19th Jan 2011 5:00pm
Professor Andy Wood (University of East Anglia)
Employing archival and cartographic material drawn from sixteenth and seventeenth century England, this paper looks at the embeddedness of senses of landscape and place in local memory. Maurice Halbwachs’ original theorization of collective memory is deployed as a way into uses of the past and collective remembering in the period. In particular, I will argue that while there existed substantial areas of overlap between elite and popular senses of the past, that overlap was far from complete. Hence, interpretations of collective memory need to be informed by an appreciation of the power relations that underlie uses of the past. Since readings of the local landscape were soaked in a sense of the past, this meant that conceptions of space and place had the potential to become fields of conflict between dominant and subordinate groups. The paper represents an early attempt at pulling together my thoughts; in some form or other, it will eventually form a chapter in my next book, ‘The Memory of the People: Custom and Popular Senses of the Past in Early Modern England’.
Professor Wood is professor of Social History at the University of East Anglia. His publications include ‘The Politics of Social Conflict’ (1999) and ‘Riot, Rebellion and Popular Politics in Early Modern England’ (2002)