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 new Announcement Submission Form. Alternatively, you may download a PDF version of the form and return it by e-mail.

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NEH Summer Seminar: The Formation and Re-formation of the Book: 1450-1650

NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers: The Formation and Re-formation of the Book: 1450-1650

18 June – 15 July 2017, Huntington Library

John N. King of the Ohio State University and Mark Rankin of James Madison University will direct a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on continuity and change in the production, dissemination, and reading of Western European books during the 200 years following the advent of printing with movable type. In particular, they plan to pose the governing question of whether the advent of printing was a necessary precondition for the Protestant Reformation. Participants will consider ways in which adherents of different religious faiths shared common ground in exploiting elements such as book layout, typography, illustration, and paratext (e.g., prefaces, glosses, and commentaries) in order to inspire reading, but also to restrict interpretation. Employing key methods of the History of the Book, our investigation will consider how the physical nature of books affected ways in which readers understood and assimilated their intellectual contents. This program is geared to meet the needs of teacher-scholars interested in the literary, political, or cultural history of the Renaissance and/or Reformation, the History of the Book, art history, women’s studies, religious studies, bibliography, print culture, library science (including rare book librarians), mass communication, literacy studies, and more.

This seminar will meet from 18 June until 15 July 2017 at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, one of the nation’s leading research and cultural centres. Among the Library’s 420,000 rare books and seven million manuscripts are major holdings in medieval manuscripts, books printed before 1501, Renaissance history and literature, maps, travel literature, and the history of science, medicine, and technology. The Huntington also boasts art galleries containing 650 paintings and 440 works of sculpture, as well as twelve botanical gardens containing 15,000 plant varieties.

Those eligible to apply include citizens of USA who are engaged in teaching at the college or university level and independent scholars who have received the terminal degree in their field (usually the Ph.D.). In addition, non-US citizens who have taught and lived in the USA for at least three years prior to March 2017 are eligible to apply. NEH will provide participants with a stipend of $3,300. Up to three spaces will be reserved for adjunct faculty.

The deadline for application is March 1, 2017. For further information, please contact rankinmc@jmu.edu.

Full details and application info are available here.


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CFP: The Making of the Humanities VI

CFP: The Making of the Humanities VI

28-30 September 2017, University of Oxford

The sixth conference on the history of the humanities, ‘The Making of the Humanities VI’, will take place at the University of Oxford, Humanities Division and Somerville College, UK, from 28 until 30 September 2017. The MoH conferences are organized by the Society for the History of the Humanities and bring together scholars and historians interested in the history of a wide variety of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, historiography, linguistics, literary studies, media studies, musicology, and philology, tracing these fields from their earliest developments to the modern day. We welcome panels and papers on any period or region. We are especially interested in work that compares scholarly practices across humanities disciplines and civilizations.

Keynote Speakers: Elisabeth Décultot, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: “From an Antiquarian to an Historical Approach? The Birth of Art History in the 18th Century”; Shamir Jeppie, University of Cape Town: “Styles of Writing History in Timbuktu and the Sahara/Sahel”; Peter Mandler, University of Cambridge: “The Rise (and Fall?) of the Humanities”

Paper Submissions:
Abstracts of single papers (30 minutes including discussion) should contain the name of the speaker, full contact address (including email address), the title and a summary of the paper of maximally 250 words. The deadline for abstracts is 15 April 2017. Notification of acceptance: June 2017.

Panel Submissions:

Panels last 1.5 to 2 hours and can consist of 3-4 papers and possibly a commentary on a coherent theme including discussion. Panel proposals should contain respectively the name of the chair, the names of the speakers and commentator, full contact addresses (including email addresses), the title of the panel, a short (150 words) description of the panel’s content and for each paper an abstract of maximally 250 words. The deadline for panel proposals is 15 April 2017. Notification of acceptance: June 2017.

For more info and to submit abstracts, please click here.


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Workshop: Dartmouth History Institute in Intellectual History

Workshop: Dartmouth History Institute in Intellectual History

Seminar Dates: 11-15 June 2017

This summer (11-15 June 2017), Dartmouth College will inaugurate its first annual Dartmouth History Institute, a week-long summer history seminar. The theme will be European intellectual history from the seventeenth century to the present. Designed for graduate students and recent PhDs, participants will workshop a chapter or an article. The Institute will include a variety of special events (receptions, dinners, and lectures) to discuss theoretical and methodological issues in the company of senior scholars, including Professors Martin Jay (Berkeley), Samuel Moyn (Harvard), and Sophia Rosenfeld (Yale). All expenses covered.

