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.

Please note that it is possible to limit this news feed by clicking on ‘Select Category’ below.

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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International Workshop on Grotius and His Place in the History of Moral and Political Philosophy

International Workshop on Grotius and His Place in the History of Moral and Political Philosophy

5-6 April 2017, Institute of Philosophy in Leuven

You are kindly invited to the international workshop on Grotius and His Place in the History of Moral and Political Philosophy, which shall take place at the Institute of Philosophy in Leuven (Belgium) on 5 and 6 April 2017 with the kind support of the FWO (Research Foundation – Flanders) and the Fonds Joseph Van de Wiele. The keynote lecture will be delivered by Dr Annabel Brett (Cambridge).

Please register with Erik De Bom (Erik.DeBom@kuleuven.be) or Johan Olsthoorn (Johan.Olsthoorn@kuleuven.be).

The full program can be found on the website.


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CFP: Republicanism in the History of Political Philosophy and Today

CFP: Republicanism in the History of Political Philosophy and Today (3rd Biennial Ideas in Politics Conference)

3-4 November 2017, Charles University, Prague

Hosted by the Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, the School of International Relations and Diplomacy, and the Anglo-American University Center for Political Philosophy, Ethics and Religion at Charles University, Prague. The current surge of political populism across the Western world may be interpreted not only as a sign of the collapse of the post-Cold War (neo-)liberal consensus but also as a symptom of a deeper crisis of representative democracy itself. This development invites us as political theorists and historians of political thought alike to reflect upon the intellectual foundations of liberal democracy as well as various alternative conceptualizations of free and self-governing political regime including the important, albeit for a long time somewhat neglected, tradition of republican political thought.

The conference is open to researchers from the fields of political philosophy, political theory, intellectual history and other related disciplines.

We invite proposals of individual papers as well as panels (comprising of 3-4 papers) on the following broadly defined topics:

  • Historical roots and development of the republican tradition
  • The impact of the republican tradition on modern democracies
  • Variety of forms of current (neo-)republican political theory
  • Republicanism as an alternative to the prevailing liberal account of democracies
  • Constitutionalism, citizenship and political participation
  • Republican ideas and European integration

Keynote speakers: Richard Bellamy (University College London); Christopher Kelly (Boston College); Philip Pettit (Princeton University).

Paper abstracts and panel proposals of 500 words should be submitted by June 10th, 2017. For further information and submission guidelines please see the conference website.

Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Acta Politologica – a peer reviewed journal published by the Institute of Political Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University.

For more information, please see the conference website.


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Conference: Virtù, Stato, Sovranità. Political Thought in Italy c. 1300-c.1800

Virtù, Stato, Sovranità. Political Thought in Italy c. 1300-c.1800

20 June 2017, Christ’s College, Cambridge

A major conference on this subject will take place in Christ’s College, Cambridge on 20 June 2017 (9.30 am-6.45 pm). The participants include Melissa Calaresu, Serena Ferente, James Hankins, Jill Kraye, Giorgio Lizzul, John Robertson, Quentin Skinner, Peter Stacey, Nicolas Stone Villani, Filippo de Vivo, and Felix Waldmann. The conference has been generously funded by The Cambridge Italian Research Network (CIRN); The Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge; Christ’s College, Cambridge; and the George Macaulay Trevelyan Fund.

Please e-mail the conference convener, Felix Waldmann, to pre-register: few23@cam.ac.uk. A fee of £11.50 will be charged for afternoon tea.

For more information, see the conference website.


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2017 Charles Schmitt Prize Winning Essay

The International Society for Intellectual History is delighted to announce that the 2017 Charles Schmitt Prize has been awarded to Mark Thomas Young of the University of Bergen, Norway, for his essay, ‘Enchanting Automata: Wilkins and the Wonder of Workmanship’. This year’s competition received a good range of high-qualities entries, so the judges would like to commend Mark Thomas Young on his essay. 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. The paper awarded the prize will also be published in the Intellectual History Review.

For more info, please see the Charles Schmitt Prize.


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CFP: Fractured States: Eighth Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought

CFP: Fractured States: Eighth Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought

29-30 June 2017, University College London

Announcing the Call for Papers for the 8th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought. The conference keynote address will be delivered by Annabel Brett (Cambridge), and the closing roundtable features Valentina Arena (UCL), Richard Bourke (QMUL), Nicola Miller (UCL) and Quentin Skinner (QMUL). The deadline for submission is the 28 February 2017, and successful applicants will be notified by 31 March 2017.

For further info, please click here or visit us on Facebook.


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CFP: Rethinking Crisis

CFP: Rethinking Crisis, Early Career Conference (Crisis, extremes and Apocalypse Research Network)

13-14 June 2017, University of Oxford

We live in tumultuous times. From the spread of the Islamic State to the prospect of technology running amok, the growth of social inequalities to the rejection of traditional political institutions alongside a populist resurgence, irrevocable ecological damage to the decline of established global order, talk of ‘crisis’ has become inescapable. The concept of ‘crisis’ has a long history starting with the Greeks for whom it spelled the moment of decisive resolution up to modern day paralysis. The euphoria of progress, we are told, has given way to uncertainty and anguish. Crisis, in the words of French philosopher Myriam Revault D’Allones, has emerged as the ‘absolute metaphor of the contemporary age.’

And yet, is crisis really so emblematic of late modernity? Does it necessarily paralyze? Is there a connection between crisis and progress or is the common association of these two concepts simply abusive? What have been the various manifestations as well as conceptual deployments of crisis over time and what do they reveal about their age? What remedies and measures does identifying a situation as a crisis provide? On the contrary, are there cultural logics for negating crises? Is crisis at all a useful or even, an unavoidable conceptual tool for grasping the world, or should we look for less dramatic vocabularies? What are the limits of crisis as a concept? Is the narrative of crisis in crisis itself? What does this imply for our self-understanding and our ability to make sense of the world? Can crisis, on the contrary, open up new horizons? How can the humanities contribute to a better understanding of the conceptions and circumstances of crisis?

The ‘Crisis, Extremes and Apocalypse’ Research network at TORCH, University of Oxford seeks to shed as many possible perspectives on the concept and topic of ‘Crisis’ as well as to approach it meta-critically and understand its various deployments. The aim of this two-day conference will be to pursue this trajectory by fostering new thinking on this ubiquitous concept.

We invite submissions from doctoral students as well as post-docs on a wide range of disciplines including but not limited to history, intellectual history/history of ideas, history of science, history of art, history of music, philosophy, history of philosophy, political thought/political theory, history of political thought, literature, and cultural studies from the early modern period onwards.

Originality of thought and approach as well as interdisciplinarity are particularly encouraged.

The conference will take place on 13 and 14 June 2017 at the TORCH Radcliffe Humanities building in Oxford and will be featuring Professor Simon Glendinning (LSE) as keynote speaker.

Abstracts should not exceed 350 words (for a 20-minute presentation) and should be sent to rethinkingcrisis@yahoo.com by Friday 14 April 2017. They should be accompanied by a short CV (max. 2 pages).

Unfortunately, we regret that we cannot cover travel or accommodation costs.

More info on can be found here and on Facebook.


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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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