How did medieval individuals and communities engage with those around them, both locally and further afield? In what ways did textual, performative and interpretative practices serve to police, challenge or re-negotiate these relationships? And where were distinctions between neighbours and strangers unstable, ambiguous or malleable?

In 2017, at a moment when relationships between international neighbours are the focus of intense political attention, and fraught conversations continue about how we might construct ‘neighbours’ and ‘strangers’ within our communities, this one-day conference will turn these charged, timely questions of identity and interaction back to the Middle Ages.

9:15 – 9:45 Registration and Coffee

9:45 – 10:00 Welcome

10:00 – 10:45 Finding the Perfect Blend? Alfred the Great, Cnut the Great and Anglo-Scandinavian Neighbours and Strangers and from the Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries (Ryan Lavelle, University of Winchester)

10:45 – 11:30 Neighbours and Invaders in ‘Of Arthour and of Merlin’ (Aisling Byrne, University of Reading)

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee

11:45 – 12:30 ‘An Alien Staying Next Door’: The Integration of Immigrants in England During the Later Middle Ages (Bart Lambert, University of York)

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:15 The Politics of a Frontier Town: Writing Calais during the Hundred Years War (Helen Fulton, University of Bristol)

14:15 – 15:00 ‘Stranger denisons’: neighbouring languages and the metaphors of migration in late medieval and early modern writing (Joanna Bellis, St John’s College, Cambridge)

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee

15:15 – 16:00 Slandering the Neighbours: Does Mankind Participate in a Culture of Defamation? (Clare Egan, University of Lancaster)

16:00 – 17:00 Round Table: Working with International Neighbours: Research Opportunities, Strategies and Projects
Special guest speakers: Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London; John McGavin University of Southampton

17:00 Conference concludes

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