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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  • News Categories

Conference: Erudition, Antiquity, and The Enlightenment in Rome, c.1600-c.1800

Conference: Erudition, Antiquity, and The Enlightenment in Rome, c.1600-c.1800

7 June 2018, St John’s College, Cambridge

The principal objective of the conference is to examine the connections between erudition, antiquity, and the Enlightenment in early-modern Rome. It takes place at a propitious moment, as a series of notable recent studies have shown how erudition informed many significant intellectual transformations in this period: the proto-anthropology associated with the age of exploration; the destabilization of the Biblical text; the florescence of political thought in the wake of the Thirty Years’ War; and the emergence of textual ‘diplomatics’ and the state-administered archive.

Although the Catholic world remained at the forefront of erudition throughout the period, this fact is only now being given the acknowledgement it deserves, in place of the assumption – often unconsciously drawn from contemporary Protestant polemic – that Catholic scholarship was intellectually misguided. By bringing together eminent and rising names in the field, the conference will provide an opportunity for reflection on how Rome can be fitted within this new scholarly landscape particularly as it relates to four developments: the status of erudition in the ‘Age of Confessions’; the role of the erudite ‘Republic of Letters’ in fostering pan-European bonds of intellectual exchange; the intrusions of government censorship on scholarly practices; and the place of erudition in the emergence of the European Enlightenment.

Participants include Alexander Bevilacqua, Piet van Boxel, Maria Pia Donato, Theo Dunkelgrün, Jan Machielsen, Kirsten Macfarlane, Scott Mandelbrote, Timothy Twining, John Robertson, Daniel Stolzenberg, Felix Waldmann, and Joanna Weinberg.

Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required.

The conference has been generously supported by the Trevelyan and Lightfoot Funds (History Faculty, Cambridge), Christ’s College, Cambridge, and St John’s College, Cambridge.

Please use RSVP by e-mail to few23@cam.ac.uk.


Posted in Conferences and Workshops | Comments closed

Constance Blackwell (1934-2018)

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Constance Blackwell on 29 March 2018. Constance’s enthusiasm for the study of early modern philosophy (especially the late scholastic writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) was undiminished right up to the moment of her final illness. Constance played a key role in fostering the study of intellectual history, setting up the Foundation for Intellectual History in 1994, and publishing a regular newsletter, Intellectual News, which featured contributions from many of the key figures in the field. Constance was an avid promotor of ambitious conferences which often resulted in associated publications:  Method and Order in the Renaissance Philosophy of Nature: The Aristotle Commentary Tradition(1997), Philosophy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Conversations with Aristotle (1999) and Late Medieval and Early Modern Corpuscular Matter Theories (2001), all bear witness to her efforts. The Foundation was later transformed into the International Society for Intellectual History, and the Intellectual News was replaced by Intellectual Historical Review in 2007. In 2016, Intellectual History Review published a Festschrift for Constance with essays by many of her colleagues on the theme of “Studies in Intellectual Historiography.” During the course of her career Constance published many articles on the scholastic authors that fascinated her, including Cajetano, Zimara, Pereira, Zabarella and Keckermann. She also worked intensively on Johann Jakob Brucker’s Historia Critica Philosophiae (1742-1744). Constance will be sadly missed, not only by her family, but also by her many friends and colleagues across the world.

Posted in Society Updates | Comments closed

The 7th London Summer School in Intellectual History

The 7th London Summer School in Intellectual History

4-7 September 2018, Queen Mary University of London

The London Summer School in Intellectual History is a rare opportunity for graduate students to acquire further training in the discipline and its different methodologies, as well as to meet a great number of academics and graduate students working in many different fields in intellectual history. Running from 4 to 7 September 2018, the 7th annual summer school will include:

  • Special workshops on methodological approaches to intellectual history
  • Masterclasses discussing texts distributed and read in advance
  • Feedback on current research (following brief student presentations)
  • Advice on writing and publishing
  • Discussion of newly published work in intellectual history

Applications are welcome from doctoral students in intellectual history and related disciplines (the history of philosophy, literature, politics, law and science, Classics) as well as MA/MSc students intending to conduct future research in this area.
London is now one of the international centres of research and teaching in the history of political thought and intellectual history with a dedicated graduate programme and year-round research seminars, conferences, and workshops. The Summer School, now in its seventh year, is run jointly by University College London (UCL) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). This year Keynote Lectures will be delivered by:

  • Professor Quentin Skinner (QMUL), on: “Interventions and ideologies: an approach to intellectual history”
  • Professor Barbara Taylor (QMUL) on: “Philosophical Solitude”

