Ordering the margins of society: Space, authority and control in early modern Britain

Ordering the margins of society: Space, authority and control in early modern Britain
05 Sep 2017, 09:00 to 05 Sep 2017, 18:00
IHR Wolfson Conference Suite, NB01/NB02, Basement, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Since the spatial turn, historians have conceptualised space not as a passive backdrop against which social interactions and everyday life took place, but as a social construct that shaped identity, societal development, human behaviour and experience.  Historians of early modern Britain have long been concerned with questions of social order and control. Debates continue about the relationship between the coercive and participatory facets of governance and the capacity for social discipline. Yet while these subjects remain fertile areas of research, relatively little work has examined the interaction between space, authority and social control of the people on the margins of society.

This one-day workshop considers the attempts of those in charge to order society within particular places, spaces and locales. It asks how marginal populations (i.e. the economic or socially vulnerable) were organised in spaces such as workhouses, taverns, households, prisons, asylums, hospitals, streets, marketplaces and churches. It seeks to explore how authorities attempted to exert social control and discipline within these spaces and how these efforts might be resisted. What were the extents and limits of negotiation, participation and defiance within the systems of regulation, and how did this shape social order?

This workshop is free to attend but advance registration is required.

Provisional conference programme


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