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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Professor Andy Wood

Wood, A. (2013). Popular senses of time and place in Tudor and Stuart England. Insights 6: 3.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper1 presents some early findings of ongoing archival investigation into popular conceptions of time in Tudor and Stuart England. It begins with a critical survey of some of the ways in which historians have understood time. Such accounts have emphasized the emptiness of peasant time, the employment of temporal registers as an irresistible instrument of domination and the significance of changing conceptions of time in the formation of capitalist modernity. The paper challenges such views, arguing from the archival evidence of ordinary people’s voices that popular senses of the past in Tudor and Stuart England were complex, multifaceted, and grafted into social relations, labour and distinct readings of the land. Most of all, it is argued that the localism of understandings of time gave them a peculiar richness and vitality. Although it is shown that elites did indeed attempt to employ temporal registers as modes of domination, what is most apparent from the evidence is the significance of popular resistance to such projects, together with the creativity and originality of popular conceptions of time.