I am the Network Facilitator of the Leverhulme Trust-funded international research network, Voices of Law. The network aims to establish a wide comparative framework that will highlight cross-cultural connections and cover areas of exceptional significance for the study of law, language and legal practice in Britain, Scandinavia and Frisia in the period AD 600-1250.
The plethora of legal cultures developed across the medieval landscape is a fascinating insight into the minds and lives of the people we study. With a special focus on the translation, performance and application of law and judicial discourse, ‘Voices of Law’ seeks to illuminate the ways encounter and negotiation between legal culture and the wider culture of society took place.
Over a 24-month period, the network will hold two colloquia and three workshops, each at a different institution in Britain, Scandinavia and The Netherlands. The network will further produce two edited collections, a collaborative monograph relating to the main themes, and a postgraduate skills guide on working with early medieval law.
The first conference will take place at the Fryske Akademy, The Netherlands, in September 2016. The Call for Papers for this major conference has just been announced – speakers will have their travel expenses paid, and selected papers will contribute to one of the co-edited volumes produced by the network.
For more information, follow the network on Twitter @VoicesofLaw, or email VoicesofLaw[at]gmail[dot]com.
Funded by the AHRC, the CAER Heritage Project has recently won a national public engagement award, being declared Overall Winners at the NCCPE #EngageComp this year. CAER also won the History & Heritage category of the competition.
As the medieval researcher on the CAER Heritage project, I am helping to build up a picture of medieval Caerau, and disseminate the information to the public in the form of blogs and tweets. I have blogged for CAER both here, and at www.caerheritageproject.com. These posts are not intended for an academic audience with prior knowledge of the Middle Ages or Medieval Wales – they are aimed at local Caerau and Ely residents from all backgrounds and of all ages, with an interest in history and the heritage of their community. My main aim is to place the medieval community at Caerau into their socio-political, economic and demographic context, and presenting this to the modern-day community in a relational and accessible way.
I am also writing scholarly articles for the project and co-authoring papers with the archaeological director, Dr Oliver Davis.
I am currently project managing a small team to develop research and source analysis skills for students taking the Welsh Baccalaureate, who are interested in looking at history/heritage questions for their Individual Investigation projects. As of 2015, the Welsh Bacc is undergoing significant changes and grading developments. The Review of Qualifications for 14-19 year olds in Wales report published in November 2012, proposed building on and strengthening the Welsh Baccalaureate to provide an overarching framework for qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds. WJEC has been working with the Welsh Government and stakeholders planning the new look Welsh Bacc to be introduced from September 2015. As part of Cardiff University’s committment to widening access and research dissemination, my team will be designing and developing research skills and source analysis exercises for students with a preferance for History, aiming to help students develop key skills that they will require for taking their studies forwards to HE level.
I am continuing to develop my interest in family power and strategy by expanding on my doctoral research and considering other avenues of related exploration. I am most interested in the role visual culture played in the projecting of identities and scope of a family’s power.
I would like to look at families within the context of particular counties – little historiographically has been done on the gentry of the midlands, and I would like to explore the ‘lesser gentry’ in this area a little more, particularly in reference to their relationship with Marcher lords and the level of Welsh migration into these areas throughout the period 1000-1400. I am also interested in returning to look at the case study of Archenfield I opened up somewhat in my MA dissertation, and expanding my research into this area to examine how communities integrated in ‘frontier’ regions in more detail.
I have formed a special interest in seals and sealing practices, and would like to develop this further, especially exploring the potential for public engagement activities and using seals as a means to introduce the public and school groups to their Medieval ancestors.