When this research review on early modern urban communities finished at the end of October 2011, the remit was to produce a brief report on the work carried out. This we submitted to the AHRC. However we also felt that it would make sense to publish our findings online, as well as gather the report, bibliography and the interviews we conducted over the review period into one PDF document (link below).
What the review does is selectively assess the recent Anglophone literature (from roughly 2000) on community between 1400 and 1700, with a focus on work that pushes the field forward methodologically. The interviews became an important part of the process, since speaking directly to historians put us ahead of the literature, which is often conceived and written years before publication. It also meant that the process became a form of collaboration, one that we feel enriched the review and helped to generate our findings on where there is potential for new lines of enquiry. We recommended that further research be carried out on the relationship between space, memory and everyday movement; how communities were shaped by sound and smell as much as by visual stimuli; the nature of boundaries and negotiation between majorities and faith and immigrant minorities; the potential of digitisation and GIS for modelling the urban/spatial dimensions of source material.