The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars working on various aspects of maritime communities of the ‘north Atlantic arc’ – Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, Iceland and further afield. While metropolitan viewpoints, such as London, Edinburgh or Dublin, might consider that such communities are ‘living on the edge’ the aim here is to consider matters from an alternative perspective.
The north western littoral of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland have been, and continue to be, viewed as remote. In the medieval and early modern periods, however, it was on the main sea road between northern continental Europe and the wider world. An AHRC-funded project, ‘Living on the Edge?: plantation and politics in the North Atlantic archipelago, 1493-1637’ currently being undertaken at the University of Strathclyde aims to place the western Gaidhealtachd at the centre of the narrative rather than view the western Highlands and Isles of Scotland as ‘peripheral’ to the British Isles and Ireland, as well as the wider world. Accordingly, the project seeks to explore the interaction of communities of this region with crown and governmental authority and Lowland burghs within Scotland, as well as with numerous other communities and groups of people who traversed the waters off the west coast of Scotland and north of Ireland.
Medieval and early modern maritime communities viewed the Atlantic as road, rather than a border. We are issuing this call for papers in the hope of bringing together scholars from different fields within the medieval and early modern periods, highlighting the extent to which the maritime dimension was fundamental in history. We would like to include work by individuals at different stages in their career. Topics or themes might include (but are not limited to) plantation/colonisation/expansion, clanship, technology (boats), trade, piracy, fishing, conceptual understanding, intellectual/legal dimensions, civility, archaeology, material culture, literary representations, linguistic interaction, networks.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words with a brief biography (no more than 200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday 28 September 2012.
Dr Alison Cathcart
School of Humanities
University of Strathclyde
Phone: +44 141 552 4400
Fax: +44 141 552 0775
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