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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

This thesis looks into domestic spaces and their associated practices as landscapes of social transformation and reproduction. In a patriarchal society, specifically that of Visigothic and Islamic Iberia, this means looking into women as agents. This thesis looks not only to put the focus into women and female-coded activities and spaces to understand how social changes can come about, but also to challenge traditional views on the creation of an Islamic society in Europe.

In order to do so, two main bodies of evidence will be under close study: domestic spaces and their spatial organisation, and domestic assemblages, which may inform us into practices such as textile production, cooking, infant care, hygiene, etc. A number of urban and rural sites from the 8th to the 11th centuries have been selected, all concentrated in southern Iberia, in order to show potential change across time and different socioeconomic backgrounds.

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