Bridgette Danielle Hulse

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Northwestern U.

Grant number

Gr. 10605

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Hulse, Bridgette (Northwestern U.) "Agency and Place-Making in Elite Spaces: An Analysis of Graffiti in Cathedrals"

My project discusses how people interact with social structures in their everyday lives, and how these interactions manifest in space. I will explore the relationship between social practice and space creation through the distribution of historic graffiti from the later Middle Ages through the 16th century Protestant Reformation in England. I am conducting a comparative analysis of Lincoln Cathedral and Southwell Minster – two elite churches used by various classes of society. Lincoln Cathedral was initially built in the 11th century, and Southwell Minster in the 12th. Both buildings feature a multitude of buildings phases and graffiti – non-commissioned inscriptions left by a variety of groups, including initials, drawings, and some names. I will employ Gradient Illumination Imaging and GIS software to record images, conduct spatial analyses, and establish chronology through stratigraphy. Through this analysis, I will examine how graffiti, cathedrals, and individuals create elite religious spaces. I hypothesize A.). at that time of inscription, individuals used graffiti to interact with cathedral space as an act of worship, and B.) though the graffiti survived past the time of initial inscription, their social and cultural context changed – particularly during the Protestant Reformation – affecting the way individuals experienced these spaces.