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Dr J. (Janna) Coomans

Post-doctoral researcher
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis

Visiting address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
Postal address
  • Postbus 1610
    1000 BP Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile


    Janna Coomans is an urban historian. 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 doc in the ERC-project “Healthscaping Urban Europe”, and currently works on the VENI (Dutch Research Council) project “Inflammable cities: how fire risks transformed the Low Countries, 1250-1600”. From april 2022, she is Assistant Professor at Utrecht University



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

    Peer reviewed

    • '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, in production).
    • 2020. ‘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 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).
    Academia Premodern Healthscaping Website University Utrecht page
  • Publications


    • Coomans, J. (2021). Community, Urban Health and Environment in the Late Medieval Low Countries. (Cambridge studies in medieval life and thought. Fourth series; Vol. 119). Cambridge University Press. [details]



    • Coomans, J. (2019). ‘Food Offenders: Public Health and the Marketplace in the Late Medieval Low Countries. In Policing the Urban Environment in Premodern Europe (pp. 121-148). Amsterdam University Press.





    • Hermenault, L. G. G. (Author), Coomans, J. (Author), & van Wissen, L. (Developer). (2021). Ghent: Medieval Public Health Measures viewer. Web publication/site


    • Camphuijsen, F., & Coomans, J. (2014). De middeleeuwse stad en zijn varkens. Madoc, 28(3), 140-148. [details]


    • Coomans, J. (2020). Praemium Erasmianum Dissertation Prize.


    • Hermenault, L. (participant) & Coomans, J. (participant) (9-7-2021). Matter into Place, Ghent. Title paper: "Water Infrastructures and Public Works as Key Elements of an Economy of Movement in Ghent (XIVth-XVth centuries)" (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Hermenault, L. (organiser), Coomans, J. (organiser) & Digard, L. (organiser) (9-7-2021). Matter into Place, Ghent (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities