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Anticipated Directions for Future Work

At present, I have several specific projects that are still in the planning stage.  Following from the continuing work of David Harrison, Bruce Watson, and Peter McKeague cataloging medieval bridge chapels, I am interested in investigating the symbolic role of space in bridge chantries, and in the post-Reformation life of the structures.  Anna Waymack and I are sketching out the details of compiling a digital multi-text of Mandeville’s Travels, using TEI to mark up as many of the text’s variants as possible to allow for convenient cross-textual comparison.  And I am looking into the requirements of creating a guided pilgrimage tour using Matthew Paris’s itinerary maps as a visual framework, linking to information from various itinerary texts.

More broadly, I see my research as continuing along two main tracks, both related to investigating the role that space and geography played in the medieval European experience.  I anticipate that I will continue to experiment with ways that we might combine artifacts from what are generally considered discrete modes of spatial expression in order to better understand them individually.  This is the approach that I have taken in my work with Mandeville’s Travels, “The Wife’s Lament,” and other sources, and it has produced both useful pedagogical tools and productive modes of thinking about the texts.  Further, I expect that I will remain active in examining archival cartographic resources as a means of finding direction for investigation.  Importantly, these two modes of forward progress are not necessarily independent of each other; the context for mapped elements often only becomes clear when they are counterpoised with, and by, other kinds of source materials.

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