Rural History 2015

Panel 63

Organizers: Van der Meulen, Jim (1); Van de Walle, Tineke (1); Hoppenbrouwers, Peter (2)

Affiliation: 1: University of Antwerp, Belgium; 2: Leiden University, the Netherlands The blurry boundaries between town and countryside in pre-modern Europe

Title: The blurred boundaries between town and countryside in pre-modern Europe

"In the past decades, rural and urban history have increasingly grown apart. Crucial debates about premodern social- and economic developments use very different conceptual frameworks and analytical tools, which invariably suppose a strict divide between the town and the countryside. In economic history, the town-based model identifies towns, urban industry and commerce unequivocally with concepts of urbanity, modernity and growth, with urban demand and institutions steering developments on the countryside (Epstein; Van der Wee). On the other hand, the rural-based paradigm assumes that most significant economic developments were to be found in the countryside — generating the surpluses fuelling urban growth (see the limited role attributed to urban developments in the new four volume Rural Economy and Society Series published by Brepols).
This session aims to challenge the idea of a strict divide between town and countryside in pre-modern Europe. Instead of looking at the interaction between a clearly separated town and its rural hinterland, we want to explore cases where the town-country divide was blurred, both in the sense of physical assimilation (suburbanization) and in the sense of bilateral association of industry, trade, and political or legal opportunities. Bringing together papers on issues like suburbanization and the urban fringe / the role of urban agriculture / the development of urban industries in the countryside or the role of urban citizens living in the countryside (Outburghers/Ausbürger/ Bourgeoisie foraine/ buitenpoorters) / material, administrative or juridical boundaries, etc. we hope to question the fuzziness of the town-countryside divide, and determine whether some European regions or some periods evolved towards stricter boundaries between town and countryside throughout the medieval and early modern period."


Papers (part I)

Chair: Peter Hoppenbrouwers, Leiden University, the Netherlands

Paper 1: The competition for the control of the urban space in Medieval Galicia: the case of the diocese of Lugo (12th-13th centuries) [+]

Francesco Renzi, Leiden University, the Netherlands

Paper 2: The city and the fringes, a difficult relationship: Gandia and Beniopa, 1300-1800 [+]

Frederic Aparisi Romero, University of Valencia, Spain

Paper 3: Lease prices as indicators of a transitional zone between town and countryside: late medieval Bruges and surroundings

Lies Vervaet, University of Ghent, Belgium


Papers (part II)

Chair: Peter Hoppenbrouwers, Leiden University, the Netherlands

Paper 4: The in-and-out burgher? The jurisdictional status of people living between town and countryside: Oudenaarde and Nieuwkerke in the sixteenth century [+]

Tineke Van de Walle and Jim van der Meulen, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Paper 5: In Search of the village identity (Ivry-sur-Seine, near Paris, 1700-1840)

Fabrice Boudjaabaa, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Paper 6: Bourgeoisie of towns, Bourgeoisie of fields in northern France in the 18th-19th centuries [+]

Jean-Pierre Jessenne, Institut des Recherches Historiques du Septentrion / GRDI-Cricec, France

Paper 7: Urban agriculture in the early modern Low Countries

Reinoud Vermoesen, University of Antwerp, Belgium


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015