Call for Papers: Measuring the Medieval Economy

RHN 119/2015 | Call

31 March 2016, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Deadline for submissions: 15 January 2016


Sowing the Seeds, V:
Measuring the Medieval Economy
A Workshop for Early Career Medieval Economic and Social Historians

Medieval economic and social history has taken many guises over the years. From the micro-history of Hoskins’ Midland Peasant to the recent GDP estimates of Broadberry, Campbell, Klein, Overton and van Leeuwen’s British Economic Growth, a tremendous array of theories and methods have been used to explore a vast corpus of evidence. This workshop explores the methods currently employed by medieval economic historians, from the quantitative and cliometric analyses of large datasets to the interdisciplinary study of place-names and medieval literature.

How do the methods and approaches we use affect our understanding of medieval economic and social history? What new empirical and qualitative methods have been developed and how has this changed our understanding of the medieval past? How compatible are these different approaches?  Can economic and social historians using significantly different methods still engage in meaningful discourse? This workshop is designed to bring together doctoral students and early-career researchers together with senior academics in a stimulating environment to facilitate opportunities for cross-pollination, knowledge pooling and networking.

Proposals for papers are welcomed from PhD students and early-career researchers of all methodological and theoretical backgrounds on any aspect of medieval social and economic history. We define ‘medieval’ very broadly and are happy to consider proposals from for any period from late antiquity to the sixteenth century. Proposals are encouraged to include both a methodological and/or theoretical component (methodological framework and tools employed; benefits or disadvantages of a given approach; use of sources) as well as substantive results. In the case of PhD students, preliminary results and/or case-studies are acceptable. Papers will be twenty minutes in length with time for questions. Please submit abstracts of 300 words to Jordan Claridge ( by 15 January, 2016. For any other queries, or to register, contact Alex Brown (

Thanks to generous support from the Economic History Society and the Royal Historical Society, travel bursaries of up to £60 are available for eligible students and early-career researchers.

Confirmed speakers include:
Dr Eric Schneider (London School of Economics)
Dr Philip Slavin (University of Kent)

Keynote lecture:
Professor Christopher Dyer (University of Leicester)