Applications Due: 1 February 2017.

For more information, please see the website.


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CFP: Holism: Possibilities and Problems

CFP: Holism: Possibilities and Problems

8-10 September 2017, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex

We invite contributions from both established and emerging scholars and practitioners in a wide range of disciplines, including psychoanalysis, philosophy, politics, psychology, history, the arts, science, education, health care, architecture, and spirituality. This international, interdisciplinary conference will explore the possibilities and problems to which the concept of holism gives rise, both academically and in practice. Across many areas of contemporary culture we hear the concept of holism being invoked, as in holistic science, holistic spirituality, holistic healthcare, and holistic education. While there are different varieties of holism, each case implies a perspective in which the whole of a system is considered to be more important than the sum of its parts. Advocates of holism associate it with desirable qualities such as inclusion, integration, balance, and wider vision and champion it as a remedy for the fragmentation that is considered to beset the modern world. Critics argue that holism is vague, erases differences, and, by subordinating individual elements to a superior whole, ultimately leads to totalitarianism.

Key questions:

  • What are the varieties of holism?
  • What is the ‘whole’ to which holism refers?
  • Why does holism have such cultural salience at the present time?
  • Why does holism attract such strong positive and negative valuations?
  • How can we study holism at a requisite depth to determine its nature and ethical implications?
  • Where does a ‘whole’ begin and end?
  • What conceptions of difference are evident in the play between a whole and its elements?
  • What presuppositions about unity and identity may be implicit or explicit in holistic thought?
  • What processes, synthetic or otherwise, might be involved in the production of ‘wholes’?
  • What problems might the ‘balance’ of a ‘whole’ entail?
  • ‘One World’: Logical and Ethical implications of Holism: An exploration through the thought of C.G. Jung and Gilles Deleuze.

Confirmed speakers include: George Hogenson, Christian Kerslake, Harald Atmanspacher, Inna Semetsky, Joe Cambray, Joshua Ramey, Paul Bishop.

Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words to ckhmcm@essex.ac.uk by 17 February 2017. On one page please include title and abstract but no author details; on another page (of the same file) please include full name, title, address, email, and institutional or professional affiliation. Standard paper presentations will be for 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. Proposals for other formats such as panels, workshops, performances, and posters will also be considered. Decisions of acceptance will be communicated by Friday 17 March 2017.

For enquiries contact Christian McMillan at ckhmcm@essex.ac.uk. Part of ‘“One world”: logical and ethical implications of holism’, a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK.

For further information please see the conference website.


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CFP: Revisit Vegueta: “Messianism, Apocalyticism and the End of the World”

CFP: Revista Vegueta (Issue 17, 2017): “Messianism, Apocalyticism and the End of the World”

Submissions Due: 31 January 2017

This dossier of the journal Vegueta aims to collect contributions regarding messianism, Apocalypticism, and the end of the world. All three notions, which embrace the idea of Millenarianism, have evolved whether as a result of research conducted in the field of history or works from the history of thought or social movements. The current historical moment represents a new return of all these three notions, at least from the religious (connected to a variety of readings on some denominations), political (with the emergence of new political leaders who underscore their personality by embracing apocalyptical ideas) social (the crisis has triggered a whole new series of eschatological readings of the present in the face of new models and has set in motion social movements) literary (dwelling on the exhaustion of the great stories) philosophical (the fragmentation and widening of thinking into a sort of epistemic anarchism) perspectives not to mention the very dimension of the historical profession and its tools (where the academic model ends but a new one fails to emerge) and humanities at large. All these “returns” have prompted a reflection on the fact that messianism, apocalypticysm and the notion of end of the world can be identified in the world today and throughout history. We are therefore in a position to resume the reflections on these three topics in other chronological areas when they were also very central, like in the ancient age (which is when they came into being) the Middle Ages (when they were developed) and the Modern Age (when they were put into practice to a greater extent).

