Belonging in Late Medieval Cities

Friday 28 June 2019, 9.30AM to 29 June 19:45pm

A two-day conference, 28-29 June 2019. Programme available here.

In recent years belonging has become an increasingly important concept in historical research. As a socially constructed category which revolves around an individual’s inclusion and exclusion from formal and informal groups, belonging has the potential to be a useful conceptual tool within the scholarship of late medieval urban centres. Indeed, late medieval cities were environments with many formal and informal groups to which people could belong, such as street communities, parishes, guilds and the citizenry, to name a few. Belonging can be thought of, and applied, in different ways and it is the aim of the conference to explore how these different ideas of belonging might be utilised in the study of late medieval cities. The conference will provide a forum in which both early career researchers and established academics can discuss which ideas of belonging are of use, and which are problematic, in the
study of medieval urban centres.

The papers have been carefully chosen so that the conference showcases research regarding an array of geographical areas, with the aim that this will foster discussion between delegates concerning the parallels and differences in the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion within different urban contexts. The scholars who will present are experts in different types of source material, and their expertise will enable the conference to address one of its underpinning questions concerning which sources can be used in the study of belonging. The organisers have also sought the input of researchers who study belonging in different time periods and within different disciplines. The contribution of historians who have used sociological concepts of belonging in their research in non-medieval time periods will also help ensure that delegates are able to draw upon ways of thinking about belonging that they might not encounter within their own fields of study. As well as considering the application of belonging within current research, the conference will consider its potential future use in medieval scholarship. Indeed, the last day of the conference revolves around a workshop concerning the source material that can be used to study belonging within late medieval urban centres and how ideas of belonging might be used in future scholarship.

This event is being organised with generous support from the Centre for Medieval Studies, Department of History, the Royal Historical Society, Past & Present journal and the Humanities Research Centre.

For more information and to register, click here.

There are bursaries available for unwaged students to cover registration fees. If you wish to be considered for this bursary, please send a short explanation as to how the conference theme fits your research interests to Joshua Ravenhill (

Location: Huntingdon Room, The King's Manor, Exhibition Square, York

Admission: £10 for students and £15 for non-students

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