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CfP: Historicism as a Polemical Concept in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 1890-1980

CfP: Historicism as a Polemical Concept in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 1890-1980

30-31 August 2018, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

On August 30 and 31, 2018 a conference “Historicism as a Polemical Concept in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 1890-1980” will take place at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. The conference is being convened by Herman Paul and Adriaan van Veldhuizen (Leiden University).

The aim is to discuss “historicism” as a polemical concept, asking: “What happens when “historicism” is studied not as a descriptive concept, but as an emotionally charged Kampfbegriff, as employed by a variety of authors in the humanities and social sciences from the 1890s until late into the twentieth century?”

Intellectual historians, cultural historians, historians of science, historians of religion, political historians, philosophers of history and others who are interested in historicism are invited to submit a paper.

Abstracts of 200-300 words are due by February 15 (this is an extended deadline!), 2018, and can be sent to Adriaan van Veldhuizen at a.p.van.veldhuizen@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

For further info, please see the conference website.


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Conference: Re-inventing Liberal Universalisms

Conference: Re-inventing Liberal Universalisms

26-27 February 2018, University of Greifswald

Liberalism, even when considered as a manifold and plural political ideology, is still widely regarded as having universal reach in its concepts and arguments. “Universal” here refers to the interweaving of abstract terms assuring continuity throughout fluctuating political agendas. Due to the important role of rationality in liberal anthropology, liberal arguments are also universal and comprehensive in claiming plausibility irrespective of linguistic, cultural or political borders. Still, from a rhetorical perspective, the tension between universal and context-bound claims has remained a constant challenge for liberalism.

Keynote by Prof. Michael Freeden (SOAS University of London and University of Oxford).

Organisers: Working Group Languages and Ideologies. COST Action CA 16211 RECAST: Reappraising Intellectual Debates on Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe, Concepta: International Research School in Conceptual History and Political Thought, Department of Political Science & Communication Studies, University of Greifswald

For further information, see the conference website.


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CfP: Locating the Ancient World in Early Modern Subversive Thought

CfP: Locating the Ancient World in Early Modern Subversive Thought

12-14 April 2018, Newcastle University

Dichotomies have long been used to define the intellectual developments of early modern Europe – reason and faith; authority and subversion; science and humanism; radicalism and tradition; heterodoxy and orthodoxy – with classical thought usually located on the side of tradition, a behemoth of learning which inhibited man’s reason and his ability to learn through observation. Such unilinear accounts of the progression to modernity have been subjected to increasingly numerous challenges in the last two decades, as scholars have sought to demonstrate that the ideas which drove Europe towards the Enlightenment were far more complex and multi-layered than suggested by the traditional narratives.

The aim of this conference to be held at Newcastle University is to expand on this revived appreciation of the classical influence in early modernity by looking specifically at the role played by the ancient world in that sphere from which it has most usually been excluded: subversive literature. The idea that the texts, philosophies, and exempla of the ancient world might have served as significant tools for those who sought to undermine and challenge political, religious and cultural authority stands in direct opposition to the traditional role assigned to the classics in this period. Emphasising an interdisciplinary approach, this conference will draw scholars together to build a coherent picture of how the classical tradition functioned as a tool for subversion, illuminating a previously neglected aspect of the ancient world in the early modern thought.

The keynote speakers will be Peter Harrison (University of Queensland) and Marianne Pade (Danish Academy at Rome).

We are inviting abstracts for papers of thirty minutes on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Ancient philosophical involvement in epistemological challenges to traditional understandings of knowledge and belief
  • Ancient theories of natural philosophy in the debates concerning God and the universe in both religion and science
  • The contribution of ancient texts to the arguments for natural religion, and against magic, miracles, and the supernatural
  • Classical rhetoric and literary forms as models for argumentation in subversive treatises, polemics, pamphlets, poetry, and other literary genres
  • Ancient religion in the construction of arguments in favour of toleration, and the establishment of a civil religion
  • The function of ancient examples in radical political ideologies, including republicanism, democracy, and theories of resistance and revolution
  • Classical scholarship as a tool for subversion, and print culture as a sphere facilitating this function of the classics

If you would like to offer a paper for the conference, please submit an abstract of 300 words to katherine.east@ncl.ac.uk by 9th February 2018.

For further information, see the website.


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CfP: Aesthetics and Poetics in the History of Political Thought – Cambridge Graduate Conference

CfP: Aesthetics and Poetics in the History of Political Thought

13 June 2018, Cambridge Graduate Conference in Political Thought and Intellectual History

The uneasy distinctions between poetics, aesthetics and politics raise many important issues for historians of political thought. Can we sharply distinguish political and aesthetic concerns throughout history? Are political theories always determined by the languages and conventions in which they are uttered? What relationship does material culture have to the history of political thought? Aiming to explore these and related questions, the organisers of the 11th Annual Cambridge Graduate Conference in Political Thought and Intellectual History, scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, 2018, invite submissions for presentations on the theme ‘Aesthetics and Poetics in the History of Political Thought.’

