‘Somewhere beyond the sea…’ Belgo-British Research Encounters in Medieval Urban History

Het Pirenne-instituut organiseert samen met de Queen Mary University van Londen digitale sessies omtrent middeleeuwse stadsgeschiedenis. Deze sessies zijn in de eerste plaats op jonge onderzoekers gericht maar zijn toegankelijk voor iedereen. Om toegang te krijgen tot de MS Teams-groep gelieve te mailen naar: Stefan.Meysman@UGent.be

Een eerste reeks lezingen (gegeven door onderzoekers van de UGent en de Queen Mary University) zal plaatsvinden van juli tot en met de eerste helft van september. Vanaf de tweede helft van september 2020 kunnen onderzoekers van andere Belgische universiteiten een paper voorstellen. Meer informatie hierover is te vinden in onderstaand bericht en in de aankondiging van het Pirenne-instituut (https://www.ugent.be/pirenne/en/news-events/events/somewherebeyondthesea.htm). Het precieze programma is in de poster in bijlage te vinden.

Open digital debates and lectures in medieval urban history, organised by the Pirenne Institute and Queen Mary University London.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our world and academia is no stranger to its effects. Our sector thrives on international contacts and exchange, and has grown accustomed to much travel in pursuit of research and collaborations. Medieval urban history is a particularly ‘mobile’ research field, with its scholars visiting scattered archives, tracing ancient city networks and attending conferences all over the world. Many plans and events have recently been cancelled, many collaborations made more difficult. Prominent among these, the longstanding contacts between British and Belgian medievalists, and more specifically between Queen Mary University and Ghent University, have consequently been postponed.

Yet fascinating new research in medieval urban history continues to emerge even during the crisis. Alongside the many disruptions, we have become used to work with sustainable digital conferencing. Hence we are able to meet again!

Sharing ideas with colleagues at welcoming, peer-to-peer conferences is especially important for early career scholars. These events offer them the opportunity to meet new people, learn about new research, receive input of various kinds, and sharpen their presentation skills. Medievalists at Queen Mary University London and Ghent University are now able to offer PhD-students and postdoctoral scholars the opportunity to do exactly that. Therefore, leading researchers in medieval urban history from both institutions have organised ‘Somewhere beyond the sea. Belgo-British Research Encounters’, a digital series that will focus on the latest (PhD) research in medieval urban history.

Attached you will find a poster with a programme of exciting new and innovative research, which is open to all. The organising committee will consider proposals from other Belgian or British research institutions as of the start of next academic year (2nd half September 2020). For open slots and proposals, please inquire with the coordinator.

Speakers will be announced here and via Twitter: @MedievalUGent. If you wish to know more about the institute or subscribe to our newsletter, email the coordinator: Stefan.Meysman@UGent.be

Debates & lectures will take place in an MS TEAMS environment. You do not (necessarily) need an account to get access. The organisers do need to send you an invitation and web-link for easy access, so if you are interested, make yourself known!