Welcome to ISIH Announcements

Society updates and news of relevant publications, conferences, and events in the field of intellectual history will be announced here, as well as on our Facebook page.

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If you would like to advertise your intellectual history programme, seminar series, upcoming conference or any other related event on the ISIH Announcements page, please use our Announcement Submission Form. Alternatively, you may download a PDF version of the form and return it by e-mail.

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Arendt Studies on JSTOR

We are happy to share the news that Arendt Studies is included in JSTOR’s new ‘Lives of Literature’ collection and now available on both JSTOR and the Philosophy Documentation Center website:



As always, we welcome manuscript submissions and pitches for book reviews and review essays. Please see below for further info:


Happy reading!

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CFP: Modern Revolutions and the Idea of Europe

12th Annual Conference of the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe 

Athens 9 – 12 September 2021 

Call for Papers 

Revolutions and rebellions have been a constant feature of the history of the modern age. Examples abound from the “Glorious” and the “Industrial” to the French and the American Revolutions; from the Haitian to the Greek Revolution and the Revolutions of 1848; from the Russian Revolution to the Mexican, the Chinese and the Iranian Revolution; from the anti-colonial uprisings of the twentieth century to the “velvet”, “rose” and “orange” revolutions of the twenty-first century. As moments of rupture and radical change, revolutions accelerate historical time, challenge existing hierarchies and mark the advent of new social, political and cultural formations and constellations; they unite and divide. Revolutions also constitute critical processes for the reconfiguration of conceptions of Europe. Ideas about Europe can be discovered at the intersection of political discourses, structures of power, geopolitical perspectives and identity projects. The history of modern revolutions offers a prime opportunity to re-examine and re-think European historical realities and recover the making of ideas about Europe in the modern age; revolutions have been central to discussions about Europe’s pasts and futures, and have shaped the continent’s political and cultural heritage.  

The conference focuses on modern revolutions as social, political, cultural and intellectual events, and as transformative processes. It turns a critical eye on the conceptualization of the term “revolution”. It investigates the evolving ideas, perceptions and images about Europe in the context of revolutionary politics. It explores how modern revolutions have affected discourses about Europe.  

The conference organizers invite papers that shed new light on visions and ideas of Europe addressing, but not limited to, the following topics : 

  • Revolutionary ideas, connections and networks across national, imperial and international borders 
  • The concept of “revolution”, “rebellion” and its uses  
  • Circulation, transfer and appropriation of revolutionary projects and the dynamics of socio-political change in Europe, and beyond 
  • The history of European revolutionary and counter-revolutionary thought in a transnational and global perspective  
  • Revolutionary languages and rhetoric, and visions of Europe 
  • Revolutionaries, intellectuals, exiles, men and women at the crossroads of European and non-European Revolutions 
  • Revolutions and the making of European and International Orders 
  • Revolutions as a core feature of European identity  
  • Revolutions and European states of emergency  
  • Anticolonial and postcolonial thought, revolutionary visions and perceptions of Europe from across the globe  

The themes listed above are examples and by no means limited to the exclusion of others.  

On the occasion of the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, the conference will also host a special roundtable on the Greek Revolution and the Idea of Europe. 

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professors Annelien De Dijn (Utrecht University) and Balázs Trencsényi (Central European University  

If you would like to present a paper (15 minutes) or organize a panel (3/4 speakers), please send a 300-word abstract (in case of a panel, this should be per paper) with a title and a short biography by 28 February 2021 to europerevolutions@gmail.com. Please note that the working language of the conference is English.  

The conference has no registration fees. We aim to provide accommodation for up to 3 nights to a limited number of participants who cannot benefit from the financial support from their institution. Interested applicants should state this clearly in their paper proposals.  

In the event of the imposition of COVID-related restrictions alternative arrangements will be explored 


University of the Peloponnese, École Française d’Athènes (EFA), Institut für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie/Centrum Modernes Griechenland (CeMoG), Freie Universität Berlin, Hellenic Open University (Public History MA program), Institute for the Study of Ideas of Europe (ISIE), University of East Anglia.  

Conference Scientific Committee 

Tassos Anastassiadis (EFA/McGill University), Matthew D’ Auria (University of East Anglia), Fernanda Gallo (Cambridge University), Efi Gazi (University of the Peloponnese), Georgios Giannakopoulos (Academy of Athens Postdoc/King’s College London), Kate Papari (University of the Peloponnese, Freie Universität, Hellenic Open University Press), Miltos Pechlivanos (Freie Universitӓt), Peter Pichler (Karl-Franzens University Graz), Jan Vermeiren (University of East Anglia). 

