Strangers and aliens: immigrants in early modern London

Hill, T (2016) Strangers and aliens: immigrants in early modern London. In: Arts Public Lecture Series, 5 May 2016, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK.

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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.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)

Part of a public lecture series organised by University of Wolverhampton.

Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 16:05
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:43
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