Seminar: ‘Manhood, Learning and Legal Authority at England’s Medieval Inns of Court’, Amanda McVitty

As the nexus of education and advancement in the common law, the medieval Inns of Court were vibrant and sometimes unruly places. Students and seasoned practitioners lived there together, learning the law and cultivating careers but also dining, drinking and carousing with their fellows. The enduring influence of the Inns on English legal culture is well attested. However, research has yet to examine the implications of their gendered history as all-male establishments. This seminar examines the ways common law was generated and reproduced as a masculine form of knowledge and authority through the social, spatial and intellectual practices of the Inns. It then explores the ways this authority was made publicly legible through embodied performances of manhood in the theatre of royal justice.

Amanda McVitty is a Lecturer in History at Massey University. Her research focuses on gender, authority and identity in late medieval English and Anglo-French legal and political culture. Her 2016 PhD thesis, ‘Treason, Manhood and the English State,’ was awarded the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize by the Canadian Society of Medievalists.

 Venue:            Old Kirk 406 (F L Wood Seminar Room)

Date:               Friday, 1 June 2018

Time:              12:10pm to 1:30pm

For more information: Contact Dr Cybèle Locke (; 04 463 6774).