School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Wiles Lecture Series

The 2017 Wiles Lectures

by Prof Miri Rubin

The Wiles Lectures in the History of Civilization are hosted annually by Queen's University Belfast, and are managed by the Wiles Trust.

About the Wiles Trust

The Wiles lectures were founded in 1953 by Mrs Austen Boyd of Cotteenagh, Craigavad, in memory of her father, Thomas S. Wiles of Albany, New York.  The aim of the Wiles Trust established by Mrs Boyd is to promote the study of the history of civilisation and to encourage the extension of historical thinking into the realm of general ideas.

The purpose of the trust is carried out by inviting scholars who have conducted researches in a suitable field to deliver normally four lectures called "The Wiles Lectures" which  (a) relate the lecturer's researches to the general history of civilization or (b) bring out the results of reflection on the wider implications of more detailed historical studies or (c) communicate the revised reflections of the lecturer on some major work consistent with (a) or (b) which he or she has produced at an earlier period of his or her career.

This is one of the most prestigious set of history lectures given anywhere in the world and in keeping with the wishes of their benefactor, Mrs Janet Boyd of Co. Down, they are designed for members of the general public as well as the specialist.

The Wiles Lectures have been delivered annually, with only two brief interruptions, since 1953. Please click on the links above for information about forthcoming and previous Wiles Lectures, and other research events supported by the Wiles Trust.


The current trustees are:

  • Mr Antony Boyd (Family Trustee)
  • Mr Peter Boyd (Family Trustee)
  • Professor Colin Kidd (St Andrews University)
  • Professor Steve Smith (University of Oxford)
  • Professor Peter Gray (QUB, chair)