Matthew Lampitt (KCL) - 2015-16 Students

French in Wales: Cambro-Norman Contact in the Literatures of Twelfth-Century Britain

The century following 1066 saw a series of Norman efforts to expand their dominion into Wales, resulting in the formation of the Welsh Marches, regions in which networks of French- and Welsh-speaking communities came into contact in complex, politically-charged ways. This thesis examines the modes in which this space is represented across a wide corpus of twelfth-century insular texts. It explores recent work in theories of the network in order to put forward an alternative to dominant readings of the historical context as colonial and of texts from or concerning that context as postcolonial, as well as suggesting an alternative to the hierarchical centre-periphery spatial model that such readings support. Furthermore, by focussing on texts in insular French, Welsh and Celtic Latin, it is hoped that this thesis will challenge the Anglocentric biases of scholarship to date and make a constructive contribution to French, Celtic, and Medieval Studies.

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