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New lessons from York’s Medieval massacre

Posted on 18 March 2010

A major international conference next week will take a fresh perspective on one of the darkest episodes in English medieval history - the mass suicide and murder of Jewish men, women and children in York in 1190.

The University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies will host the conference which brings together scholars from a range of disciplines to examine the events of 1190. It will feature speakers from the USA, Canada and Europe as well as the UK.

The massacre on the site of Clifford's Tower in York was one of a series of attacks on local communities of Jews across England in 1189-90.

This conference will provide a new perspective on these events

Dr Sarah Rees Jones

The conference will use the events of the period to reassess the rapid changes in communities, and their relationship to Royal and ecclesiastical government, at the time locally, nationally and throughout Europe. One of the aims of the conference is to keep the story of these events alive for a new audience and a new generation of scholars.

York 1190 – Jews and Others in the Wake of Massacre will take advantage of the substantial amount of new research on twelfth-century England. This includes work on government and local power, ethnic identity, relationships with Europe and the development of distinct regional identities, as well as new intellectual and religious models of community and pastoral care.

Conference organiser Dr Sarah Rees Jones said:  “Our aim is to consider the massacre as central to the narrative of English history around 1200 as well as that of Jewish history. This conference will provide a new perspective on these events.”

The conference which takes place from 22 to 24 March at The King’s Manor, in York city centre, will also feature a special presentation to Professor Barrie Dobson, Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Medieval Studies, in recognition of his work on medieval Jewish history.

Notes to editors:

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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