Universiteit Leiden

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Claire Weeda

Director of Education / University Lecturer

Dr. C.V. Weeda
+31 71 527 2718

Claire Weeda is a University Lecturer at the institute for History.

More information about Claire Weeda


Claire Weeda is a cultural historian whose main fields of interest include Greco-Arabic medicine, ethnicity, labour and racial capitalism in Europe, 1100-1600. She teaches and publishes regularly on ethnic stereotyping, public health, and religious-cultural practices across Europe. In 2021, her monograph Ethnicity in Medieval Europe, 950-1250: Medicine, Power and Religion came out with York Medieval Press/Boydell Press. In 2019, she co-edited Policing the Urban Environment in Premodern Europe (with Carole Rawcliffe). In 2015, the KHMW awarded her dissertation ‘Images of Ethnicity in Later Medieval Europe’ the Keetje Hodshon Award for historical research.

In recent years, as a member of the ERC research project ‘Healthscaping Urban Europe: Biopower, Space and Society’, she has focused on the development and spread of medical knowledge in urban centres from 1100-1500. She has looked at how medical knowledge spread via armies and educational systems, oral interactions and embodied practices. Managing the health of groups served military and economic interests, as a form of biopolitics, and involved public regulation and self-disciplining.   

Teaching activities

Teaching experience includes introductory courses on medieval history and analysis of source materials, as well thematic courses, including:

'Imagining the Medieval Nation', on ethnic identity, racism, and concepts of nature and culture in the Late Middle Ages

'The Latin Middle Ages', on medieval Latin literature and its cultural context, translating primary sources;

'Ethnic Stereotyping in the Middle Ages', on the function of ethnic stereotypes in later Medieval Europe;

'Nudity', on the meaning of nudity in social and religious context from antiquity to modernity;

'Ideals and Utopias', reading primary sources on ideal behaviour and communities from antiquity to the Renaissance;

'Laughter in the Dark', a cultural study of humour in the late Middle Ages;

'Spies and Diplomats in the Mediterranean World', on gift exchange, marriage diplomacy and ceremonies in Byzantium;

'Debating the Persecuting Society', discussing whether Europe became a persecuting society in the late middle ages;

'New Horizons', a course on explorers and missionary activities in the Baltic region and the East.

'Urban Bodies', on medical concepts and practices in urban communities 

Director of Education / University Lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 1.77B




  • Fonds voor de letteren Adviseur literaire non-fictie
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