Medieval Finance Workshop: The Costs of Catastrophe

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Date / time
28/03/2022, All day

The Medieval Finance Network (GIRO: Medieval Finance Network | Medieval Finance) is inviting the following proposals from Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers on the subject of The Costs of Catastrophe. These can be either full papers of up to 20 minutes in length or shorter, 5 minute ‘bitesize’ presentations.

This is our third workshop and will again be held exclusively online to maximise global participation and encourage the further development of an international community of interest in the field of Medieval Finance. The workshop is jointly supported by the universities of Reading and Lund.

This workshop is an opportunity for Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers to share current research on the theme of the Costs of Catastrophe. Natural disasters – pandemics, poor harvests, floods, droughts, earthquakes – were a feature of the medieval world but how did these affect the finances of Governments, corporate institutions, communities and individual households, and how did they respond? Is it possible to quantify the costs of such catastrophes and conversely, what financial opportunities and benefits did they generate?

We are inviting papers of 20 minutes duration that present new research on any aspect of finance on this theme during the period c.450CE – c.1450CE and from any geography. We are particularly interested in research papers in the following areas:

  • The impact on Government revenues and expenditure
  • The effects on the finances of corporate institutions such as city governments and religious houses
  • The impact on local communities and households
  • The effect on trade
  • The impact upon credit markets
  • How finance helped responses to disasters.

We are also inviting proposals for shorter, 5 minute presentations. This is an opportunity for researchers in the area of medieval finance to share how catastrophes feature in their more general research. These shorter slots are intended for initial ideas and observations and will be more informal.

The workshop will commence with a keynote talk from Dr Elise Dermineur Reutersward of Stockholm University (Elise Dermineur Reuterswärd – Stockholm University ( on current research into the Catasto records of Medieval Florence, the celebrated source on household wealth in the wake of the Black Death.

Research papers should be presented in English and last 20 minutes, with an opportunity for questions afterwards. We will use appropriate online technology to host the workshop and we encourage participants to prepare slides to accompany their papers.

Shorter discussion presentations should be given in English and last 5 minutes, with supporting slides where appropriate. It is planned to follow the discussion papers with a roundtable discussion.

Both formats will give presenters opportunities to share their findings, receive feedback and engage in discussion with other early career researchers working in a similar field.

Please submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) for Full 20 minute papers by Friday 28 January 2022 to Andy Ford, University of Reading. Please also use this address for any questions you may have about the workshop.

Please submit any offers to give a shorter, 5 minute Discussion presentation by email to Andy Ford at the same email address by Friday 28 January 2022.

Our aim is to finalise the timetable for the workshop and inform participants by Friday 4 February 2022. As we are keen to maximise global participation in the workshop, we will be as flexible as possible in the timing of contributions on the day. Please let us know of any preferred time for presenting your paper in submitting your abstract