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Networks of Trade and Religion in Richard Hakluyt's 'Principal Navigations'


This proposal will enhance the career development of the IEF through a research project that engages with Richard Hakluyt’s 'Principal Navigations' the most important collection of early modern English travel writing. The project will introduce a more sophisticated understanding of religious identity into the discussion of Hakluyt and his sources. In light of recent research on religious identity formation, we can no longer label Hakluyt as simply a staunch Protestant when he featured material from those of other faiths and his anti-Catholic rhetoric simply reflected state policy. The second objective is to re-establish the centrality of global trade to Hakluyt’s vision. Scholars have devoted disproportionate attention to the material relating to the Americas despite the fact that it comprises just one third of the Principal Navigations. The majority of the text is devoted to trading ventures. These overlooked voyages to Russia, Turkey and Persia will form the heart of this project. The project will be interdisciplinary in engaging with aspects of early modern trade, religion, culture and literature. It will also be interdisciplinary in blending methodologies of textual analysis with prosopography and social network theory. Outputs will be a monograph alongside open access digital resources in the form of a prosopographical database and collection of biographies. Research will be disseminated also through conference organization and participation. An outreach programme in schools will help to create lasting dialogue between the university and local community, whilst helping students become proficient in the use of digital resources and creating a future generation of researchers equipped with transferable skills. It will enable the IEF to enhance their contribution to the European knowledge economy and help them to attain a senior academic position within the EU.

Call for proposal

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University Road
H91 Galway

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Daniel Carey (Prof.)
EU contribution
€ 191 359,80