History, religion and community in North East Fife, Laidlaw Research Poster, JS

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James Samuel

Student, University of St Andrews

I am a third year Medieval History and Art History student at the University of St Andrews. My areas of interest vary but fields that have interested me in the past have included: late medieval and early modern religious history in western Europe; social and labour history in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century; and the history of early modern art and architecture in northern Europe. My research project is under the supervision of Drs Amy Blakeway and Jacqueline Rose. Titled 'History, religion and community in North East Fife', I am going to investigate the history of Kingsbarns church, close to St Andrews. This will mean investigating the large collection of archival material held both in St Andrews and Kingsbarns. I hope to use these records to understand a wider social history of the village across three centuries, with a focus on how local communities reacted to the religious and political turbulence of the period. It is important to widen our perspective on these events, which have for too long been over-saturated with the powerful voices at the expense of ordinary people. In my second summer, I hope to disseminate these findings among the community. One of the most popular forms of history in society today is the tracing of family histories and ancestry. I hope to create a 'Who Do You Think You Are?' style conversation amongst local people in Kingsbarns to aid their knowledge of their community and engage more people in the study of history and the past.