Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Derek Neal's new project

Somewhat passed over in the rush of end-of-year business was the fact that another NU historian was awarded a useful and prestigious SSHRC Standard Research Grant which will provide him time and resources to further investigate clerical and lay masculinity in Late Medieval and Early Modern England. Here's a short description of why this is interesting:

Clergy, Laity and Masculinity in English Communities, 1460-1560 explores interactions between clergymen and lay people in England during a span of time that crosses the conventionally understood distinction between “late medieval” and “early modern” eras of history. Between 1460 and 1560, did clergymen begin to be regarded (or to regard themselves) at all differently? How did clerics and lay people insult or censure each other? In what terms did they report each other’s misconduct? What patterns did physical fights, and more mundane legal disputes, take between them? The question admits cooperation as well as conflict: clerics advised people making wills, they often mediated disputes (including marital ones), and they might complete a household, not disrupt it. All such interactions can inform an understanding of clerical masculinity, and by extension, also of masculinity more generally.