You are here:


Booking for this event will close on Friday 23 September 2022.


Derek Keene
(1942-2021) was one of the leading figures in medieval and urban history over the past forty years. He was the founding director of the Centre for Metropolitan History at the IHR from 1988, and led the centre until 2002 when he became Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History. He remained at the IHR, ever active, until his retirement in 2008. 


This symposium event brings together a diverse range of scholars to reflect upon Derek’s career as a historian, his impact upon urban history, and most importantly new research directions in the field. Derek was a pioneer not only in economic and social approaches to urban history, through large-scale projects such as the ‘Social and Economic Study of Medieval London’ (1979-1984), but also in the interface between history and archaeology, and environmental history.  

There will be three roundtable panels through the afternoon, with discussants focusing on different aspects of Derek’s legacy, broader impact, and, new directions in today’s research that build upon his insights. To embody and promote Derek’s values as a person and scholar, this is framed broadly and inclusively, looking across disciplinary and national boundaries, and encompassing both traditional and practice-based approaches.  

The roundtables are structured to encourage conversation and contributions from all. We hope to welcome everyone, whether you have personal memories of Derek, or simply found his work inspiring.  

The afternoon roundtable symposium will be followed by a reception, and open discussion, hosted by members of the Keene family.  

A provisional programme is available to view here.

Speakers include:

  • Vanessa Harding (Birkbeck)
  • Matthew Davies (Birkbeck) 
  • David Bates (UEA)
  • Alex Werner (Museum of London) 
  • Maryanne Kowaleski (Fordham)
  • Marc Boone (Ghent)
  • Christian Liddy (Durham)
  • Jim Galloway  
  • Kate Weikert (Winchester)
  • Damien Goodburn-Brown (Museum of London Archaeology)

The conference will be followed by a reception beginning at 6pm.


All Welcome- this event is free to attend but booking in advance is required.

Please note that this is an in-person event only.


Image credit: The View from The Shard, London, United Kingdom | Benjamin Davies