Workshop – Power, Piety and Plague: the Northern Church in the 14th Century, by Medieval Studies Research Group, Lincoln – 22 April

About this Event

The Medieval Studies Research Group (University of Lincoln), The Northern Way, and the Lincoln Record Society invite you to join us for this free, interactive workshop. No experience necessary.

This workshop will explore some of the riches contained within the Registers that were used to record the business of the Archbishops’ of York in the fourteenth century, an era of political turmoil, almost incessant warfare and climatic and public health catastrophes.

‘“The Northern Way”: the Archbishops of York and the North of England, 1304 – 1405’ is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project run by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York, in partnership with The National Archives (TNA). ‘The Northern Way’ seeks to make the content from the 16 Registers for this period, alongside related documents from TNA, more easily searchable and accessible through the development of a digital resource. The workshop will demonstrate how the resource and index can shed light on a range of topics and previously hidden histories about, principally, the North of England but also about the employment and influence of clerks from Lincolnshire in running the diocese of York and the government of England.

You will find out more about Archbishop Melton’s reaction to the, now notorious, Joan of Leeds, a nun from the Priory of St Clements, York. In 1318, with the help of her fellow nuns, Joan faked her own death and buried a dummy of her body, so that she could run away to Beverley and allegedly live a life of ‘carnal lust’. These Registers can provide insights into the religious and political role of the province and its relationship with central government, as well as give fascinating insights into culture, society and piety.

Dr Paul Dryburgh and Dr Marianne Wilson (The Northern Way and Lincoln Record Society)

Link to register

Online conference – Composing Disability Conference: “A Cultural History of Disability”, hosted by the OrganizerGeorge Washington University – April 9th – 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM CEST


About this Event

We are happy to announce that the Composing Disability conference that was postponed last year will be returning virtually on April 9th, 2021. Please join us in celebrating the publication of A Cultural History of Disability. This six-volume collection focus on Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Long Eighteenth Century, the Long Nineteenth Century, and the Modern Age. The presenters for the event are listed below in the program and feature Martha Stoddard Holmes of California State, San Marcos and Joyce Huff of Ball State University (GW English PhD, 2001) who will deliver the keynote address for this event. All six volumes of A Cultural History of Disability will be available through the Gelman Library.

Composing Disability: A Cultural History of Disability is free and open to the public and will take place on April 9th, 2020 as a virtual event. The conference will feature live transcription and an ASL interpreter.

A Cultural History of Disability includes numerous participants from GW. The general editors for the six-volume series are David Bolt and GW English Professor Robert McRuer. The volume on the Middle Ages is edited by Professor Jonathan Hsy, along with Tory V. Pearman and Joshua R. Eyler, and the volume on the Modern Age is edited by Professor David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder. Department Chair Professor Maria Frawley has a chapter in the Nineteenth Century volume and PhD candidate Emily Lathrop has a chapter in the Renaissance volume. The volume on the Modern Age includes contributions from PhD candidate Zahari Richter, Samuel Yates (GW English PhD, 2019), and Theodora Danylevich (GW English PhD, 2018). The Renaissance volume also includes a chapter by Gallaudet Professor Jennifer Nelson, who received her BA from GW English in 1988. Alan Montroso (GW English PhD, 2019) and Haylie Swenson (GW English PhD, 2018) will also participate in the event.

A Cultural History of Disability spans more than 2,500 years. Bolt and McRuer write in the series preface: “A ‘system of representation,’ according to Stuart Hall, ‘consists, not of individual concepts, but of different ways of organizing, clustering, arranging, and classifying concepts, and of establishing complex relations between them.’ From this cultural studies perspective, a cultural history of disability is attuned to how disabled people have been caught up in systems of representation that, over the centuries (and with real, material effects), have variously contained, disciplined, marginalized, or normalized them. A cultural history of disability also, however, traces the ways in which disabled people themselves have authored or contested representations, shifting or altering the complex relations of power that determine the meanings of disability experience.”

