Universiteit Leiden

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Claire Weeda

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 ethnic stereotyping, the history of the body, Greco-Arabic medicine, and organic politics in Europe, 1100-1500.

Her dissertation ‘Images of Ethnicity in Later Medieval Europe’ (Keetje Hodshon Award 2015, KHMW), examined the fundamental shift in thinking about ethnic character from the twelfth century in northern Europe. In the burgeoning educational and courtly centres, where standards of 'civilized'​ behaviour were being set, ideas about ethnicity became ensconced in medical humoral theory. From an introspective religious-ethical tool used to ruminate the sins of mankind in light of eschatological expectations, notions about ethnicity thus gradually were embodied within a religious-medical discourse factoring in environmental influences. Shifting from Christian imperialism to colonialism, western Europe was now presented as a civilized, forward-looking region, whereas southwest-Asia was a place of the past.  

Her current research, as part of the ERC research project ‘Healthscaping Urban Europe: Biopower, Space and Society’, focuses the development and spread of medical knowledge in urban centres from 1100-1500. In particular, she is looking at how Galenic theory informed and spread via pre-university educational systems, oral interactions and embodied practices. She is analysing how Galenism changed people’s perception of themselves, others and their environments on biological, cultural and religious grounds and how this accordingly resulted in new regulations.   

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 

University Lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 1.77b


  • Weeda C.V. (2019), Cleanliness, Civility, and the City in Medieval Ideals and Scripts. In: Rawcliffe C., Weeda C.V. (Eds.) Policing the Urban Environment in Premodern Europe. no. 1 Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 39-68.book chapter
  • Rawcliffe C. & Weeda C.V. (Eds.) (2019), Policing the Urban Environment in Premodern Europe no. 1. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.editorship of book
  • Weeda C.V. (2019), 'De Donkere Middeleeuwen’, Leidraad .article in magazine/newspaper
  • Weeda C.V. (2019), ‘De Middeleeuwen zijn zo onschuldig nog niet’, De Nederlandse Boekengids .article in magazine/newspaper
  • Weeda C.V. (2019), ‘Imagining the Nation: Catalogues of Stereotypes 900-1300’ at the conference ‘Identidades y comunidades imaginadas en la baja edad media’.conference paper
  • Rawcliffe C. & Weeda C.V. (2019), Introduction. In: Rawcliffe C., Weeda C.V. (Eds.) Policing the Environment in Premodern Europe. no. 1 Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 11-38.book chapter
  • Weeda C.V. & Coomans J. (2019), ‘Paradoxes of Plague: Regulatory Innovation, Repetition and Social Stratification in Urban Communities, 1300-1500’.conference paper
  • Weeda C.V. & Dumas G. (2019), 'The Pursuit of Global Urban History: A dialogue Between Two Fields'.conference paper
  • Weeda C.V. (2018), ‘Nieuwe inzichten in organische politiek en gemeenschapsvorming’ Review of: Bert de Munck (2018) Guilds, Labour and the Urban Body Politic: Fabricating Community in the Southern Netherlands, 1300-1800, 131(4).book review
  • Weeda C.V. (2018), ‘Health Matters: Defining the Bonum Commune in Conflicts in Late Medieval Italy and the Low Countries’. Rome.conference paper
  • Blok G., Kuitenbrouwer J.J.V. & Weeda C.V. (2018), Imagining Communities. Historical Reflections on the Process of Community Formation. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.book
  • Blok G., Kuitenbrouwer J.J.V. & Weeda C.V. (2018), Introduction. In: Blok G., Kuitenbrouwer J.J.V., Weeda C.V. (Eds.) Imagining Communities. Historical Reflections on the Process of Community Formation. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 7-20.book chapter
  • Weeda C.V. (2018), Meanwhile in Messianic Time. Imagining the Medieval Nation in Time and Space and English Drinking Rituals. In: Blok G., Kuitenbrouwer J.J.V., Weeda C.V. (Eds.) Imagining Communities. Historical Reflections on the Process of Community Formation. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 21-40.book chapter
  • Weeda C.V. (2018), ‘Middeleeuwse kippenbotjes en potscherven: Zeg me wat je eet en ik vertel je wat je bent’ Review of: Vroom Joanita, Waksman Yona, Oosten Roos van (2017) Medieval Masterchef. Archaeological and historical perspectives on eastern cuisine and western foodways., .book review
  • Weeda C.V. (2018), 'Reviewing Conduct Books: Galenic Medicine and the “Civilizing Process” in Western European Households c. 1100-1300'. In: Woolgar C.M. (Ed.) The Great Household, 1000-1500: Proceedings of the 2016 Harlaxton Symposium. Woodbridge: Boydell. 167-184.book chapter
  • Weeda C.V. (2017), Characteristics of Bodies and Ethnicity c. 900-1200, Medieval Worlds. Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies 2017(5): 95-112.article in journal
  • Künzel R. (tr. Weeda C.V.) (2017), The Plow, the Pen, and the Sword. Images and Self-Images of Medieval People in the Low Countries: Routledge.book
  • Weeda C.V. (11 July 2016), ‘Out of the Box' [Forum ‘Ras: terug van nooit weggeweest?’, Erfgoedsociëteit UvA, July 11, 2016] (Lecture).other
  • Weeda C.V. (24 May 2016), Noem een racist een racist. NRC Handelsblad, Opinie.article in magazine/newspaper
  • Weeda C.V. (2016), Being There: Tales of Migratory Journeys [Stichting Glubbdubdrib, Amsterdam] (Lecture).other
  • Weeda C.V. (2016), ‘The fixed and the fluent: geographical determinism, ethnicity, and religion c. 1100-1300 CE’. In: Kennedy R.F., Jones-Lewis M. (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Idenity and the Environment in the Classical and Medieval Worlds. London/New York: Routledge. 93-113.book chapter
  • Weeda C.V. (2016), The Library a Jungle [Stichting Glubbdubdrib, Amsterdam] (Lecture).other
  • Weeda C.V. (2016), The Life and Times of A. Palulu [Stichting Glubbdubdrib, Amsterdam] (Lecture).other
  • Weeda C.V. (2015), Gebruiken in de Late Middeleeuwen, Geschiedenis Magazine .article in magazine/newspaper
  • Weeda C.V. (2015), Violence, Control, Prophecy and Power in Twelfth-Century France and Germany. In: Nelson J., Kempf D. (Eds.) Reading the Bible in the Middle Ages. London: Bloomsbury Press. 147-166.book chapter
  • Weeda C.V. (2014), Ethnic Identification and Stereotypes in Western Europe, circa 1100-1300, History Compass 12(7): 586-606.article in journal
  • Weeda C.V. (2013), De opkomst van etnische vooroordelen in de twaalfde eeuw, Geschiedenis Magazine 48(3): 45-49.article in magazine/newspaper
  • Weeda C.V. (2010), De menselijke vlek, Madoc. Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen 24(1): 2-12.article in journal
  • Weeda C.V. (2010), Ethnic Stereotyping in Twelfth-Century Paris. In: Cohen M., Firnhaber-Baker J. (Eds.) Difference and Identity in France and Medieval Francia (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010).: Ashgate. 115-135.book chapter
  • Fonds voor de letteren Adviseur literaire non-fictie
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