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Amy C. Mulligan
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)
A Landscape of Words: Ireland, Britain, and the Poetics of Irish Space, 700-1300

A book-length study on how topography in medieval Irish literature reflects authors' responses to events that threatened Irish land, sovereignty, and language.

Ireland is the only medieval European nation that formalized a distinct and substantive genre of “place-lore,” yet medieval Irish spatial discourses have received virtually no attention.  My project is the first to consider the full range of Ireland's medieval topographical literature (Latin and Irish, 700-1300), written by Irish and British authors, and to identify a unique Irish poetics of space and place. Through topographical discourses, the Irish disseminated a story of themselves as a unified people and ultimately, a nation; writers in Britain, from Anglo-Saxon Bede to the colonizing Cambro-Norman Giraldus Cambrensis, also relied on a poetics of Irish place to define Britain and English identity.  Situated in different linguistic, textual, and national traditions, the several discourses on medieval Ireland and its geography have rarely been linked in scholarly conversations; my study fills this critical gap by analyzing Irish geospatial writing from multiple periods and perspectives.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British Literature; Comparative Literature; Medieval Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 6/30/2017