It is therefore our aim to reflect on the notions of messianism (whether in its Salvationist or Redemptorist sense), apocalyptycism (in the sense of situations or ideas that involve eschatological arguments) and the end of the world (in its dimension as a teleological prophecy pointing towards the destruction of the physical world). And we launch this space of work for the different areas of the field of history: ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary, as well as for other disciplines that have dealt with these issues, such as political science, philosophy, literature, anthropology, or any other natural science that is concerned with “endism”.
Therefore, we will welcome works that address the topic from either an empirical approach (based on theoretical groundings develo
ped into a practical instance), or a strictly conceptual approach (studying ideas in a historiographic or conceptual manner)

Through the dossier project we are presenting, we wish to provide a space to reflect on messianism, apocalypticism and the end of the world from a descriptive as well as an analytical point of view, theoretically as well as practically, asking ourselves what to make of these notions today, what their uses and meanings have been throughout history in different contexts and spaces and from a variety of perspectives. The dossier has a multidisciplinary approach and seeks to raise the interest of authors from the different historical areas as well as from a variety of disciplines (history of art, geography, political science, communication sciences, philosophy or anthropology). Our aim is to bring together a variety of approaches in order to stimulate a theoretical and practical reflection on the eschatological concepts, their meanings and uses throughout history at a time when we seem to discern a major change in our societies as shaped in the middle of the last century.

Authors should first send an abstract to the editor Israel Sanmartín at israel.sanmartin@usc.es. The deadline for the submission of final texts is 31 January 2017.

For further info, see the journal’s website.


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Hobbes Studies Essay Competition 2017

Hobbes Studies Essay Competition 2017

Submissions Due: 3 March 2017

Hobbes Studies is pleased to invite submissions to the 2017 Hobbes Studies Essay Competition. Submissions should treat the philosophical, political historical, literary, religious, or scientific aspects of the thought of Thomas Hobbes and be no more than 10,000 words. Essays are invited from researchers in any field who are currently enrolled in postgraduate study or completed their PhD no earlier than 3 March 2012. Submissions must be received by 3 March 2017. The judges reserve the right not to make an award.

All submissions should be uploaded to the journal’s Editorial Manager website: http://www.editorialmanager.com/hobs/default.aspx. When submitting your manuscript for consideration, please note in the comments box that you desire to be considered for the 2017 competition (immediately before uploading the files), and include your CV.

Submissions must follow Hobbes Studies submission guidelines. For questions, please email the Assistant Editor at hobbestudies@gmail.com. Essays must not have been previously published or simultaneously submitted for consideration elsewhere.

Submissions will be considered for publication in a forthcoming issue of Hobbes Studies. The winning essay will be awarded 350 euros, a year’s subscription to the journal and be published in Hobbes Studies.

You can also read the 2016 prize winning essay here.

For previous issues, and further info, see Hobbes Studies website.


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CFP: From Scotland to the South of the Mediterranean. The Thought of Adam Smith Through Europe and Beyond

CFP: From Scotland to the South of the Mediterranean. The Thought of Adam Smith Through Europe and Beyond

6-7 July 2017, University of Palermo

Adam Smith is one of those authors who has left a very profound sign in the history of ideas. Yet, the reception of Smithian ideas was not a unique and uniform process, equal for every country, rather it was shaped by different regional contexts. Smith’s works made entry through institutional, cultural, linguistic, religious, and political filters which were not neutral and these filters affected the reading, understanding and use of his works.

With reference to this perspective, the University of Palermo invites proposals for papers and/or sessions along the lines listed below or on others relevant to develop this prospective of inquiry.

The thematic directions suggested are:

  • Adam Smith, the Scottish Enlightenment and the European Enlightenment: similarities, differences in methods and analysis, influences, intellectual disagreements;
  • The intellectual link between Smith’s teaching and the development of a national style of economics in the various countries from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries;
  • The reception of Smithian thoughts in different religious frameworks: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish;
  • Smithian liberalism as an intellectual source of the liberal revolutionary phase that in the nineteenth century changed the political and economic face of Europe and the Mediterranean;
  • The works of Adam Smith: language, style, translations.

Scholars planning to participate should submit a 500-word abstract for a paper or a 1000-word abstract for a session to: fabrizio.simon@unipa.it and/or cristina.guccione@unipa.it by 8 January 2017.

For more information, please see the conference website.


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TORCH research network at Oxford: ‘Crisis, Extremes and Apocalypse’

humanities-logo-icon-200px_0_0TORCH research network at Oxford: ‘Crisis, Extremes and Apocalypse’

Research Project

The ‘Crisis, extremes and Apocalypse’ research network was created in September 2016 under the aegis of the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and aims to illuminate as many perspectives as possible on these themes via a year-long seminar series, workshops, high-profile speakers, a blog, and many more events! It brings together researchers and scholars from a wide range of disciplines and periods (from the early modern period onwards).

