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The Wiles Lectures 2017 will be delivered by Professor Miri Rubin

Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, School of History, Queen Mary University of London

17-20 May 2017

Strangers into Neighbours: Dealing with Diversity in Medieval European Cities

In the 2017 Wiles lectures, Professor Miri Rubin will explore the challenges and opportunities, responses and experiences associated with the settlement of incomers in urban communities. She will do so by examining the ideas and actions medieval towns and cities took as they settled newcomers. Cities aimed to attract strangers - labourers, artisans and experts, men and women -  but also to keep their communities safe, healthy and thriving. The lectures cover many regions, from the British Isles to Central Europe, and communities ranging from those of capital cities to inhabitants of market towns. Miri Rubin will consider the responses and solutions offered by townspeople to newcomers in the period of greatest growth and promise, around 1100, and show how the Black Death (1347-50) and the recurrent mortalities that followed, affected the willingness of townspeople to make strangers into neighbours. The relevance of past experience of this question to the present has never been more pressing.

Opening Tea Party Wednesday 17 May, 4pm Graduate School, Social Space     

Lecture 1 - Thinking the City, Thinking the Stranger

See video

Wednesday 17 May, 5pm Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)

Lecture 2 - Cities of Strangers: The Rules for Reception and Control

See video

Thursday 18 May, 5pm Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)

Lecture 3 - Cities of Women: Diversity from Within

See video

Friday 19 May, 5pm Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)

Lecture 4 - Cities of Gods: Strangest Strangers

See video

Saturday 20 May, 11am Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)

 13C Statutes of the city of Agen, swearing in a new citizen
Agen, Bibliothèque municipale Ms 42, , fol. 53v

These are public lectures, open to all with an interest in the subject.

For more information on the Wiles Lectures, contact Susan Templeton (

Professor Rubin will also lead a Postgraduate Workshop on using Medieval Sources, on Thursday 18 May, 10am-12pm in The Graduate School. Contact James Davis ( for details.