Medieval History Research Centre
Politics and Society in Medieval Ireland
In recent years the main focus of this group has been The Irish Chancery Project, which seeks to reconstruct the records of the medieval Irish chancery that were destroyed by the explosion and fire at the Four Courts in 1922. The groups’s interests are, however more wide ranging. Katharine Simms is completing a new monograph on medieval Ulster and Peter Crooks has recently won an IRCHSS CARA award to investigate power, conflict and colonialism in English Ireland between 1361 and 1460.
- Associated Staff: Peter Crooks; Seán Duffy; Katharine Simms; Colin Veach
Settlement, Migration and Socio-Economic Structures in the Insular and Northern Worlds
This group explores the movement and interaction of peoples across the insular and north European world between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Particular attention is focused on the experiences of Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia, with an emphasis on the impact which migration had on society, politics, economy and culture. The more specific questions covered relate to the ability of migrants to maintain their native languages, customs and social structures in new environments; the extent of interaction between ‘natives’ and ‘incomers’; and the economic impact of migrants; and the formation of new identities within the insular world.
- Associated Staff: Terry Barry; David Ditchburn; Seán Duffy; Mark Hennessy; Poul Holm
Culture and Society in the Insular World
This group of scholars works primarily with artistic and literary materials, seeking to explore the historical past across the traditional interdisciplinary boundaries between artistic, historical and literary studies. Initially the focus was on Irish materials – notably the bardic poetry studied by Katharine Simms. Indeed the bardic poetry project was the first of the Centre’s databases to become digitally available (external). More recently the focus has, however, expanded to cover the insular and northern worlds more generally – notably in the research on medieval music by Ann Buckley and the manuscript illuminations studied by Laura Cleaver.
- Associated Staff: Laura Cleaver; Ann Buckley; Katharine Simms; Anna Chahoud.
Religion and the Church in Medieval Europe
Scholars involved with this grouping focus their attention on papal politics and on the crusading movement but also on the study of religious conduct and belief in the medieval centuries. The crusades constitute a prominent element in this analysis but the papal records of the later middle ages also lend themselves to analysis of pilgrimage, penance and other aspects of devotion. This cluster works closely with the Centre for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies in the Classics department.
- Associated Staff: Laura Cleaver; I.S. Robinson; Conor Kostick; David Ditchburn, Katharine Simms, Niav Gallagher; Ann Buckley
Working in close partnership with both the archaeological community and national institutions based in Dublin, this group seeks to foster an understanding of the development and destruction of medieval Dublin, from its earliest days to the sixteenth century. As well as interdisciplinary, this cluster is also committed to communicating the results of academic research to the widest possible research. An annual day conference (now in its twelfth year) is staged on medieval Dublin and the proceedings of each conference have been edited by Sean Duffy.
- Associated Staff: Seán Duffy; Peter Crooks; Stephen Harrison; Poul Holm