Online lecture: ‘Slavery and the pursuit of freedom in later medieval Mediterranean Europe’, Daniel Lord Smail, 20 January 2022, 5.30pm (GMT)

The IHR Seminar Europe 1150-1550 team is delighted to announce that Professor Daniel Lord Smail (Harvard) will speak this Thursday, 20th January at 17.30, on ‘Slavery and the pursuit of freedom in later medieval Mediterranean Europe.’

Daniel Lord Smail is Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of History at Harvard University, where he works on the history and anthropology of Mediterranean societies between 1100 and 1600 and on deep human history. In medieval European history, his work has explored the legal, social, and cultural history of the cities of Mediterranean Europe, with a focus on Marseille in the later Middle Ages. He has covered subjects ranging from women and Jews to legal history and spatial imagination, which was the subject of his first book, Imaginary Cartographies: Possession and Identity in Late Medieval Marseille (1999)His most recent book, Legal Plunder: Households and Debt Collection in Late Medieval Europe (Harvard University Press, 2016), approaches transformations in the material culture of the later Middle Ages using household inventories and inventories of debt collection from Lucca and Marseille. With Gabriel Pizzorno and Laura Morreale and contributors, he recently published the online collection “The Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe(Opens in new window).”

He is currently working on a book featuring an enslaved Berber woman in early fifteenth-century Marseille who engineered her own self-manumission. Smail’s work in deep history and neurohistory has addressed some of the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of these approaches to the human past. His most recent article in this vein asks whether there is a history of the practice of compulsive hoarding. His books, in addition to those listed above, include The Consumption of Justice: Emotions, Publicity, and Legal Culture in Marseille, 1264-1423 (2003); On Deep History and the Brain (2008), and, with Andrew Shryock and others, Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present (2011).

This seminar is free to attend but advance booking here is required.

Image: Map of Marseille in 1575, Braun & Hogenberg, Civitates Orbis Terrarum, II-12. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.


Published by Dr Julia Faiers

Julia Faiers received her PhD from the University of St Andrews in 2021. She wrote her thesis on the art patronage of Louis d’Amboise, bishop of Albi from 1474 to 1503, under the supervision of Professor Kathryn Rudy. Her postdoctoral research includes the nineteenth-century reception of medieval art and architecture, and late-medieval female art patronage in France. Julia gained a First Class Honours degree in art history at the University of St Andrews (1995). She won a British Academy Award to study for her MA in German Expressionism at The Courtauld under the supervision of Dr Shulamith Behr (1997), and spent almost twenty years working as a journalist before returning to academia in 2016.

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