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Deviance and Non-Conformity (HI266)

Module Convenor: Professor Penny Roberts (


Societies are identified, at least in part, by whom they choose to marginalise or to victimise. This second-year undergraduate module will focus on the experience of minorities and other marginal groups in Europe between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. It will explore how and why certain groups came to be persecuted by pre-modern society because of differences in appearance, behaviour, religion, sexuality or lifestyle. Through the study of these groups students will be able to develop a critical appreciation of the social mores and values of pre-modern European society, and to acquire the analytical skills to interrogate their subject. The module will be structured around a series of case studies in order to test established hypotheses about exclusion, prejudice and scapegoating. An engagement with historiographical debates and primary sources will form a central component of the module.