Dr Tracey Hill (Bath Spa University) will be presenting a CTTR Public Lecture, ‘Strangers and aliens: immigrants in early modern London’, on Thursday 5 May 2016 in MK045 at 6:00 p.m. (City Campus, University of Wolverhampton). The event is free and open to the public.
London was a fast-expanding metropolis in the early modern period, largely fuelled by migration, domestic as well as from overseas. Certain areas of the City were home to well-established ‘stranger’ communities, and these locales were sometimes the focus of xenophobic hostility. In most instances, however, strangers made an active contribution to the economic and cultural life of the City. Strangers, or ‘aliens’, in the terminology of the time, were therefore a reality on the streets as well as being figures available for cultural representation. My talk will explore the cultural significance of strangers in the seventeenth-century London, focusing on civic pageantry. These civic triumphs presented strangers in complex ways: as industrious, quasi-naturalised citizens, as grateful refugees, and as foreign exotics. Such representations were sensitive to state policy, and my talk will also address the portrayal of Protestant migrants from the Low Countries compared to that of Catholic nations such as Spain.
About the Speaker:
Dr Tracey Hill is Associate Professor of Early Modern Literature & Culture at Bath Spa University. She specialises in the cultural history of early modern London, especially civic pageantry. Her publications include two books – Pageantry and Power: a cultural history of the early modern Lord Mayor’s Show, 1585-1639 (Manchester University Press 2010) and Anthony Munday and Civic Culture (Manchester University Press 2004) – and a number of articles in journals and edited collections. She is currently working on a book-length study of modes of spectatorship in Jacobean London.