Dr Miriam Muller BA, MPhil, PhD

Lecturer in Medieval History
Welfare Tutor Department of History

Department of History

Photograph of Dr Miriam Muller

Contact details

Arts Building
Room 342
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

My area of interest is social and economic history of later medieval England, although I tend to lean more towards the social than the economic. I am endlessly fascinated by peasants of all periods, but especially of the 13th and 14th centuries.

Feedback and office hours

My welfare office hours during term time only are Tuesday mornings from 9 to 12 and Thursday afternoons from 2-3. It is not necessary to make an appointment to see me during these times.

Qualifications

  • BA University of Sussex
  • MPhil University of Cambridge
  • PhD University of Birmingham
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham. I completed my BA Degree in History at the University of Sussex in the School of Cultural and Community Studies. The emphasis on interdisciplinary and comparative methods alongside social history there has influenced my research ever since.

I left Sussex after completion of my BA Degree, in order to gain a postgraduate qualification in medieval history at the University Cambridge. Here I completed an MPhil degree in late medieval history.

I then moved to the University of Birmingham where I wrote my doctoral thesis of a comparative study of two peasant communities in later medieval England, supervised by Professor C. Dyer. I completed my PhD thesis in 2001. I have taught in the Department of Medieval History in the School of History and Cultures at the University of Birmingham ever since.

Teaching

Undergraduate

First year

  • Practising History: Intensive Study Topic, The Black Death in Medieval England
  • Practising History: Intensive Study Topic, Rebellion and Disorder: Popular Unrest in Medieval England  
  • Introducing Medieval History

Second year

  • Critical Analysis: ‘The Politics of Popular Revolt in the Middle Ages’
  • Optional Unit: Women and Gender in Medieval Society
  • Optional Unit: Childhood and Adolescence in Medieval Society
  • Group Research: The Many Headed Monster, Peasant Revolt in Later Medieval England 

Third year

  • Famine and the Black Death: Social and Economic Change in Medieval England 
  • Dissertation Supervision currently on various topics of social and economic history in the Later Middle Ages, including peasant communities, women in medieval society, chivalry, the trial of Joan of Arc, fashion, representations of female sexuality and childbirth as well as peasant revolts
  • Advanced Option: The Black Death in Medieval Europe
  • Specialist Subject: Village Societies in the Later Middle Ages

Postgraduate

  • A range of seminars across the MA programme, including an Option on Popular Protest and Revolt in Medieval Europe.
  • MA in West Midlands History, Medieval module ' People and Places in the West Midlands'

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to discuss the possibility of supervising postgraduate research in the areas of social and economic history in later medieval England, including peasant communities, seigniorialism, medieval agriculture and the rural economy, law and order, the history of women and gender.

Current Research Students

  • Toby Best, PhD, part - time, 'The later medieval estate of Winchcombe Abbey and its Manors. '
  • Rosalyn Nickson-Brown, MRes 'Fourteenth-century peasant women on the St Albans manors of Hexton and Norton.'
  • Lindsay Whitehurst PhD part - time, (joint supervision with Dr. JR Walters) 'Representations of Medieval Warfare on Film.'
  • Janine Bryant, PhD part - time, 'Finding Witnesses to Life in the Later Middle Ages – the Lives of People as seen through the Medieval Coroners’ Rolls of Four Counties'

Research

I am currently working on a book comparing village communities in later 13th and early 14th century ( pre-Black Death) England. The working title is: Strife, Conflict and Keeping the Peace; Three English Manors over three Generations, Ca. 1290- 1350. Of particular interest to me is the way communal identities are shaped, and which factors ( including for instance economic, seigniorial and geographic elements) contribute to similarities and differences in a variety of communal interactions, from gender relationships and the status of women in their villages, to landholding patterns , the negotiation of conflict, village self-policing and the construction of social -local- memories. Ultimately I feel that the answer to many bigger questions including, for example: What was the staus of women in medieval villages? How did peasants see themselves? How did peasants relate to lordship? How did peasants resolve conflict? What did peasants argue about and why? - can be sought fruitfully in studies of microhistory, the detailed examination of records of individual manors, and this is what I primarily try to do.   