Please join us on April 9th!


11:00 AM-12:30 PM ROUNDTABLE: A Cultural History of Disability in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Moderator: Jonathan Hsy

Haylie Swenson, “Disability Studies and Animal Studies”

Alan Montroso, “Monstrosity, Disability, Ecology”

Emily Lathrop, “Learning Difficulties: The Idiot and the Outsider in the Renaissance”

Jennifer Nelson, “Deafnesses and Silences in Shakespeare’s England”

1:30-3 PM ROUNDTABLE: A Cultural History of Disability in the Nineteenth Century and the Modern Age. Moderator: David Mitchell

Maria Frawley, “Chronic Pain: ‘The Wounded Soldiery of Mankind'”

Theodora Danylevich, “Chronic Pain and Illness: States of Privilege and Bodies of Abuse”

Zara Richter, “Speech Disability’s Awkward Late Modernity: A Multimodal Historical Approach”

Samuel Yates, “Deafness: Screening Signs in Contemporary Cinema”

3:30-5 PM Keynote Address: Martha Stoddard Holmes and Joyce Huff, editors of A Cultural History of Disability in the Long Nineteenth Century. Moderator: Robert McRuer

COVID-Calls discussions – Hosted by Scott Gabriel Knowles – every weekday

What IS COVIDCalls?

Live Video on:



Facebook Live


A selection of some episodes:

COVID-Calls 3.30.2020 Cindy Ermus & Christienna Fryar–pandemics in history

My guests today are disaster historians who understand the global history of pandemic disease. Cindy Ermus is a history professor at UT San Antonio. She specializes in the history of science, medicine, and the environment, especially catastrophe and crisis management, in eighteenth-century France and the Atlantic and Mediterranean Worlds. She’s working on a book titled The Great Plague Scare of 1720: Disaster and Society in the Eighteenth-Century World.

Christienna Fryar is Lecturer in Black British History at Goldsmiths, University of London and she is a historian of modern Britain, the British Empire, and the Modern Caribbean, focusing on Britain’s centuries-long imperial and especially postemancipation entanglements with the Caribbean. She is working on a book titled The Measure of Empire: Disaster and British Imperialism in Postemancipation Jamaica.

COVID-Calls 4.10.2020 Julia Engelschalt & Jacob Remes–history of disaster, pandemic, welfare

Today I talked with two brilliant historians about disaster, disease, and history.

Jacob Remes is a clinical associate professor of history at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he directs the nascent Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies. He is author of Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era (University of Illinois Press, 2016). He is the co-editor, with Andy Horowitz, of the forthcoming Critical Disaster Studies: New Perspectives on Disaster, Vulnerability, Resilience, and Risk.

Julia Engelschalt is currently a doctoral candidate in history at Bielefeld University. She is working on a project titled “Climates, Contagion, and Comparison: American Medicine between Colonial Warfare and the New Public Health, 1898-1925.”

COVIDCalls 6.25.2020 Pandemic History in the Premodern World

Tina Sessa, Merle Eisenberg, Lee Mordechai and Tim.


Bernd Scherer, and Christoph Rosol.

COVIDCalls 5.13.2020 Monica H. Green and Jacob Steere-Williams–pandemics in history

Monica H. Green is an Independent Scholar and an elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. Her work has won book prizes and teaching awards from both the Medieval Academy of America and the History of Science Society. Currently, she is working in two different areas. On the one hand, she continues her work on the intellectual and social history of European medicine in the 11th and 12th centuries, looking at the impact of Arabic medicine on Latin Europe. On the other hand, she is continuing her work on the global histories of the world’s leading infectious diseases, with a particular focus on plague and leprosy. She is bringing out a new edition of her edited volume, Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death. And her book, The Black Death: A Global History, is in progress.

