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Medieval Seminar Series: A Dance with Death: Popular Piety in the Age of the Plague

Friday, March 24, 2023
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Meeting ID: 913 2867 1941

Passcode: 984314

In the summer of 1348, the Chronicle of the Grey Friars at Lynn recorded the arrival of one of the most famous pandemics in human history, the Black Death. From the south coast, the disease spread rapidly throughout England, killing approximately half of the population. In its wake individuals and communities worked together to come to terms with what had happened. As part of this process the parish church - a focal point in the lives of ordinary people - provided a space where the 'new normal' was tried, tested, and renegotiated. This talk will explore how and why the parish became the focal point of ordinary people's lives as the country recovered from the pandemic, how it was used to understand the causes and consequences of such a devastating event and how the organisation and presentation of the parish and its church changed as a result. 

Dr. Claire Kennan is the Research Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in History at Bader College, Queen's University (Canada). Claire specialises in the history of Britain between 1300 and 1500, with a particular focus on the social and cultural impact of the Black Death, the pre-Reformation parish, popular piety and medieval guilds. She is the co-editor for the new Brepols series Reinterpreting the Middle Ages: From Medieval to Neo, a collaborator on the SSHRC-funded Environments of Change Project.

Department of History
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