Spaces of Inequality in Urban Historiography from the Middle Ages – Socio-spatial Polarization as a Historical and Linguistical Differentiation Process

This PhD research project investigates spatial constructions in urban historiography from the 13th to the 15th century that depict and create social inequality. In this process and according to Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of the ‘social space’, the literary perception of urban spaces will be examined with reference to soundscapes and smellscapes, which are perceived very differently and can also be significant for the social stratification of the citizens. Furthermore, the literary production of social inequality of urban groups will be analysed. This kind of social inequality generation is reflected in designations of collectives, descriptions of action practices and of course also in urban spatial configurations. With these points of analysis, the project seeks both to offer relevant and recent research on spaces of inequality in modern cities and to provide a historical depth dimension – in accordance with the research program of the “Cluster of Excellence” – to reveal its roots.

Urban ROOTSDepiction of historic Cologne, Koelhoffsche Chronik, fol. 30, printed 1499 (source: Rheinisches Bildarchiv, public domain).

Project by Catharina Müller-Liedtke




Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions