Professor Benjamin Hudson, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Border Networks in Medieval Britain and the Atlantic

20 February - 21 March 2023

Professor Benjamin Hudson held a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Distinguished Fellowship in 2019 to conduct research in the Bristol University Library and the City of Bristol Archives on medieval Atlantic borderlands, you can read about his visit on the IRP Visitor blog. Since then he has continued to work in tandem with his host Professor Helen Fulton which has resulted in the forthcoming publication of Macbeth before Shakespeare (2022).


Benjamin Hudson is Professor of History and Medieval Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, his undergraduate alma mater. His Master of Philosophy degree in Medieval Studies was awarded by University College, Dublin, (now National University of Ireland – Dublin) and he received his D.Phil. in History from the University of Oxford.

Professor Hudson’s research has been on the political and cultural contacts among peoples of the Atlantic rim. The study of cultural and political borderlands between the Vikings of Dublin and the Irish in his master’s thesis later expanded to the study of Viking explorations from (what are now) Canada to the Ukraine. That led to an interest in the problem of settlement and colonialism in the Atlantic region as a whole. A particular area of interest is the borderlands of Northern Britain, especially the kingdoms of the Scots, Britons, and Anglo-Saxon. Hudson see literature as source for cultural history in the intersection of literary and political borders, where immigrants bring their stories and art into the view of the host peoples.

His publications include Macbeth before Shakespeare (2023) for which research was carried out with funding from the Benjamin Meaker fund. Other books include The Picts (2013), Studies in the Medieval Atlantic (2012), Familia and Household in the Medieval Atlantic Province (2011), Irish Sea Studies (2006), and Viking Pirates and Christian Princes (2005). Recent shorter publications include “Roll of the Kings in Saltair na Rann,” in Peritia, (2020) and “Schools in Early Scotland” in Scotia (2019). In addition to having been a Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor, Hudson has been a Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh and a scholar in the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Project Summary

There are three interlated projects planned for the return visit, these include:

Professor Hudson is hosted by Professor Helen Fulton, Department of English

Planned activity includes:

A Centre for Medieval Studies lecture and book launch with reception to follow

'Dangerous Company: Questions about MacBeth'

Tuesday 14th March, 5.15 - 6.15pm, Priory Road Lecture Theatre 2D1

All welcome