Pilgrims and Phantoms: Place, Time and the St Thomas Way

Arts Lecture Room 7 (Arts 223)
Arts and Law, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Research
Wednesday 14th March 2018 (16:00-17:00)
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Professor Catherine Clarke (University of Southampton)


The ‘St Thomas Way’ is a new AHRC-funded heritage route from Swansea to Hereford Cathedral, inspired by the real pilgrimage of Swansea’s mysterious ‘hanged man’ to the tomb of St Thomas Cantilupe in 1290. The project, due to complete in summer 2018, will invite visitors and local communities to step into the rich and colourful history of the medieval March of Wales and its historical and imaginary landscapes. But what does it mean to overlay itineraries, medieval and modern, and to think about how disparate historical moments converge or collide in particular places? This paper will examine approaches to temporality in current critical theories, as well as the ways in which medieval texts and other artefacts – such as Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium or Hereford’s famous Mappa Mundi – imagine relationships between time and place. It will also explore ways in which practice-led research – like the development of the St Thomas Way – can challenge and extend conventional scholarly practice.   

Catherine Clarke is Professor of Medieval Literature and Culture at the University of Southampton. She is currently leading the ‘St Thomas Way’ project, funded by the AHRC ‘Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement’ scheme, and has a book forthcoming on Medieval Cityscapes Today.