Dr Booker is a historian of medieval Ireland, with particular interests in social, cultural, and religious history. Her work at Trinity College Dublin 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 the Irish living in the English colony, and on non-elites who are so often obscured in the historical record. Her monograph on cultural exchange in the ‘four obedient shires’ of the colony is due to appear in Cambridge University Press’ Studies in Medieval Life and Thought series in 2016.
Dr Booker came to Swansea University in 2014 as part of a team on the AHRC-funded project ‘Women negotiating the boundaries of justice’, a comparative historical study across Britain and Ireland. Her research examines the position of women in the courts of the English colony of late medieval Ireland, assessing how they went about pursuing justice in both ecclesiastical and secular courts and how successful they were in doing so.
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 ran from 2010-2012. This series introduced its audience to 21 colourful characters who lived in the medieval city, and was published as a collection of biographical essays, Tales of Medieval Dublin. Over the past six years she has also helped to build ‘The Battle of Clontarf’ website, aimed at the general public, and contributed to many other activities as a member of the Friends of Medieval Dublin.