The discussions will be led by academics from the different branches of the University of London, other UK universities and from overseas. In past years these have included Richard Bourke, Katrina Forrester, Maurizio Isabella, Aline-Florence Manent, Mira Siegelberg, Quentin Skinner, Gareth Stedman Jones, Barbara Taylor, and Georgios Varouxakis (QMUL); Hannah Dawson, Jeremy Jennings, and Niall O’Flaherty (KCL); Michael Lobban and Lea Ypi (LSE); Julia Ng (Goldsmiths); Valentina Arena, Angus Gowland, Julian Hoppit, Axel Körner, Miriam Leonard, Avi Lifschitz, and Nicola Miller (UCL). From outside the University of London, they have also included David Armitage (Harvard), Silvia Sebastiani (EHESS Paris), Arnault Skornicki (Université Paris Nanterre), Jérémie Barthas (CNRS, Lille), Anthony La Vopa (North Carolina), Ritchie Robertson (Oxford), Iain McDaniel and the late Donald Winch (Sussex), Richard Whatmore (St Andrews), Duncan Kelly (Cambridge), Felicity Green (Edinburgh), Liisi Keedus (York/Tallinn), Iain Hampsher-Monk (Exeter), Martin van Gelderen (Göttingen), Knud Haakonssen (Erfurt), Or Rosenboim (City University), and others.

Dates and fees: The event starts on Tuesday 4 September 2018 in the evening (5.00pm) and ends in the early afternoon (4.00pm) on Friday 7 September 2018. It will take place at the Queen Mary campus in Mile End, London. Participants are required to contribute £185, which covers tuition, lunches, two dinners (5th and 6th September) and a reception on the first evening. In addition, those who need accommodation in central London can book a reserved room in one of the QMUL Halls of Residence from £53.10 (£44.25 plus VAT) per night.

How to apply: Please send a CV and a brief abstract of current or future research (up to 200 words) to Vanessa Lim at: v.y.lim@qmul.ac.uk. The deadline for applications is Friday 15 June 2018.

For updates on the Summer School, please click here.


Posted in Events, Postgraduate Course, Society Updates | Comments closed

Conference: The History of Political Thought in the Age of Ideologies, 1789-1989

Conference: The History of Political Thought in the Age of Ideologies, 1789-1989

31 May-1 June 2018, Queen Mary University of London

Historians of political ideas since the late 1960s have advocated focussing on authorial intentions instead of tracing the progress of “unit ideas” or the transmission of disembodied concepts. Yet historical practice has not always followed methodological injunctions. Nowhere is this more the case than in the period following the French Revolution. Capacious political movements are assumed to dominate the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, giving rise to a procession of abstract ideologies. Yet is it plausible to think of the era as inhabited by such continuous “discourses”, let alone as being characterised in terms of a clash between them? This conference is intended to probe the durability of ideas that are standardly assumed to traverse the ages while sustaining the integrity of their meaning.

The conference also aims to examine how the epoch is generally presented. In what sense can the period be described as an “age of ideologies” if it’s constitutive doctrines are disassembled into a succession of speech-acts? In 1982 Karl Dietrich Bracher described the twentieth century as a “Zeit der Ideologien”. Yet this conception already had interesting precedents by the time he wrote, having been applied to the nineteenth century by Reinhart Koselleck in 1959. Koselleck’s depiction has a longer pedigree still, looking back to nineteenth century accounts of the legacy of the enlightenment. Thus, in the wake of the French Revolution, the idea emerged that an era of hostile ideologies had succeeded an older age of religious strife. In exploring how we might best write the history of political thought after 1789, this conference will examine common depictions of the period as living in the shadow of revolutionary upheaval that unleashed an enduring contest between opposing principles.

The speakers at the conference include Peter Ghosh (Oxford), Niklas Olsen (Copenhagen), Greg Conti (Cambridge), Gareth Stedman Jones (QMUL), Emily Jones (Cambridge), Jennifer Pitts (Chicago), William Selinger (Harvard), Maurizio Isabella (QMUL), Stuart Jones (Manchester), Andrew Sartori (NYU), Eva Hausteiner (Bonn), Leslie Butler (Dartmouth), Georgios Varouxakis (QMUL), Duncan Kelly (Cambridge), Anne-Sophie Chambost (Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne), Rachel Hoffman (Cambridge), Quentin Skinner (QMUL), Udi Greenberg (Dartmouth), Julia Nicholls (KCL), and Richard Bourke (QMUL).

For further information or to register, please click here.


