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Medieval Studies Program | Age, Disability, and Retirement in Later Medieval England

March 24 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

“Age, Disability, and Retirement in Later Medieval England”

Many post-modern people are shocked to learn that anyone lived to old age much less retired in the Middle Ages. Yet many people lived well past the most common age of retirement, 60 years old. Some medieval individuals retired early because of work-related disabilities. Other retired once age-related disabilities made continued work or community responsibilities impossible. This talk is about all of these things—ages and what they meant in medieval society, age-related disabilities and how those might change a person’s status in the community, and medieval retirement: what it looked like, and who might get to have one.

Wendy J. Turner is a professor of history at Augusta University. She is the author of numerous articles and a monograph: Care and Custody of the Mentally Ill, Incompetent, and Disabled in Medieval England (Brepols, 2013). The editor of four other books–on medieval trauma, premodern disabilities, law and medicine, and law and mental health–with two further edited volumes on malingering and madness near completion, Turner is also working on a second monograph on “Age-Related Disabilities.” In 2019, Turner held a Leverhulme Professorship at Swansea University in the UK. At Augusta University, she holds an affiliate professorship in the Center for Bioethics and Health Policy, is a former Fellow and now a board member in the Center for Social Science Research and current Fellow in the Institute of Public and Preventative Health. She serves now also the Special Assistant to the Dean of The Graduate School.

These events are sponsored by the Anonymous Fund with support from the Department of History.


March 24
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L150
800 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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