German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050

URI: www.ghil.co.uk

 

Dr Marcus Meer

Medieval History

+44 020 7309 2041m.meer@ghil.ac.uk
 
 

Marcus Meer joined the GHIL in May 2020. He is a historian of communication and visual culture, with a special focus on the towns and cities of England and the German-speaking lands. He completed his Ph.D. at Durham University as a Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar and worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Durham and King’s College London. He holds an MSt in Medieval History from the University of Oxford and a BA in History and Linguistics from the University of Bielefeld.

Research Project

Censoring, Defacing, and Erasing Visual Matters in the European City
1300–1500

Fifteenth-century manuscript illumination commissioned by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, showing the defeated citizens of Ghent relinquishing their guilds’ banners in 1453, which were seized for fear of provoking further insurgencies.

The sentiment that visual matters – from statues and flags to dress and cartoons – ought to disappear is neither an innovation of current ‘fallisms’ nor a niche obsession of religiously motivated iconoclasts during the early medieval Byzantine iconomachy and the ‘stripping of the altars’ of the early-modern reformations. In the late medieval city too, opposition towards and action against visual matters were versatile means of communication, capable of reproducing, reinforcing, and challenging powerful individuals, political institutions, social hierarchies, and urban spaces. Practices of censoring, defacing, and erasing the visual – perceived to evoke persons, structures, and claims deemed objectionable, or feared to undermine a cherished status quo – served townspeople (and their noble antagonists) as powerful weapons in the socio-political conflicts that divided urban societies in the later Middle Ages.

Responsibilities at the GHIL

  • Research Fellow in Medieval History
  • Editor of the GHIL Blog
  • Organization of GHIL Lectures/Joint Lectures

Research Interests

  • England and Germany in the later Middle Ages (1300–1530)
  • Comparative history of towns and cities in premodern Europe
  • Visual communication of identities, institutions, and spaces
  • Interactions of texts, images, objects, and rituals
  • Intersections between urban and noble culture

Education and Academic Background

2020–

Research Fellow in Medieval History at the GHIL

2019–2020

Graduate Teaching Assistant, King’s College London

2017–2020

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Durham University

2015–2019

Ph.D. in History, Durham University, in collaboration with the University of Münster

2014–2015

Research Assistant on the project ‘Coats of Arms in Practice’ (Die Performanz der Wappen), University of Münster

2013–2014

MSt in Medieval History, University of Oxford

2010–2013

BA in History and Linguistics, University of Bielefeld

Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships

2015–2018

Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, Durham University
  • AHRC Research Network ‘Inheriting the Family: Emotions, History, and Heritage’
 
 

Publications

 
 

Articles and Chapters

‘Seeing Proof of Townsmen on the Move: Coats of Arms, Chivalric Badges, and the Visual Communication of Travel in the Later Middle Ages’, Journal of Early Modern History, 25 (forthcoming in 2021)

‘Heraldry Topsy-Turvy: Depictions and Performances of Dishonour and Death’, in Ludmilla Jordanova and Florence Grant (eds.), Writing Visual History (London, 2020)

‘History on the Walls and Windows to the Past: Heraldic Commemoration of Historical Identity in Late Medieval English and German Town Halls’, in Torsten Hiltmann and Miguel Metelo de Seixas (eds.), Heraldry in Medieval State-Rooms (Ostfildern, forthcoming in 2020), 135–52

‘City and Countryside’, Torsten Hiltmann and Nigel Ramsay (eds.), in A Companion to Medieval Heraldry, (Leiden, forthcoming in 2020)

‘Heraldic Display and Urban Space: The Visuality and Spatiality of Heraldic Conflict in Late Medieval Augsburg’, in Torsten Hiltmann and Laurent Hablot (eds.), Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Ostfildern, 2020)

‘Reversed, Defaced, Replaced: Late Medieval London and the Heraldic Communication of Discontent and Protest’, Journal of Medieval History, 45/4 (2019), 618–45

‘Heraldry, Historiography and Urban Identity in Late Medieval Augsburg: The “Cronographia Augustensium” and the Gossembrot Armorial’, in Lisa Demets, Tineke Van Gassen, and Bram Caers (eds.), Urban History Writing in Northwest Europe (15th–16th Centuries) (Turnhout, 2019), 159–86

‘“Todos los ciuidadanos toman armas a su plazer”: Heraldic Self-Representation and Commemoration in Town Houses and Urban Churches’, England and Germany in the Late Middle Ages, Armas e Troféus: IX Série, 20 (2018), 139–70

‘Wappen, Rituale und Konflikte: Heraldische Kommunikation und die visuelle Kultur der spätmittelalterlichen Stadt in Deutschland und England’, Mitteilungen der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen: Neue Folge: Stadt und Hof, 7 (2018), 41–56

Reviews and Miscellaneous Publications

Review of: Barbara A. Hanawalt, ‘Ceremony and Civility: Civic Culture in Late Medieval London’, Urban History, 46/4 (2019), 768–70

Review of: Jan Keupp and Romedio Schmitz-Esser (eds.), ‘Neue alte Sachlichkeit: Studienbuch Materialität des Mittelalters’, German History, 34/4 (2016), 672–73

‘Heraldry is Vanity! Moral Criticism of Heraldic Commemoration in Germany—A European Phenomenon?’, Heraldica Nova (2018) [https://heraldica.hypotheses.org/6122]

‘The Heraldry of the Weavers’ Guild of Augsburg: Mythical Origins and Everyday Display of Corporate Heraldry in Clemens Jäger’s “Weberchronik”’, Heraldica Nova (2016) [http:// heraldica.hypotheses.org/4669]