The Facebook page of the ‘Crisis, extremes and Apocalypse’ Research network finally up and running! Please like and share! Also, please do get in touch if you would like to get in involved, either by co-organizing events, doing interviews with scholars, etc! The network is interdisciplinary.

For further info, please see the TORCH website.


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Europe and the East: Self and Other in the History of the European Idea

CFP: Europe and the East: Self and Other in the History of the European Idea

14-16 June 2017, University of East Anglia

Throughout the centuries, Europe has constantly defined and imagined itself in opposition to or in conjunction with the East. From Montesquieu and Boulanger’s Oriental despotism to Marx’s Asiatic mode of production and twentieth-century fears of Soviet aggression, intellectuals, writers, and politicians have conceived of Europe as the place of liberty and progress in opposition to ‘its’ East. Edward Said (with a stronger focus on the Arab world), Maria Todorova (concentrating on the Balkans), and Larry Wolff, to name some of the most important scholars in the field, have investigated such othering processes and demonstrated their importance for notions of (Western) European superiority and dominance. As highlighted by Norman Davies with reference to Eastern Europe, such ideological creations and clichéd attitudes continued into the twentieth century, when during the Cold War Europe was once more identified with the free and ostensibly more advanced western half of the Continent.

To some extent, such notions have persisted beyond the fall of the Iron Curtain. Indeed, despite the Eastern enlargement of the European Union and increased exchange and interdependency, there still seems to be a lack of mutual understanding, preventing a true (re-)integration of Europe after decades of politico-ideological and socio-economic division. Even more recent histories of European thought and identity almost completely ignore Eastern European contributions and perspectives of intellectuals such as Comenius, Mickiewicz, Kossuth, Danilevsky, Masaryk, or Konrád. Moreover, in spite of the growing influence of Asian nations and the recent ‘Easternisation’ (Gideon Rachman) of international politics and trade, such an exclusively Western- or Euro-centric reading also still predominates our understanding of global history, and has only recently been challenged again by Peter Frankopan.

It is the aim of this international and inderdisciplinary conference, organised by the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe (University of East Anglia), to bring the ‘East’ back in, i.e. to shed light on its role and significance, as a geopolitical and geo-cultural notion, in defining discourses and images of Europe from the seventeenth century onwards.
Topics might include – but are by no means limited to:

  •  The eastern boundaries of Europe
  •  Eastern Europe – the east within?
  •  Europe in danger – the great Asian threat
  •  European freedom vs. Oriental despotism?
  •  European dynamism and the east as the ‘place’ of stillness  Europeanizing Russia and the Slav world
  •  Europe’s birth and re-birth: The Orient
  •  Reversing the gaze: Europe from the East

If you would like to present a paper (ca. 20 minutes), please send an abstract (max. 300 words and in English) with a title and a short biography by 15 January 2017 to Dr Matthew D’Auria m.dauria@uea.ac.uk or to Dr Jan Vermeiren j.vermeiren@uea.ac.uk. Please note that the working language will be English. There will be no fees for participating. Limited funding is available, although preference will be given to non-tenured scholars.

Deadline: 15 January 2017.


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CFP: Scientiae 2017

CFP: Scientiae 2017

University of Padua, 19-22 April 2017

The major premise of this conference series is that knowledge during this period was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of theories, practices and objects, which had yet to be separated into their modern ‘scientific’ configurations. Although centred on attempts to understand and control the natural world, Scientiae addresses natural philosophy, natural history, and the scientiae mixtae within a widerange of related fields, including but not restricted to Biblical exegesis, medicine, artisan practice and theory, logic, humanism, alchemy, magic, witchcraft, demonology, divinatory practices, astronomy, astrology, music, antiquarianism, experimentation and commerce. This year attention is especially given to the history of early modern knowledge and erudition, the history of universities, particularly though not exclusively the history of the university of Padua, as well as the history of the book and the history of political thought.

Please email your 250-word abstract, together with a one-page CV to scientiaepadua@gmail.com. The deadline is 15 December 2016. We shall be notifying the selection outcome by 15 January.

Our Keynote Speakers will be Paula Findlen (Stanford), Claire Preston (QM London), and Antonio Clericuzio (Roma Tre).

For more info, please see the Scientiae Website.


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