Local Organizing Committee 

Efi Gazi, Georgios Giannakopoulos, Kostis Gotsinas, Kate Papari  

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VivaMente Conference in the History of Ideas 2020

The Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance (CSMBR) is proud to present the “VivaMente Conference 2020” animated programme. The theme for this year is ‘Medicine in the Philosophy of Descartes’. Join in person or online* on the 19-20 November!

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF MEDICINE AND THE BODY IN THE RENAISSANCE Institutio  Santoriana - Fondazione Comel (Pisa) | Centre for the Study of Medicine and  the Body in the Renaissance (CSMBR) -

The animated conference programme is available here.

For a PDF of the conference programme, click here.

*Remote access to the conference will be granted upon request and is subject to the payment of a small fee.

For further information visit: csmbr.fondazionecomel.pisa
or reach out to info@csmbr.fondazionecomel.org

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Thomas Ahnert appointed editor of Intellectual History Review

Thomas Ahnert

We are delighted to announce that Thomas Ahnert has been appointed editor of Intellectual History Review, in place of Stephen Clucas, who was one of the founding editors of the journal. 

Sarah Hutton, President of the ISIH, says, “On behalf of ISIH I would like to thank Stephen for his work on the journal. He has played a key role in helping to establish the journal after its launch in 2007 and in developing it to become a leader in the field.”

Thomas Ahnert is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Edinburgh. He has published mainly on German and British, in particular Scottish, intellectual history from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. His first monograph was a study of the jurist and philosopher Christian Thomasius, Religion and the Origins of the German Enlightenment. Faith and the Reform of Learning in the Thought of Christian Thomasius (2006). This was followed in 2014 by a book on The Moral Culture of the Scottish Enlightenment, 1690 – 1805.

With the late Susan Manning he co-edited a volume of essays on Character, Self and Sociability in the Scottish Enlightenment (2011), which was a product of a collaborative research project, directed by Susan Manning and Nicholas Phillipson, on the Science of Man in the Scottish Enlightenment. He has also translated and edited several seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century texts on natural law, including Thomasius’s Institutes of Divine Jurisprudence, with Selections from Foundations of the Law of Nature and Nations (2011).

His current projects are a study of Newtonianism in the German lands from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, and a new history of the Scottish Enlightenment.

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Studi Lockiani CFP

Call for papers: “Occasionalism: Locke and His Contemporaries”

Studi Lockiani. Ricerche sull’età moderna. Volume 2, 2021.
Submission deadline: March 31, 2021.

The volume On occasionalism: Locke and His Contemporaries aims to present an innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous philosophical analysis of occasionalism in the Western philosophical tradition, in the early modern period and in John Locke’s time. Philosophers have wondered about the nature of causality since antiquity, but this volume intends to focus on the occasionalism of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, namely various forms of occasionalism and writers who have encountered the themes of occasionalism in their reflections and whose thoughts are intertwined with Locke’s works.

Studi Lockiani. Ricerche sull’età moderna invites interested scholars to contribute. In line with the spirit of the Journal, contributions are expected to provide a historical and theoretical analysis of the topic from different perspectives in order to shed new light on this major philosophical theme.

Papers should be submitted by 31 March 2021.  Articles can be written in English, Italian, or French.

For more information, please see the complete call: https://journal.edizioniets.com/index.php/studilockiani/announcement/view/10

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Sarah Hutton elected as President of the ISIH

The International Society for Intellectual History (ISIH) is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Hutton as its next President. She takes up the office as successor to Professor Michael Hunter, who served as President of the ISIH since October 2014. 

Sarah Hutton is Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York, and Professor Emeritus of Aberystwyth University. She studied at New Hall, Cambridge, and the Warburg Institute, University of London. The main focus of her research is in early modern intellectual history, where her interests extend from history of philosophy, to the history of science, the history of medicine, and seventeenth-century literature. She has long been interested in the Cambridge Platonists and has pioneered research on women in early modern philosophy and science. 

