Dr Sparky Booker
Dr Sparky Booker is a social, cultural, and religious historian, with a particular interest in medieval Ireland. Her work on the interaction between the English and Irish living in the English colony in Ireland in the later middle ages has addressed issues of ancestry and intermarriage, legal status, and the mutual exchange of language and customs between the two communities. She has focused particularly on marginalised or disenfranchised groups, like women, non-elites, and the Irish residents of the English colony. She has published the results of her research in collected volumes as well as journals like Irish Historical Review and Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Her monograph on cultural exchange in the 'four obedient shires' of the colony will appear in Cambridge University Press Studies in Medieval Life and Thought series in 2016. Dr Booker has been involved in a number of public engagement initiatives, and she co-founded a free public lecture series 'Tales of Medieval Dublin', which was published as a collection of biographical essays, Tales of Medieval Dublin, which she co-edited. In September 2016 she took up a lectureship in Irish History at Queen's University Belfast.