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Name: <Joseph Peake>

PhD: <History>

Thesis Title: <Waste and waste land in late medieval England>


Thesis Description:

<My project will study waste land in its legal, economic and cultural context in England, c.1100-1500. It will engage with existing scholarship on agricultural expansion, marginal land, manorial politics, and medieval conceptions of the desert or wilderness. Questions I hope to answer include the following:

  • When and why was waste land brought under cultivation, and at whose instigation? 
  • How did the meaning of the English word 'waste' change over the course of the Middle Ages?
  • How was wasteland utilised by individuals and by institutions in the medieval landscape?
  • What did the crime of 'making waste' involve? 
  • What impact did geographic and environmental differences have on the role of waste land in different communities?
  • Does the concept of waste land interact with religious discourses on wilderness, specifically wilderness as a place where monks, hermits, and ascetics could escape from the worldly trappings of civilisation?>


Supervisors and Institution(s): 
<Dr Rob Lutton (University of Nottingham)

Professor Wendy Scase (University of Birmingham) 

Dr Richard Goddard (University of Nottingham)>


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