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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



Between 2014-2017 I completed an undergraduate degree in History at Cardiff University. In 2017-2018 I completed my Masters Degree in Medieval History at the University of York. My MA dissertation focused on William of Malmesbury's depictions of slavery in the Vita Wulfstani. By using Domesday Book and other comparanda I demonstrate that Malmesbury's portrayal of the end of Bristol's slave-trade under Wulfstan (II) of Worcester more accurately reflected twelfth-century perceptions of slavery, - heavily influenced by Gregorian reform - rather than the eleventh-century reality.

It was during my final year at Cardiff, however, that I was introduced to Warner of Rouen's eleventh-century Norman poem, Moriuht. This poem became the focus of my undergraduate dissertation which investigated Norman literary constructions of shame, sex, and subversion. The aforesaid dissertation won the David Thomas Book Prize for best medieval dissertation and was put forward for the Royal Historical Society Prize. It was while researching for my undergraduate degree that I discovered that unfreedom in the Duchy had been rarely explored, except in a small collection of French historiography. The aim of my thesis, then, is to address this lacuna by placing greater emphasis on unfreedom in the duchy and its connections or discrepancies with unfreedom in England post-1066. Exploring unfree populations in the Anglo-Norman realm will undoubtedly provide further insights into Frankish and Scandinavian forms of unfreedom as well.



Other Academic Interests:

Social, Sexuality, and Gender
Literacy, Literature, and Hagiography
HFB (History From Below)

Department: History
Supervisor: Professor Elisabeth van Houts
College: King's College
AHRC Subject Area: History
Title of Thesis: Perceptions of the Unfree in the Anglo-Norman Realm, c.1000-c.1100
 Christopher James Parry