Natalie and I visited Hadrian’s Wall in North Eastern England yesterday. It’s one of the world’s most ancient boundaries — for which humans are responsible.
Like so many border areas, the boundary marked by Hadrian’s Wall was contested and re-configured time and again throughout its long history. Which gives us the theme of our post — and our time in the UK to date: boundaries, borders and other in-between spaces.
Along these lines we’ve been wondering:
- How to negotiate the odd way British university towns are both tourist sites full of history and antiquarian interest, and functional contexts in which people live, study, work and party.
- Why the ‘geographers of religion’ (and associated sociologists, anthropologists, religious studies scholars and theologians) at the conference we attended in Newcastle seemed so anxious to ‘position’ themselves — by confessing their personal faith (or lack of it) and drawing or re-drawing disciplinary borders.
- What to feel about the way ancient remnants in the UK — both Roman and Christian — have often not only been preserved but also restored and rennovated in relatively recent times (as well as from their earliest history onwards).