Professor Daniel Lord Smail

Honorary degree in Arts 2023

In recognition of his expertise in the history of the late medieval city in the relevance of medieval history today. - Harvard University  

  • Nominator: Prof. Jeroen Puttevils

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The Imagined Space of the Late Medieval Urban Household

From the twelfth century onward, a growing body of household inventories survive in European archives. Decades of scholarship, including the pioneering contributions of Flemish scholars, have used inventories to provide insight into material environments and consumption patterns characteristic of late medieval communities. But inventories are more than just windows onto past materialities. Every inventory is also an exercise in phenomenology, revealing how the compilers of inventories conceived of things and their attributes. Focusing on household spaces, this master class explores an emerging approach to inventories, one that seeks to enter the thought-worlds of the people who lived in late medieval cities and reconstruct aspects of their phenomenological experience.