Her principal publications are British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century (OUP, 2015) and Anne Conway, a Woman Philosopher (CUP, 2004). Other publications include Women, Science and Medicine (with Lynette Hunter), Newton and Newtonianism (with James Force) (Kluwer, 2004), Studies on Locke (with Paul Schuurman) (Springer, 2008). She has also edited early modern texts: Richard Ward’s Life of Henry More (Kluwer, 2000), Ralph Cudworth, A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (CUP 1996), and The Conway Letters, a revised edition of Marjorie Nicolson’s 1930 original (OUP, 1992). 

She is a founding member of the editorial boards of The British Journal of the History of Philosophy and Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. She has served on the board of management of The Journal of the History of Philosophy and is advisor to such projects as Project Vox and New Narratives in the History of Philosophy. She was for 25 years director of International Archives of the History of Ideas.

Sarah Hutton says: “I am delighted to have been invited to be the President of ISIH. Having been associated with ISIH since its inception I have witnessed its development into the major international forum for Intellectual History that it is today. I look forward to building on the legacy of Constance Blackwell to emphasise the commitment of ISIH to the international and interdisciplinary pursuit of Intellectual History.”

The ISIH would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Professor Hunter for his distinguished service as President. The Society has flourished under Professor Hunter’s direction and we are very grateful that he has kindly agreed to continue to serve the ISIH on the Advisory Board.

For more on the Executive Committee, click here.

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By Professor Mark Goldie

Justin Champion, a leading scholar of the intellectual history of early modern Britain, died on 10 June, after facing six years of brain cancer with astonishing resilience. His historical avocations were varied. Early in his career he published on epidemics in London. He was a regular broadcaster on TV and radio, bringing history to wide audiences, as he also did when President of the Historical Association, the national ‘voice for history’. He received the Medlicott Medal for outstanding services to history. And he pioneered the Masters course in Public History at Royal Holloway College London, whose graduates fanned out into the media and heritage sectors.

As an intellectual historian Justin’s domain was the ‘crisis of Christianity’ that occurred in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He reprised Paul Hazard’s La Crise de la conscience Europeenne (1935) but transferred the scene of action from France to England. If the ready label is to call this period the Early Enlightenment, Justin belonged to the movement that insisted that it was no less the Late Reformation. As John Pocock urged, in England ‘enlightenment’ unfolded within Christian theology, ecclesiology, and ‘sacred history’. Justin published two books, three editions, and fifty essays. His doctoral thesis became Pillars of Priestcraft Shaken: The Church of England and its Enemies, 1660-1730 (1992), and his work on John Toland culminated in Republican Learning: John Toland and the Crisis of Christian Culture, 1696-1722 (2002). The people about whom he wrote are a group of English and Irish radicals, connected personally and intellectually, who published voluminously and recklessly against Christian orthodoxy between the 1650s (John Biddle the Socinian) and the 1720s (John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon’s journal The Independent Whig). They include Charles Blount, Anthony Collins, Benjamin Furly, Sir Robert Howard, Robert Molesworth, Walter Moyle, Matthew Tindal, and the third earl of Shaftesbury. But the towering figure is the freethinker, contrarian, and scholar-polemicist Toland.

If Justin was nurtured in the ‘Cambridge School’ (his doctoral thesis title was Pocockian: ‘The Ancient Constitution of the Christian Church’), he soon drew sustenance from a variety of new methodological influences afoot from the 1980s onwards. He was keen reader of Michel de Certeau; he investigated the material conditions of publication and clandestinity; reception and readership; book history; the circulation of manuscripts; the history of scholarship. He explained the character of the Republic of Letters. He accented less the philosophical content of ideas and more the shifting nature of cultural and textual authority. He provided not so much conceptual histories as social and cultural histories of ideas. He was interested in textual hermeneutics, the seventeenth-century development of biblical criticism, which exposed the extent of textual variation and the problem of canonicity. By around 1700 it came to seem to the heterodox that the church was constitutive of the Bible, not the Bible of the church. Yet he saw his radicals not as doctrinaire anti-Christians but as Socratic enablers, releasing people from the authority of priests; continuing the programme of ‘reformation’, purifying the church of the remnants of papistical priestcraft. His radicals were not, he argued, especially innovative in their scholarship, but were novel, and dangerous, in their polemical and demotic redeployment of arcane humanist and Reformation scholarship. Their crime was to make high scholarship, with its hermeneutic sense of the fragility of the textual transmission of sacred texts, available to wider audiences. Elite erudition became public property. Not least of the influences on Justin was Christopher Hill, a now often disregarded historian of popular radicalism. Justin was himself an anticlerical, and his work made for some ambivalence in the face of contemporary scholarship on the Enlightenment. At moments he could look like an unreconstructed historian of the mid-twentieth century, in the manner of Peter Gay – Enlightenment as the end of Christianity and the triumph of secularism; but equally he well understood, and participated, in the present current, which holds that God survived the Enlightenment, not least because the early Enlightenment radicals insisted that they were lay theologians within the Reformed tradition. On this view, the Enlightenment was (to borrow the title of Robert Ingram’s recent book) ‘Reformation without end’.

