Having caught up with Dr Claire Bartram, as Co-Director of the Centre, and Dr Diane Heath, the Centre’s Research Fellow, I thought I would report on their involvement with the forthcoming Medieval Pageant on Saturday 4 July (the closest Saturday to the Translation of St Thomas on 7 July), which this year will be a virtual experience: https://www.canterburybid.co.uk/canterbury-medieval-pageant/ . Working with the Medieval Pageant team, Claire has been liaising between them and the Creative Writing staff and students at CCCU on some short creative pieces that relate to Thomas Becket.
This week I thought I would start with a collaboration between the Centre and MEMS at Kent as part of their new online initiative. Led by the Kent team comprising a Taught MA student and four PhD students (one has just completed), this new website will provide information about freely available online resources arranged thematically in the fields of medieval and early modern studies; with a forum so that researchers can raise questions, seek assistance or notify others about newly discovered resources. This exciting development ‘Unchaining the library’ was launched this week and is already receiving rave reviews. If you want to check it out, please go to: https://www.memslib.co.uk/
I thought I would start this week by telling you about an exciting opportunity for someone who is interested in the History of the Book and who would like to undertake a postgraduate degree in the School of Humanities as part of the Kent History Postgraduates group.
As we hopefully begin to get some idea of the government’s timetable and strategy regarding how to get out of lockdown, I thought this week I would use the idea of time – in the form of clocks, and bells – the latter because as a mark of the 8pm Thursday clapping for keyworkers, the bell at Canterbury Cathedral tolls for two minutes. Nevertheless, before I come to my topic, I want to report on the fortnightly meeting of the Kent History Postgraduate group.
With all Centre and other events in Canterbury cancelled until the autumn at the earliest, and even September may be in doubt – more news when matters become clearer; and the Prime Minister remains in intensive care, the gravity of the situation at all levels is clear. Hence, developing ways to adjust to the present circumstances are paramount in order to fulfil government requirements to help those on this ‘war’s’ frontline.
While governments – national, regional and local, continue to grapple with the situation, and a large number of businesses and charities are equally trying to manage, even survive – note, for example, the grave problems being experienced in the horticultural and agricultural sectors; universities, too, are feeling the strain. This is certainly the case sorting out what to do for the best for students regarding teaching, assessments and exams, and thus matters of progression and completion of degrees.
In this fast-moving world that we live in, I thought I would bring out a short update. For the health and safety of speakers, those attending, and all concerned, we have cancelled the following events. These are the Centre and FCAT lecture this Thursday 19 March; the joint Centre and KAS Local History Societies Forum on Saturday 21 March; the Becket Lecture on Friday 27 March; the Medieval Canterbury Weekend between Friday 3 and Sunday 5 April, and the Church, Saints and Seals day on Monday 18 May.
Pre-historic barrows, castles and other medieval buildings – celebrating success and exploring interpretations
I thought I would start with some good news. As regular readers of the blog will remember, one of the frequent contributors to the Kent History Postgraduates Group until she submitted her doctoral thesis last September was Lily Hawker-Yates. Lily had her viva on yesterday (Wednesday) and has passed. So many congratulations Lily, and it will be fascinating to see what you do next with your research on the cultural understanding of prehistoric barrows in late medieval England.
I thought I would begin with some news and then turn to the planning for the exhibition at Eastbridge Hospital on ‘Kentish Saints and Martyrs’ in late August/early September 2020.
I thought I would just begin by mentioning that Dr Diane Heath is intending to submit her HLF ‘Medieval Animals’ project application in the next week or so, which is excellent news! Also good news is that several of the taught MEMS MA students are going to be working on Canterbury research projects this term: Amber’s project is linked to the Roman Museum, Ed will work on Canterbury Castle, Beth will be looking at the history of St Mildred’s church and its patron saint, keeping with Kentish saints Steph will be exploring material for the ‘Kentish Saints and Martyrs’ exhibition to be held at Eastbridge, while Alisha and Lizzie will be working with Professor Louise Wilkinson in conjunction with people from the Medieval Pageant organising committee.