Press clipping: Research
The department's medievalists have been successful in their bid for AHRC funding for their project, 'The Norman Edge: Identity and State Formation on the Frontiers of Europe'.The project will be fully funded by the AHRC for three and a half years, and includes a research associateship and funded PhD studentship. Here is a summary of the scope of the project:
One of the most distinctive features of the period between the mid 11th and the early 13th centuries was the migration of Normans from their northern French homeland to the frontiers of Christian Europe. Normans established themselves particularly in northern England and southern Scotland, in southern Italy and Sicily, and in Syria and Palestine, in ways that were both strategic and opportunistic. This project will investigate the salient characteristics of Norman expansion and its significance for a fuller understanding of medieval political communities and state-building. We intend to produce a systematic study of the relationships between different parts of the Norman diaspora, by examining networks determined by political patronage, social loyalties, kinship and spiritual affinities. The fundamental questions underlying the research will concern the meaning of Norman identity: what did it mean to be a Norman; how did Normans express consciousness of this identity; and how did membership of the 'Norman people' contribute to the process of state-building on the margins of Europe?