Labour in Premodern Europe
9th international conference of the Research Group on Late Medieval Economic History
Conference Venue: Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University, Náměstí Jana Palacha 2, Prague
Date: 19 to 21 May 2022
Conveners: Dr. Tomáš Klír and Dr. Martin Musílek in cooperation with the working group on late medieval economic history (Arbeitskreis für Spätmittelalterliche Wirtschaftsgeschichte), the conference will be supported by KREAS | Projekt KREAS (<https://kreas.ff.cuni.cz/en/>).
Thursday, 19th May
Session 1: Organization of Labor, chair: Ramon Zaoral (Prague)
15:40-16:15: Martin Musílek (Prague): An Exhausted Society? Changes in the Spatial and Professional Organization of Prague in the Middle Ages
16:15-16:45: Coffee Break
16:45-17:20: Marie Jäcker (Kiel): The Workforce of Exeter Cathedral in the Late Middle Ages – A Socioeconomic Approach
17:20-17:55: Colin Arnaud (Münster): Employment Relations in the Textile Guilds of Toulouse in the 13th Century
18:15: Keynote Lecture: Sheilagh Ogilvie (Oxford): Freedom and Coercion in Pre-Modern Work
/introduction by Tomáš Klír, Martin Musílek (Prague)/
Friday, 20th May
Session 2: Labor Market, Wages, chair: Tanja Skambraks (Mannheim)
09:30-10:05: Alex Spike Gibbs (Mannheim) / Jordan Claridge (London): (Real) Wages in Late Medieval England
10:05-10:40: Florian Probst (Münster): Institutions of Rural Labour Markets in Pre-Modern Germany
10:40-11:10: Coffee Break
11:10-11:45: Roman Zaoral (Prague): Real wages of Labourers and Craftsmen in Late Medieval Moravia: The Case of Znojmo and Brno in 1409–1540
11:45-12:20: Rolf Strøm-Olsen (Madrid): Approaching the Agency Cost Problem in Pre-Modernity: Labour Contracting at the 15th-century Burgundian Court
Session 3: questions of gender, disability and marginalization, chair: Stephan Nicolussi-Köhler
14:00-14:35: Eva-Maria Cersovsky (Köln): Working Couples, Health Care and Poor Relief in Later Medieval Strasbourg
14:35-15:10: Lena Liznierski (Mannheim): How socially responsibly were the charitable institutions of the early modern period as employers?
1510-1545: Coffee Break
15:45-15:20: Matthias Wesseling (Aachen): Between Labour and Begging: Associations of Marginalized Social Groups in Late Medieval Germany
16:20-16:55: Bianca Frohne (Kiel): Putting “Work” into Disability History: A Few Suggestions
Saturday, 21st May
Session 4: Serfdom and Manorial Labor, chair: Julia Exarchos (Aachen)
09:30-10:05: Piotr Guzowski (Bialystok): Corvée – Source of Work or Source of Money in the Manorial System in Poland in the 15–17th Centuries
10:05-10:35: Monika Kozłowska-Szyc (Bialystok): Efficiency of the Serfdom System
10:35-11:05: coffee break
11:05-11:40: Jacqueline Turek (Aachen): Gender, Mobility, and Work: Male and Female Servants in Late Medieval Southern German Cities
11:40-12:00: Concluding Remarks: Tomáš Klír, Martin Musílek (Prague)
The topic of “labour” has recently been rediscovered by premodern economic history. A wide variety of forms came into view, for instance how labour relations could be shaped, how employer and employee could be matched and how labour could be remunerated. The 9th annual conference of the working group on late medieval economic history (Arbeitskreis für spätmittelalterliche Wirtschaftsgeschichte) will discuss different aspect of premodern labour in Europe from c. 1200 to c. 1700. The conference will take place from May 19 to 21 2022 at the Charles University of Prague and will be co-organised by Tomas Klír und Martin Musílek.
We would like to tackle the topic from various angles and with different methods: for instance, on a discourse level we are interested in the changing perception of the complex relationship between labour and poverty and between work and begging in the Later Middle Ages. further topics will be multiple employments, employment-induced mobility and labor migration as well as temporal or structural unemployment and the influence of the human body and lifecycle, gender and social background on the ways and opportunities of people trying to make a living.
The materiality of labour in the Middle Ages (working tools, workshop structures, raw materials, etc.) can be traced in archeological findings as well as in depictions in various works of art and enhances our understanding of the means of production and places of work as well as the practices of work. Thus, we also invite papers on this aspect by art historians and archeologists.
From a more economic point of view, we are interested in links between workforce and markets, dealing with the question of productivity and value creation as well as with wages and prices. Furthermore, we invite papers regarding professionalization and specialization processes as well as the institutionalization and regulation of labour. Last but not least, we want to look at the working people themselves for instance slaves, the working poor, and workers in proto-industrial sectors like the putting-out-system.
We invite papers from researchers of all career stages. Please hand in a 300-word abstract and a short CV until January 15th 2022 (to: firstname.lastname@example.org and Tomas.Klir@ff.cuni.cz). The conference language will be English.