Jacob Steere-Williams is an Associate Professor of History at the College of Charleston and an editor with The Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. His work centers on the history of public health and the history of disease in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly in Britain and the British Empire. He is the author of the forthcoming (November 2020) The Filth Disease: Typhoid Fever and the Practices of Epidemiology in Victorian England, with the University of Rochester Press. His current book project examines networks and practices of public health in colonial India and South Africa during the Third Plague Pandemic of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. During the current COVID-19 pandemic his work has been featured on several public forums, including The Post and Courier, CNN, and live webinars for the American Association for the History of Medicine, Princeton, and the Royal College of Physicians.


Daniel Joslyn and Tyesha Maddox.


Monica Green, and Tunahan Durnaz.


Jacob Steere-Williams, and Deborah Levine.

Online event – Staging Disability in the Early Modern World, Mar 19, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM.

Conférence – Claire Billen et Marc Boone, “Gouverner en temps de pandémie — Une vision historique” – en ligne – 11 Mars 2021


Nous avons le plaisir de vous inviter le jeudi 11 mars de 13h à 14h30 au webinaire organisé par la Fondation Universitaire sur « Gouverner en temps de pandémie – Une vision historique » avec les professeurs Claire BILLEN (ULB) et Marc BOONE (UGent), suite à la publication« BANS ET ÉDITS POUR LA VILLE DE TOURNAI EN TEMPS DE PESTE (1349-1351). Les transcriptions retrouvées de Frédéric Hennebert » (Commission Royale pour l’histoire, Bruxelles 2021) (en voie de publication).

Depuis un an, nous sommes complètement immergés dans la pandémie de COVID-19. Une expérience complètement nouvelle pour chacun d’entre nous – y compris le gouvernement. Mais tout au long de l’histoire, l’humanité a été confrontée à des pandémies à de nombreuses reprises. Comment les gens ont-ils réagi à cela dans le passé ? Sur base de manuscrits récemment découverts, les professeurs Claire BILLEN (ULB) et Marc BOONE (UGent) ont étudié le comportement du magistrat de la ville de Tournai lors de l’épidémie de peste au 14ème siècle.

La découverte, parmi les manuscrits de la Bibliothèque de l’Université de Gand, de transcriptions effectuées par Frédéric Hennebert (1800-1857), archiviste de la ville de Tournai, a permis de reconstituer les 30 premières pages du premier Registre aux publications du magistrat urbain, concernant les années 1349-1351. Ce document, disparu dans le bombardement de Tournai en 1940, informe sur les règlementations presque quotidiennes ayant régi la ville, face à une crise multiforme, dominée par l’irruption de la Peste Noire à l’été 1349. Les modalités de la réponse donnée par nos ancêtres médiévaux à la pandémie illustrent le fonctionnement d’une société urbaine, confrontée brutalement à une mortalité hors normes. Avant la redécouverte des transcriptions de Hennebert, l’impact de la Peste Noire sur la ville de Tournai n’était connu que par les écrits d’un témoin direct, l’abbé Gilles Li Muisis, à la tête de l’abbaye bénédictine de Saint-Martin. Les ordonnances urbaines bénéficient de cet éclairage mais complètent également cette description unilatérale.

S’il est téméraire d’établir un parallèle entre l’irruption d’une épidémie inédite au XIVe siècle et l’arrivée inattendue du Covid-19 en Europe, début 2020, certaines réflexions comparatives sont néanmoins possibles. Elles touchent, entre autres, les aspects politiques. La situation sanitaire, loin d’affaiblir le gouvernement urbain de Tournai en 1349, lui a permis, au contraire, de se déployer, d’investir des domaines qui n’étaient pas directement de son ressort. Toutes choses égales par ailleurs, c’est bien un phénomène de cet ordre que nous observons aujourd’hui. Les contestations politiques et juridiques, agitant en ce moment les populations européennes, adversaires des contraintes multiples qui leur sont imposées, appellent une mise en perspective.

Langues utilisées : F et N.

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