Handling the dead: a haptic archaeology of the English Cathedral dead
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AbstractThis thesis takes a longue dureé approach to the manifold ways in which those engaging with English cathedrals have been able to physically interact with the bodies, burials, and monuments of the dead. Three themes are explored to that effect: Haptic Experiences, Haptic Interactions, and Haptic Connections. Haptic Experiences takes a fresh, nuanced look at the evolution of English shrine architecture in relation to tensions between the sight and touch of pilgrims. Haptic Interactions employs new and different data surveyed from monuments within five cathedral interiors: historic graffiti, iconoclastic damage, and haptic erosion and staining. This is explored through a lens of touch as a component of early modern masculinities. Haptic Connections explores the presencing of the absent and displaced dead through touch and bodiliness of both the living and the dead in the (late) modern cathedral. Such an approach requires a multi-strand methodology, harnessing archaeological and documentary evidence, and multiple datasets. This allows the thesis to examine both period-specific practices and recurring themes of touch and emotion, identity, and re-connection which have been central to haptic explorations of the dead in past and present incarnations of the English cathedral.
CitationNugent, R. (2015). Handling the dead: a haptic archaeology of the English Cathedral dead. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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