Outing Outsiders: Exclusion in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.


A one day Symposium hosted by the Department of History and the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies Trinity College Dublin on January 25th 2014.


The medieval and early modern West, far from being a homogenous world, was one which was diverse and, in many instances, multicultural. In the face of such diversity, how did communities define themselves in the past? Who was an insider and who was excluded, who was the outsider? Who decided upon normative and acceptable behaviour and how were those who transgressed punished?

This one-day symposium will investigate the outsider in European history.

Possible topics/themes to be discussed include but are not limited to:

Those who placed themselves outside society voluntarily (e.g. pilgrims, hermits, merchants, mercenaries)

Those who were excluded involuntarily (e.g. outlaws, captives, non-Christians, homosexuals)

Those who set themselves apart completely from the rules of society (e.g. heretics).

This Symposium aims to assemble the evidence from as wide a range of sources including history, literature, gender studies and art to map the extent and meaning of what being an outsider was in medieval and early modern Europe.


Please send a brief bio and abstract of 300 words to Gillian Kenny at by October 31st 2013