Borders and Borderlands

  • 3-5 Woodland Road

    BS8 1TB Bristol

    United Kingdom

Organization profile

Organisation profile

Borders and Borderlands, a Faculty of Arts Research Cluster:

We are a group of textual critics, historians, geographers, and social scientists working on cultural texts, practices, and events positioned at border intersections. Our central aim is to study the purpose and nature of cultural practices in unstable multicultural and multilingual border environments where boundaries are permeable, often unmapped, re-mapped, or unmappable, and subject to political and military interventions.

Our working definition of 'borders' includes territorial, geographical, and political borders, but it also includes cultural and metaphorical borders, imagined spaces where interests and ideologies overlap and compete. We work in different time periods, from the classical and medieval centuries, when borders were constructed around empires and religions, to the modern centuries of state building and contemporary challenges to the idea of the nation state.

A central issue is that of identity in borderland communities and how it has been negotiated and experienced before and after the rise of distinctive nation-states. Other research questions focus on the mapping of borders, the representation of borders and marginal spaces in literary writing, the effects of religious movements across borders, and the linguistic identity of borderland communities. We aim to challenge the perceptual border between past and present and to ask how the experiences and records of pre-modern border cultures can inform our understanding of key issues of the contemporary world, including border control, migration, and transnationalism.

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    Research Output

    The Cambridge Companion to the Age of William the Conqueror

    Pohl, B. (ed.), 2022, (In preparation) Cambridge University Press. (Cambridge Companions)

    Research output: Book/ReportEdited book

    Unpublished: Medieval Literature and the Early-Modern Publisher

    Tether, L., 2022, (In preparation) DeGruyter Mouton.

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

    A Fragment of Boendale'sMelibeus in England: Manuscript, Text, and Context

    Putter, A., 30 Jun 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Spiegel der Letteren. 62, 2, p. 143-169

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Projects

    Border Geographies in Medieval European Writing

    Fulton, H. & Shaw, J.

    10/06/19 → …

    Project: Research

    Making Bristol Medieval

    Fulton, H.


    Project: Research

    Student theses

    Direct Speech in Beowulf: Its Formal Presentation and Functions

    Author: Matsuda, H., 7 May 2019

    Supervisor: Putter, A. (Supervisor) & Stokes, M. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)



    Fellow, Learned Society of Wales

    Fulton, Helen (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Fellow, Society of Antiquaries

    Fulton, Helen (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Election to learned society

    IMEMS Small Grant

    Tether, Leah (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants


    XXVIth Arthurian Congress of the International Arthurian Society

    Benjamin Pohl (Speaker)

    19 Jul 202025 Jul 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Models of Change in Medieval Textual Culture

    Benjamin Pohl (Invited speaker)

    25 Sep 202026 Sep 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk