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Mikel Herran Subinas

Archaeology, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Gender, social change and religion: Islamicisation and the transforming lives of women in Early Medieval Iberia

My research explores how discourses around gender, and gendered practices, are crucial in understanding social change, particularly looking into the social and religious transformations that took place in Iberia in the Early Middle Ages after the Arab conquest. 

The formation of al-Andalus brought together a number of different traditions that interplayed between the eight and the tenth centuries. My research will focus on the survivals and changes that can be found within the domestic environment, focusing on spatial analysis and a study of the maintenance activities taking place within the household. Said activities carry gendered discourses around them, and although often they are disregarded, they are fundamental in the reproduction of society and in creating and sustaining interpersonal relationships. By focusing on gender, my research will be able to develop a more comprehensive understanding of socioreligious continuities and transformations. On the other hand, the attention into an Islamic society in Europe, and into Muslim women, will bring to the fore the relevance of agents that are often disregarded, and challenge assumptions that have broader implications in our current social climate.

Research Area

  • Archaeology


  • European Association of Archaeologists (5-8th September 2018) De-Orientalising Gender: (En)gendering an Archaeology of Islamicate Societies beyond Islam
  • International conference Art and Textile production in the medieval Mediterranean (25-27th September 2018): 'Por vivir en su vecindad': Fronteras textiles y lecturas arqueológicas en al-Andalus
  • European Association of Archaeologists (30th August-3rd September 2018):  Islamisation and Gender: Viewing Women and Female Activities in the Shaping of Society in al-Andalus

Public Engagement & Impact

  • The Islamic city in North Africa for UCL (forthcoming)
  • The Roman city in North Africa for UCL (forthcoming)
  • Conducted a youth involvement and archaeology workshop with the local community in Doha (Qatar).
  • Co-editor of an online Archaeology journal of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (2013-2019)

Other Research Interests

  • Gender studies
  • Public engagement and outreach
  • Queer theory
  • Creative engagement