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • the politics of language
  • theories and nature of representation
  • histories of metaphor
  • gender, aesthetics and the political
  • the politics of art and architecture
  • conceptions of imagination and judgment
  • rhetorical strategies in the history of political thought
  • political thought and literature
  • material culture and political thought
  • the politics of cultural practice and exchange
  • national aesthetics
  • collecting and collections
  • authorial self-representation
  • histories of the book
  • illustrations, figures and the aesthetics of textuality

Interested graduate students are asked to send an abstract (max. 500 words) for a 20-minute presentation and a short CV (max. 2 pages) to ptihconf@hermes.cam.ac.uk.

The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2018.

For additional information, please visit the conference website.


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Hume Scholar Facebook and Twitter Pages

Resource: Hume Scholar Facebook and Twitter Pages

Hume Scholar is a Facebook and Twitter page dedicated to research about David Hume, the Scottish Enlightenment and related themes. It publicises information about new papers and books, call for abstracts and papers, book reviews, etc. We invite scholars and students to share with Hume Scholar all news and materials relevant to people interested in the research area it covers.

See our Facebook and Twitter pages.


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CfP: Ideas of Poverty in the Age of Enlightenment

CfP: Ideas of Poverty in the Age of Enlightenment

5-6 September 2018, King’s College London

Although the Age of Enlightenment saw the development of radically new approaches to the study of society and politics, our current understanding is that the existence of poverty was rarely problematized by eighteenth-century thinkers – notwithstanding that ‘the poor’ made up the vast majority of Europe’s population. This picture only changed in the transformative decade of the 1790s. This conference aims to bring together historians with a wide range of geographical and theoretical expertise to re-examine the ways in which poverty was conceptualised in the social, political and religious discourses of eighteenth-century Europe. It will explore the ways in which the theme of poverty played an important role in critical debates, such as those about sovereignty and representation, public and private charity, as well as crime and punishment.

The idea for the conference was prompted by a sense that the conceptualization of poverty in the eighteenth century was much stranger than might currently be imagined. There appears to have been little sense before the 1790s, for example, that poverty had deeper environmental causes, or on the other hand that it might be the root cause of other afflictions like disease, crime and war. We would like to explore ideas about poverty in the period from a range of methodological perspectives, including intellectual, cultural, social, political, and economic ones. Among the questions that might be addressed are: How far did paternalist assumptions subsume all thinking about ‘the poor’ before the 1790s? Did the political thought of the enlightenment reinforce or undermine those assumptions? How did attitudes to poverty vary in the different states of Europe and how did they change in the period? Why and how did governments and men and women of letters begin to address poverty as a social problem in the 1790s? We would like to invite abstracts for papers of 20 minutes on topics relating to the conference theme.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short biographical note should be directed to both Niall O’Flaherty (niall.o’flaherty@kcl.ac.uk) and Robin Mills (robin.mills@ucl.ac.uk) by 28 February 2018.

Supported by Kings College London Faculty of Humanities Research Grant, the Centre for Enlightenment Studies (KCL), the Royal Historical Society, University College London History Department Events Fund, Kings College London Department of History Research Fund.


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Volume 38 (2017) of Grotiana Now Available

Volume 38 (2017) of Grotiana Now Available

Brill Online

Volume 38 (2017) of Grotiana is now available. Grotiana appears under the auspices of the Grotiana Foundation. The journal’s leading objective is the furtherance of the Grotian tradition. It welcomes any relevant contribution to a better understanding of Grotius’ life and works. At the same time close attention will be paid to Grotius’ relevance for present-day thinking about world problems. Grotiana therefore intends to be a forum for exchanges concerning the philosophical, ethical and legal fundamentals of the search for an international order.

For details, please visit Grotiana’s website.


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Job: Assistant Professor in Philosophy

Job: Assistant Professor in Philosophy

Concordia University, Montréal

The Department is seeking an outstanding historian of philosophy, engaged in innovative and potentially ground-breaking research within the timespan from the Early Modern period to the Enlightenment, into the 19th century (ca. 1500-1900) – a historian whose research will advance departmental work in the intersection of philosophy of the sciences, philosophy of values, and/or philosophy of human identity and difference. The department has a special interest in hiring someone specializing in the philosophy of Kant. AOS must include Kant, or a figure or topic within this timespan; AOC is open. We are seeking a scholar who complements our research expertise, which extends across a spectrum of work in analytic philosophy, history of philosophy, and continental philosophy; and a strong teacher who will contribute to our teaching strengths, be active in our graduate program, and be capable of developing and renewing our curriculum.

Applications Due: 31 January 2018

For more info, please see the job advertisement.


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CfP: 9th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought

CfP: 9th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought

28-29 June 2018, London

We are delighted to announce the Call for Papers for the 9th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought. The conference keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Rachel Hammersley (Newcastle) and the deadline for submission is the 16th of March 2018, at 23:59 GMT.

Submissions Due: 16 March 2018

For more info, please see the conference website.


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Jobs: Two Tenure-Track Assistant Professors in European Political History

Jobs: Two Tenure-Track Assistant Professors in European Political History

Utrecht University

We’re hiring! More specifically we are looking to appoint two tenure-track assistant professors in European political history, which includes the history of political thought. Successful candidates will be able to join an internationally-oriented departement within easy commuting distance from Amsterdam. And the best part is that we give tenure after only one (!) year. Spread the news! Please note that the application deadlines are coming up soon (1 January and 5 January).

Deadlines: 1 & 5 January 2018

For more information, please see the job advertisement.


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