Dr. Janna Coomans

Economic and Social History
Assistant Professor
Medieval History

Janna Coomans is Assistant Professor at the department of Medieval History. Her research focuses on social history and public health in premodern cities. Her dissertation (cum laude) was published in 2021 as Community, Urban Health and Environment in the Late Medieval Low Countries (Cambridge University Press). Between 2018-2021, she was a post doctoral researcher in the ERC-project “Healthscaping Urban Europe”. She currently works on the VENI (Dutch Research Council) project “Inflammable cities: how fire risks transformed the Low Countries, 1250-1600”.





Monograph:  Community, Urban Health and Environment in the Late Medieval Low Countries (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Peer reviewed

  • 'Policing Itinerant Poor in the Northern Low Countries, 1450-1570: Making Vagrants', BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review 138 (2023): 2, 3-31.
  • 'The healthscaping approach: Toward a global history of early public health' (co-author: Guy Geltner), Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History (2023).
  • ‘Making Good and Breaking Bad: Materiality and Community in the Late Medieval Low Countries,’ English Historical Review (2022).
  • 'Public Works, Spatial Strategies, and Mobility in Late Medieval Ghent '(co-author: Léa Hermenault), Journal of Urban History (2022).
  • 'Up in Smoke: Fire Safety in the Low Countries, 1250-1550,’ in Inner City Dynamics: Transformations of the Spatial Structure and Appearance of Pre-modern European Towns, 1300-1800, edited by Jaap Evert Abrahamse and Heidi Deneweth (Turnhout: Brepols, 2022).
  • ‘Subsidie voor transitie: De stadsbrand van 1463 en het wederopbouwprogramma’ Silva 3:2 (2022).
  • ‘Politics of Movement: Exploring Passage Points in Responses to COVID-19 and the Plague in the Fifteenth-Century Netherlands,’ (co-author: Claire   Weeda), Journal for the History of Environment and Society (2020) 5, 79–89.
  • 2019. ‘The King of Dirt: Public Health and Sanitation in Late Medieval Ghent,’ Urban History 46, 82–105.
  • 2018. ‘Stratenmakers: Infrastructuur, gebuurten en het publiek belang in laatmiddeleeuws Gent,’ Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent, 127-164.
  • 2019. ‘Food Offenders: Public Health and the Marketplace in the Late Medieval Low Countries,’ in Policing the Urban Environment in Premodern Europe, edited by Carole Rawcliffe and Claire Weeda (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press), 121-148.
  • 2016. ‘Policing Female Food Vendors in the Late Medieval Netherlands,’ Yearbook of Women’s History 36, 97-113.
  • 2013. ‘On the Street and in the Bathhouse: Medieval Galenism in Action?’ (co-author: Guy Geltner), Anuario de Estudios Medievales 43, 53-82.

Academic publications

  • 2020. ‘Nette Welle: Stadsreiniging, onderhoud en burgerplicht in middeleeuws Deventer’ Deventer Jaarboek, 14-25.  
  • 2019. ‘De politiek van de vleeshal: Stad, gilde, product en prestige in de Nederlanden (1280-1600),’ Leidschrift 34.2.
  • 2018. ‘De stromende stad: Publieke gezondheid in de middeleeuwse Lage Landen’ Madoc 32, 158-162.
  • 2015. ‘De middeleeuwse stad en zijn varkens’ (co-author: Frans Camphuijsen), Madoc 28, 140-149.
  • 2014. ‘Hoe vies waren de Middeleeuwen? Baden in een middeleeuwse stad,’ Geschiedenis Magazine 2, 45-49. 

Grants, fellowships and awards

  • 2020. NWO VENI grant, Project: (In)flammable Cities: Rethinking Crisis, Resilience and Community in the Low Countries (1200-1650).
  • 2020. Praemium Erasmianum Dissertation Prize.
  • 2019. Pro Civitate Dissertation Prize, The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium (KVAB).
  • 2019. Dissertation Prize, Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (UvA).