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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Brenna Gibson

PhD Studentship entitled: English Seafarer Communities in the Later Middle Ages: A Study in the Socio-Economics of an Occupational Group

Brenna Gibson's Photo

Hi, I'm Brenna Gibson and I studied within Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute at the University of Southampton.

I received my Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Montana in 2011. I came to the University of Southampton in 2012 to receive my Master’s of Arts in Medieval and Renaissance Culture. It is in this programme that I was first introduced to the possibilities of interdisciplinary study, which the SMMI has been able to cultivate even further in my PhD project.

My research project will focus on fourteenth century shipboard communities in England, with an emphasis on their socio-economic status. In its most basic form, this project will involve both historical accounts from this time (such as the naval records) and the taxation records (such as the Lay Subsidies). However, because of the team of people working within the SMMI, as well as their larger network of contacts, I will be able to incorporate cultural elements. This huge, interdisciplinary network will enable me to create a clearer picture of maritime people during a century that is often neglected by maritime historians.

My core group of supervisors are Dr Craig Lambert (History), Dr Helen Paul (Economics), and Professor Anne Curry (Humanities). Craig comes from the University of Hull, where he gained much experience with maritime history, especially with that of the fourteenth-century mariners through his ESRC funded project that investigated the merchant fleets of the fourteenth century. Helen, a lecturer in Economics and Economic History, is also the Chair of the Women's Committee for the Economic History Society. Anne is a professor of Medieval History, in addition to her responsibilities as Dean of Humanities.

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