Dr Bronagh Ann McShane, Moore Institute, NUI Galway. Photo: Aengus McMahon
Dec 06 2018 Posted: 12:09 GMT

Research Examines the Reception and Circulation of Nuns’ Writing during the Seventeenth Century

A new article by Dr Bronagh Ann McShane from the Moore Institute at NUI Galway has been published in The Journal of Historical Network Research. The article uses new research methodologies and digital tools to analyse data extracted from letters written by and about English Benedictine nuns living in Brussels during the seventeenth century.

The data for the analysis is taken from the project ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing 1550-1700’. The project is producing a large-scale quantitative analysis of the ways in which women’s writing was received and circulated in the early modern English-speaking world and its database will be open-access from the project’s close in 2019. The project has captured data on a range of female-authored sources, including texts produced in English convents established in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Speaking about the research, Dr McShane at NUI Galway, said: “Network analysis tools and methodologies are shown here to illuminate the sheer breadth and diversity of the nuns’ letter writing activity. The networks highlight in a visual way the connections between the Brussels Benedictine nuns and the world beyond the cloister. This serves to enhance our understanding of the nature and limits of enclosure imposed upon early modern nuns.”

Dr Bronagh Ann McShane is a social historian specialising in the history of women and religion in early modern Ireland and Europe, and is currently conducting a study of early modern Irish nuns, funded by the National University of Ireland.

RECIRC is a European Research Council-funded project, led by Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan in the Discipline of English. It investigates the impact made by women writers and their works during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The project runs from 2014 to 2019.

To read the full article in The Journal of Historical Network Research, visit: https://doi.org/10.25517/jhnr.v2i1.32

For more information on the RECIRC project, visit: www.recirc.nuigalway.ie/ or email recirc@nuigalway.ie and follow on Twitter @RECIRC_.

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