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Professor Brendan G C SmithMA, PhD(Dub)

Professor of Medieval History

Brendan Smith

Professor Brendan G C SmithMA, PhD(Dub)

Professor of Medieval History

Member of

Research interests

Office: G58, 13 Woodland Rd

Phone: +44 (0)117 928 8395

Email: brendan.smith@bristol.ac.uk

Consultation Hours

 

I specialise in the history of the British Isles from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in Ireland. I have a strong commitment to making the sources for late medieval history more easily available to academic scholars and students, and consider it a particular honour to be asked to address local history societies in Ireland and the U.K.

Research supervision

Late medieval Irish history is a rich and fascinating field of study, and one that is dramatically under-researched. I would be delighted to hear from prospective research students interested in working on such topics as:

  • The late medieval Irish exchequer and Irish finances
  • The government and politics of medieval Irish towns
  • The Black Death and the economy of Ireland
  • The political and economic role of the Church in late medieval Ireland
  • The earls and earldom of Kildare
  • Travel and communication in and from late medieval Ireland

I expect students to consider these and other topics in a broad context that includes not only Ireland but also all the various lands claimed by the kings of England.

Teaching information

One of the most positive features about working at Bristol is that we are encouraged to link our research and our teaching. I work on the character and fortunes of English colonial society in late medieval Ireland, which requires me to keep up to date with the latest scholarship on medieval England. There is no better way to do that than to teach the subject. We attract very bright students, and undergraduate reflections on matters such as the Black Death and the Peasants' Revolt have fed into my research over the years. I teach medieval English history in all years of the undergraduate degree, and have also been fortunate enough to supervise a number of Ph.D. students. Some of these have worked on purely English subjects, but I have also advised students who have looked at Anglo-Irish relations in the Middle Ages. Bristol is a beautiful and historic city which has played a crucial role in England's dealings with Ireland for many centuries. To see the wealth of St Mary Redcliffe church is to get a sense of just how wealthy medieval Bristol was as a result of its maritime trade.

The University of Bristol is a particularly good place to work as a medievalist because of the University's Centre for Medieval Studies http://www.bristol.ac.uk/medievalcentre/

which hosts seminars and conferences, and keeps the many medievalists spread across various parts of the institution in contact with each other.

View research connections

Postal address:
13-15 Woodland Road
Clifton
Bristol
United Kingdom