SOWING THE SEEDS VI:

A WORKSHOP FOR EARLY-CAREER MEDIEVAL

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORIANS

CALL FOR PAPERS

SOWING THE SEEDS VI:

A WORKSHOP FOR EARLY-CAREER MEDIEVAL

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORIANS

 

June 15, 2019

Department of Economic History

London School of Economics and Political Science

 

In recent years medieval economic and social history has increasingly informed the big historical debates. More economically-inclined medievalists have located the antecedents of industrialization and economic divergence in the Middle Ages. The period has emerged as a crucial point for understanding the transition to modern economic growth. These question in particular have benefitted from an increasing ability to analyze ever larger datasets in increasingly complex ways.  In addition, approaches from other disciplines, such as material culture and legal anthropology, have shed new light on the mentalities of ordinary medieval people. New explorations of the impacts of crises like plagues and wars have also improved our understanding of the resiliency (or lack thereof) of medieval societies. Medievalists are asking important historical questions and employing a broad range of methodologies on previously unexplored sources. This is illustrative of the vitality the discipline in 2019.

 

However, the new interdisciplinary nature of medieval economic history has led to the formation of chasms between these various approaches. Some have even questioned whether medieval economic and social history can exist as its own discipline and still remain relevant. Should the Middle Ages become a laboratory for more mainstream historical disciplines, or is there something distinctive and unifying about studying the Middle Ages? Can medieval economic and social historians using significantly different methods and asking very different questions still engage in meaningful discourse with each other?

 

This workshop is designed to bring together doctoral students and early-career researchers, from an array of historical and economic backgrounds, together with senior academics in a stimulating environment to address these issues head-on. This will facilitate exciting opportunities for cross-pollination, knowledge pooling and networking. The conference will feature a keynote presentation from Dr. Chris Briggs (Cambridge) and a round-table discussion with Professor Greg Clark (UC Davis) and Dr. Daniel Curtis (Erasmus University Rotterdam).

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