Professor Miri Rubin
Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History
Email: email@example.comTelephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8369Room Number: ArtsTwo 3.08
I am a historian of Europe of wide interests. My research has ranged across the period 1100-1600, through the exploration of themes in the religious culture of Europe. I am interested in inter-disciplinary encounters, and these have animated my work. I also enjoy disseminating history to diverse audiences all over the world.
My research has introduced new approaches to the study of social relations in the predominantly religious cultures of medieval Europe. I have sought to understand the message of Christian charity as practised in medieval communities; to explore the meanings of the arch-sacrament, the Eucharist; to explore new narratives about Jews, which turned into public social dramas. In all my work I seek to understand issues of identity, community, and gender, the boundaries of cooperation and the threat of violence. Delivering the Wiles Lectures in 2017 led me to develop research on attitudes to strangers in medieval cities.
- History of religious cultures
- Social and community relations
- Jewish-Christian relations
- Gender, identity and the body: ideas as well as practices
- Visual and material expressions of ideas and practices
- Urban life and attitudes to strangers
I am keen to support collaborations and interaction between scholars. During the Covid Year I founded with colleagues from the University of Ghent an international network and seminar, the Belgian-British Medieval Urban History Network, and created the Medievalists in Lockdown! group of QM medievalists and their Colleagues.
- Charity and Community in Medieval Cambridge, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
- Corpus Christi: the Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1991.
- Gentile Tales; the Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews,, London: Yale University Press, 1999; repr. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
- Mother of God. A History of the Virgin Mary, London: Alan Lane, 2009.
- Emotion and Devotion. The Meaning of Mary in Medieval Religious Cultures, The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lectures 2, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2009.
- Very Short Introduction to the Middle Ages, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014; translation into Korean in 2015.
- Thomas of Monmouth, The Life and Passion of William of Norwich, trans. with an introduction Miri Rubin London: Penguin, 2014.
- Cities of Strangers. Making Lives in Medieval Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
I enjoy supervising PhDs and aim to encourage emergent historians to acquire skills, find their voice through engagement with a wide range of sources - material, textual, visual, and develop concepts through engagement with other disciplines. I have been delighted to see most of those I have supervised go on to postdoctoral positions and then academic careers, or choose interesting work in the heritage and cultural sectors.
I am currently supervising:
- Netta Amir (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), The Making of the Via Dolorosa
- Eliot Benbow, Material Culture of Devotion in Late Medieval London
- Edward Caddy, The Crusade Vow in Context: Origins and Evolution, c.1050-1215
- Bert Carlstrom, Archbishop Hernando Talavera and the Challenges of Pastoral Care
- Helen Carr, The Emotional Worlds of Late Medieval Women in England
- Lisa Di Crescenao, The Vernacular-Authored Correspondence of Luisa Donati Strozzi (1434-1510)
- Amanda Langley, The Lived Experience of the Mystic Agnes Blanbekin
- Kerstin Mayerhofer (University of Vienna), The Myth of Jewish Male Bleeding
- Adelheid Russenberger, The Experience of Disability in Later Medieval Europe
- Ningfen Wang, The Representation of Black African Children in Early Modern England
I have examined 58 PhDs in the UK and abroad, and offer mentoring to those I have examined.
Current PHD Students
- Ningfen Wang – Black African children in Early Modern English prints and archives, 1500-1700
Appearances in the media:
- Chaucer and his World, BBC Radio 3, 21 October 2000
- Nightwaves, BBC Radio 3, 18 December 2001
- You and yours, BBC Radio 4, 2 January 2002
- In our time, BBC Radio 4, 17 January 2002
- Mapping the Town - Cambridge, BBC Radio 4, 26 February
- Villains and heroes: Lady Macbeth and Joan of Arc, BBC Radio 4,1 February 2003 Luther, PBS and Discovery Channel, 24-25 February 2003
- Start the Week, BBC Radio 4, 20 October 2003
- The Blood Libel, BBC Radio 4, 26 January 2004
- Women and cruelty, Nightwaves, BBC Radio 3, 13 May 2004
- The Lewis Chessmen, BBC Radio 4,
- Start the Week, BBC Radio 4, 17 January 2005
- Presenter, Europe of the Mind II, 20 February 2005
- The Long View – Retirement, main historical consultant, 7 March 2006
- The Hollow Crown, BBC Swindon and Wiltshire 13 March 2006
- Cults of Saints and their Relics, The World at Ten and BBC World Service, June 2006
- The Middle Ages – Then and Now, Session at the Hay on Wye Literary Festival, 1 June 2006
- In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 16 November 2006
- ‘The Black Death’, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 22 May 2008
- Start the Week, BBC Radio 4, 22 February 2009
- Nightwaves, BBC Radio 3, 23 February 2009
- Tapestry, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 May 2009
- Rogier van de Weyden’s Descent from the Cross, TV BBC4, March 2010
- Trailer for the film Robin Hood (2010), History Channel, March 2010
- A History of the World in 100 Objects, BBC Radio 4, May 2010
- Thoroughly Modern Mary, BBC Radio 4, June 2010
- Cold Case, BBC2, July 2011
- Guilty Pleasures: Luxury in the Middle Ages, 4 July 2011
- Au nom de Marie, Arte TV channel Documentary, 4 November 2011
- The History of Writing, BBC Radio 4, January 2012
- Interview for Diarmaid Macculloch's God Made the English, BBC2, 24 March 2012
- Feedback, BBC Radio 4, 30 March 2012
- The Great British Bake Off, contributor, 14 July 2012
- Presenter of BBC Radio 4 Poetry programme on Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, August 2012
- In Our Time, ‘Chivalry’, BBC Radio 4, 13 February 2014
- Jewish Hour, BBC Manchester, 6 April 2014, 2pm
- In Our Time, Radio 4, ‘Hildegard of Bingen’, 26 June, 2014
- On Ritual Murder, Sunday Jewish Radio, 2 November 2014
- In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, ‘Breugel’s fight between Carnival and Lent’, 15 January 2015
- Beyond Belief, on Purgatory, BBC Radio 4, 3 February 2015
- Making History, 26 December 2017
- TV and Radio In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, Margery Kempe, 2 June 2016
- ‘Fake News: the Child Murder Accusation in Norwich 1144’, The Long View, BBC Radio 4, March 2017
- Making History, BBC Radio 4, 26 December 2017
- The Virgin Mary and the Palio, Siena TV Regional Network, 13 August 2019
- In Our Time, Radio 4, Pilgrimage, 18 February 2021
- History Hits, on Medieval Migration
- History Hits, on The Spread of Christianity
- History of Now, Pandemic Afterlives
- What is Antisemitism, discussion with Jonathan Freedland and moderated by Robert Saunders, Mile End Institute, QMUL, 9 July 2020
- How I wrote a Very Short Introduction to the Middle Ages
- Ideas on Film
I promote the public understanding of History by serving as President of the Jewish Historical Society since January 2020.