by early career scholars in the medieval and early modern period. It is the largest postgraduate and early career conference held in Ireland and has always generated wide interest from the academic community, attracting many overseas visitors. The continued success of the Borderlines conferences, and the enthusiasm of the audience for a volume distilling some of the excellent scholarship on display, has encouraged us to produce a book comprising twelve chapters developed from papers delivered over the three-day period, all of which are linked by the conference’s theme of ‘Occupying Space’.

The selection of papers chosen for this collection offers an examination of a wide range of topics on this theme across the spectrum of the medieval to early modern period, demonstrating interesting intertextual readings and parallels across disciplines and time periods. The unifying theme of ‘Occupying Space’ provides a broad canvas that facilitates a review and re-sketching of the contours of the past in relation to physicality, materiality and locality. The buildings and ruins still occupying our urban and rural spaces bridge the gap between the medieval and the modern, while manuscripts...

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