I have always been ( and still am) interested in gender, village society, social conflict, especially conflict between lords and peasants, and how such conflict was expressed.

Other activities

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
  • Editorial board for the journal of Midland History
  • Member of Medieval Settlement Research Group and Agricultural History Society.
  • Member of the European Rural History Organisation (EURHO)
  • Co-organiser of The People, Places and Things Seminars in Local and Regional History

Publications

Edited Books:

  • Goddard, R., Langdon, J. and M. Müller eds., >Survival and Discord in Medieval Society Essays in Honour of Christopher Dyer, Brepols 2010.
  • Isabel Davies, Miriam Müller, and S. Rees Jones eds., Marriage, Love and Family Ties in the Middle Ages, (Series Title: International Medieval Research, Brepols Publishers, 2003).

 

Articles and Chapters:

  • Miriam Muller, 'Peasant Women, Agency and Status in Mid -Thirteenth to Late Fourteenth - Century England: Some Reconsiderations' in: C. Beattie and M. F. Stevens eds., Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe (Boydell and Brewer, 2013) pp. 91- 113.
  • Miriam Muller, 'Arson, Communities, and Social Conflict in Later Medieval England', in: Viator Medieval and Renaissance Studies, (2012) vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 193-208.
  • Miriam Muller, ‘Conflict and Revolt: The Bishop of Ely and his Peasants at the Manor of Brandon in Suffolk, c. 1300-1381’in: Rural History, Vol. 23, 1 (2012) pp. 1-19.
  • M.Müller, ‘Food, Hierarchy and Class Conflict’, in: Goddard, R., Langdon, J. and M. Müller eds., Survival and Discord in Medieval Society Essays in Honour of Christopher Dyer, Brepols 2010; pp. 231- 248.
  • Miriam Müller, ‘Peasants, Lords and Developments in Leasing in Later Medieval England’, in: B. van Bavel and P. Schofield, eds., Emergence and Early Development of lease holding in the European Countryside during the Middle Ages, (CORN series, vol. 10., Brepols, December 2008). 
  • Miriam Muller, 'A Divided Class? Peasants and Peasant Communities in Later Medieval England', in: C. Dyer, P. Coss and c. Wickham eds., Rodney Hilton's Middle Ages: An Exploration of Historical Themes (Past and Present Supplement 2, 2007) pp.115-131   
  • Miriam Müller, ‘Seigniorial control and the peasant land-market in the 14th century: a comparative approach.’ In: L. Feller and C. Wickham eds., Le Marché de la Terre au Moyen Âge, Collection de L’École Française De Rome -350, 2005, pp. 297-313.
  • Miriam Müller, ‘Social Control and the Hue and Cry in two Fourteenth Century Villages’, in:  Journal of Medieval History, 31, 2005, pp. 29-53 .
  • Miriam Müller, 'Conflict, Strife and Cooperation; Aspects of the Late Medieval Family and Household', in: I. Davies & M. Müller and S. Rees Jones eds., Marriage, Love and Family Ties in the Middle Ages, (Series Title: International Medieval Research, Brepols Publishers, 2003)
  • Miriam Müller, 'The Aims and Organisation of a Peasant Revolt in Early Fourteenth-Century Wiltshire', in Rural History, 14, 1, 2003; pp. 1-20.
  • Miriam Müller and Christopher Dyer, 'Archaeological and documentary research on Badbury, Wiltshire' in: Medieval Settlement Research Group; Annual Report, no. 14, 1999; pp. 34-36.
  • Miriam Müller; 'The function and evasion of marriage fines on a fourteenth-century English manor' in: Continuity and Change, 14 (2), 1999; pp. 169-190.

Expertise

Later medieval English social and economic history, and in particular the history of the English peasantry (ca. 1200-1500); peasant revolts, esp. 1381, and small scale peasant unrest in individual manors and villages; medieval peasant communities and their internal dynamics, including conflict, kinship networks and communal policing;  history of gender in the medieval village, and the position and status of peasant women.

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office

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