The Social and Economic Life of Money: From the Medieval to the Modern

Event Details

  • Event date: 26/01/2019
  • Venue: Institute of Historical Research, London

Recent research on the history of money has drawn attention to the changing use and representation of money in its social, economic and cultural contexts. In particular, the subjectivity or ‘symbolism’ of money has been shown to have had impacts on changing notions of individualism, gender, and morality, as well as processes of economic and social change. Yet these histories have remained firmly siloed within the separate scholarship of distinct periods.

Early modern scholarship on the social life of money has provided a means for understanding the transition from the fundamentally entwined social and economic practices of the medieval era to the supposedly-disembedded economic behaviours of the modern world. However, scholars of the medieval and modern periods have yet to examine these questions in the same depth and or with the same criticality as their early modernist counterparts, let alone ranging across periods.

Funded and organised jointly by the Social History Society and the Economic History Society, which both have a special interest in the history of money but for very different reasons, this one-day workshop will bring together scholars of the history of money in the medieval, early modern and modern periods. Our particular focus will be on the social meanings and rituals surrounding changing economic practices of payment and non-payment in each period. It is hoped that by providing a platform for further discussion and by bringing together different perspectives on the subject, new avenues of research may be revealed.


There is a £10 registration fee for non-speakers. As spaces are limited, please RSVP by contacting the organisers:


Speakers will include Dr Kate Bradley, Professor Christopher Dyer, Professor Craig Muldrew, Professor Anne Murphy, Dr Hannah Robb and Dr Sarah Roddy, with Professor Pamela Cox, Chair of the Social History Society, as a discussant in the closing roundtable.

Click here for the full programme with abstracts