Saturday, July 09, 2011

International Medieval Congress to examine disabilities, deserving and undeserving poor, in the Middle Ages

More than 1,600 experts on the Middle Ages will gather next week at the International Medieval Congress to be held at the University of Leeds. The academic conference is the biggest of its kind in the UK, and the largest medieval themed conference in Europe. On Monday academics will discuss the problems medieval authorities had in distributing welfare to the disabled, and the lessons that we can draw from this in the light of Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’.

The British Government’s Welfare Reform Bill, due for its second reading at the House of Lords later this month, attempts to redraw the boundary between those deserving and undeserving of state support. Disability being scrutinised is nothing new, and similar debates happened in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries.

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