A phrase Justin once used of the scholar Richard Popkin, ‘erudite, witty, and wicked’, applies equally to Toland – and to Justin himself. Justin was a libertarian and a gadfly iconoclast. (Literally so: one of his last public lectures was an exuberant illustrated history of statue toppling and statue defacing.) He was a high-spirited and generous colleague, mentor, and friend. His final project, an edition of Thomas Hobbes’s late writings on religion, heresy, and church history will appear posthumously.

Mark Goldie, Churchill College, Cambridge, 1 July 2020, mag1010@cam.ac.uk

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2019 Charles Schmitt Prize Winner

2019 Charles Schmitt Prize Winner

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Charles Schmitt prize for 2019 is Jon Cooper of Stanford University, for his essay, ‘A Science of Concord: The Politics of Commercial Knowledge in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain’. The winning essay was recently published in Intellectual History Review.

The quality of top submissions was particularly high this year. So the panel of judges also wish to commend the runners up. They are Michelle Pfeffer for her essay, ‘Paganism, Natural Reason, and Immortality: Charles Blount and John Toland’s Histories of the Soul’; Hugo Bonin for his essay, ‘Between Panacea and Poison: “Democracy” in British Socialist Thought, 1881–1891’; and Paige Donaghy for her essay ‘False Conceptions and Wind Eggs’.

The prize is awarded on an annual basis in honour of the contribution of Charles B. Schmitt (1933-1986) to intellectual history. The recipient receives £250, plus £50 worth of Routledge books, and a year’s free membership of the ISIH with a subscription to the Society’s quarterly journal Intellectual History Review.

For more info, please see the Charles Schmitt Prize.

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PhD Studentship at Newcastle: ‘Intellectual Life at the Lit & Phil’

PhD Studentship at Newcastle: ‘Intellectual Life at the Lit & Phil’

Applications due: 23 February 2020

Newcastle University is pleased to advertise an AHRC-funded PhD studentship on ‘Intellectual Life at Newcastle’s Literary and Philosophical Society, 1793-1825’, to be held at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology of Newcastle University, in partnership with the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, from October 2020. The project is funded by a Collaborative Doctoral Award granted by the Northern Bridge Consortium – Doctoral Training Partnership. A summary is pasted below; more detail is available at here, and a person specification here.

Applicants must submit a CV and a cover letter summarising their research interests and expertise to Professor Federico Santangelo (federico.santangelo@ncl.ac.uk) by 4pm on Monday 23 February 2020.

Suitable candidates will be interviewed by a selection panel consisting of the prospective supervisory team. Informal queries are welcome. Thank you.

About the project:

Intellectual Life at Newcastle’s Literary and Philosophical Society, 1793-1825

This project focuses on a major, unique primary resource that has so far been largely overlooked: a body of archival material located in the collections of Newcastle upon Tyne’s Literary and Philosophical Society, dating from the years immediately following the Society’s foundation, 1793 to 1825. The aims of this project are, firstly, to catalogue the fully material so that it may become an accessible resource for scholars and other interested parties, and secondly, to bring out the significance of this archive’s contents to the intellectual culture and heritage of Newcastle, and beyond.

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CfP: The Devil 20/20

CfP: The Devil 20/20

12-14 November 2020, University of King’s College, Halifax

“The Devil 20/20” explores the nature, significance, and operation of demonism and demonization at all points in the western tradition. This conference will bring together scholars interested in the social construction of the devil and the impact of demonism across different chronological periods and from diverse methodological perspectives. It aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogue that addresses challenging questions about how notions of the demonic are shaped by cultural priorities and anxieties, by professional discerners and the media, and by discourses of fear and safety. “The Devil 20/20” will investigate why these images repeat throughout the ages and why they continue to have resonance in the modern world.

Submissions due: 15 April 2020 to: devil2020conference@gmail.com.

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  • #ISIH2020 Conference

    #ISIH2020 Conference

    #ISIH2020 (27-29 May, European University Institute), has been cancelled.