Call for Papers: Farm Animals in Late Medieval Europe

RHN 83/2017 | Call

Organiser: CiSEM, Universitat de València

30 November - 1 December 2017, Valencia, Spain

Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2017

Call for Papers:
Farm Animals
Husbandry, Poultry and Draught Beasts in Late Medieval Europe

In December 2014, a group of scholars from universities in Spain, France, Belgium, Britain and Italy gathered in Valencia with the aim of discussing the most recent views of rural history in their regions – particularly, on land use and management. As a continuation of such a meeting, a two-days, open conference will be held in Valencia again. In this occasion, our interest relies on animals in the medieval rural economy. This includes those related to agricultural work (horses, oxen, donkeys) as well as small, farmyard species such as poultry, chicken and the like – cattle, however, represents a different field of enquiry that will not be addressed in this seminar.

Farm animals, now and in the past, are mid-way between production and household consumption. They can be a resource of meet and secondary products (milk, butter, cheese, eggs, honey, wax), or an investment in productivity (draught animals) and manure. They could be young, strong specimens or, conversely, old and weaker ones, which could be acquire in the second hand market for a lower price. We invite scholars to share evidence of these phenomena in the light of the current debates of the rural economic and social history of the later middle ages in their respective areas under exploration. We would like to hear discussions about the very reasons behind the possession of such animals, the economic logic behind their acquisition and its relation with the current debates about the relevance of markets and self-sufficiency for the rural economy.

We suggest a variety of topics covering:

  • The market of animals: their prices and factors participating in the sale and their purchase.
  • The second hand market of animals
  • The possession of animals, both among the peasantry and other social groups (nobility, urban groups) and their management.
  • The commercialisation of secondary products such as milk, cheese (dairy industries), but also eggs, manure, honey, wax; their beneficiaries and methods of exploitation.
  • Draught animals and their contribution to agricultural labour: issues concerning productivity, such as ploughing, the usage of manure, etc.
  • Veterinarian expertise: professionals and medical methods of animal care
  • Dovecotes and apiaries
  • Husbandry

Should you be interested in participating, please, submit a title proposal alongside an abstract of no more than 200 words to Luis Almenar ( or Antoni Furió ( by 15 September 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September 2017.

Organiser: CiSEM (Cultures i Societats de l'Edat Mitjana),  Universitat de València
Convener: Antoni Furió
Secretary: Luis Almenar