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Medieval Studies Workshop: Kristina Richardson and Lane Baker



Kristina Richardson (Associate Professor of History & Middle Eastern Studies, Queens College & Graduate Center, CUNY) and Lane Baker (PhD candidate in History, Stanford)


Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm


Zoom & Pigott Hall (Bldg. 260, Rm 252)

Medieval Studies Workshop: Kristina Richardson and Lane Baker

On March 30 at 2pm, we will discuss a pre-circulated paper by Lane Baker (History, Stanford), titled “Chronicling the Late Medieval Romani, 1410-1450.” Kristina Richardson (History, Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY) will serve as a respondent to Lane’s work to launch our discussion.

We will meet in person in room 252, with the possibility to join remotely via Zoom. Refreshments will be served outdoors after the event.

For access to the paper and to request the Zoom link, please write to Johannes at

Between 1410 and 1450, chroniclers across the Holy Roman Empire reported the arrival of previously unknown foreigners to their cities. They described the newcomers variously as religious pilgrims, traveling entertainers, professional thieves, or wandering Muslims. Their chronicles are among the earliest attempts by Germans to reckon with the ethnolinguistic group known to us as the Romani. In their efforts to make sense of Romani immigrants, German chroniclers laid the groundwork for antiziganism (prejudice against so-called “Gypsies”) in central Europe. This paper contributes to my larger dissertation project on the history of Romani immigrants in 15th-century central Europe. It attempts to gather, interpret, and compare every mention of the Romani in German chronicles written before 1450. Putting these chronicles in dialogue with each other, the paper aims not to present a factual history of Romani immigration, but to trace the origins of a distinctively “antiziganist” prejudice among the literate elites of the Holy Roman Empire. Material from this paper will likely form the basis of a dissertation chapter.