Posted in Conferences and Workshops | Comments closed

CfP: LECTIO Doctoral Seminar Jill Kraye

CfP: LECTIO Doctoral Seminar Jill Kraye

Seminar Date: 17 May 2018

Every year, LECTIO awards the LECTIO Chair to a renowned scholar specialized in one of the disciplines studied by LECTIO researchers. Holder of the 2018 LECTIO Chair is Prof. Jill Kraye (Warburg Institute). On Thursday 17 May 2018, she will give a doctoral seminar on “The Humanist as Philosopher and the Philosopher as Humanist”. The aim of this seminar is to explore the collaboration and cross-fertilization between Renaissance humanists and Renaissance philosophers. Although there was a rough division of labour between humanists and philosophers, the disciplinary borders between them were not as rigid as they have sometimes been portrayed in the past. When it came to examining the philosophical traditions which had flourished in antiquity, the boundaries between humanists and philosophers were instead fluid, fluctuating and punctuated by instances of interchange and interaction. Recent research has highlighted the humanist interests of philosophers such as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Ficino, along with the philosophical interests of humanists such as Angelo Poliziano and Ermolao Barbaro. There is, however, much more evidence to be uncovered in learned treatises, orations, philosophical commentaries, lecture notes, correspondence and the margins of manuscripts and early printed books.

LECTIO invites PhD students and postdocs to submit proposals on the philosophical pursuits of Renaissance humanists, the humanist pursuits of Renaissance philosophers or the collaborations between humanists and philosophers. The timespan is from the 14th to the 17th century, and the geographical area encompasses all of Europe. A one-page description of the proposed paper and a short CV should be submitted no later than 13 April 2018 to lectio@kuleuven.be.

For further information, please click here.


Posted in Calls for Papers | Comments closed

Conference: Locating the Ancient World in Early Modern Subversive Thought

Conference: Locating the Ancient World in Early Modern Subversive Thought

12-14 April 2018, Newcastle University

The aim of this conference 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.

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

There is no delegate fee for this conference, but if you plan to attend please email katherine.east@newcastle.ac.uk to register for the event by Monday 9th April.

For further details, including the programme, please click here.


Posted in Conferences and Workshops | Comments closed

Conference: Exploring Entangled Histories: Britain and Europe in the Age of the Thirty Years’ War, c.1590-1650

Conference: Exploring Entangled Histories: Britain and Europe in the Age of the Thirty Years’ War, c.1590-1650

12-14 April 2018, Folger Library

All are welcome to attend the “Exploring Entangled Histories: Britain and Europe in the Age of the Thirty Years’ War, c.1590-1650” conference, but you must pre-register for the event by completing the form below.

Registration for the conference closes on March 30, 2018. If you would like to register past this deadline, please email us at the address below to ensure that there is still space available.

Contact us at institute@folger.edu or (202) 675-0333 if issues arise during your registration.

For further info, please see the conference website.


Posted in Conferences and Workshops | Comments closed

Hobbes Studies 2018 Essay Competition

Hobbes Studies 2018 Essay Competition

Submissions Deadline: 30 May 2018

Hobbes Studies is pleased to invite submissions to the 2018 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 3rd March 2013. Submissions must be received by 30 May 2018. 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 2018 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 hobbesstudies@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 competition submission selected by the Editorial Board will be published in Hobbes Studies, awarded €350, and receive a year’s subscription. The 2017 prize winning essay was ‘”A State of Lesser Hope”: The Servant in Hobbes’s Natural Commonwealth’ by Caleb Miller, which will be published in the Autumn issue of Hobbes Studies.

About the Journal Hobbes Studies is an international, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. It publishes research (articles, book symposia, research notes and book reviews) about philosophical, political historical, literary, religious, and scientific aspects of Thomas Hobbes’s thought.

For previous issues, and further info see the Journal’s Website.


Posted in Calls for Papers, Prizes | Comments closed

CfP: The Pursuit of Legitimacy. Power and its Manifestations in Political History

CfP: The Pursuit of Legitimacy. Power and its Manifestations in Political History (4th Workshop for PhD Candidates in Political History)

25 -26 October 2018, Leiden University

Some political questions are never to be solved. The question of legitimacy is one of these issues that keep pressing themselves on history. How the wielding of political power is justified and contested hangs over the past as an open-ended question. Legitimacy may therefore very well be one of the great themes of political history. In the 4th annual workshop of the Political History PhD Network, PhDs from all over the world are invited to present their work and discuss this crucial question, thereby contributing to new historiographical perspectives on legitimacy.

Throughout history, legitimacy has been a contested concept. It was open to debate and dependent on mediation. As a political question, legitimacy was at play at intersections of different ideological outlooks. The issue of what constitutes a legitimate exercise of power, or a legitimate cause for revolt and resistance, engages all levels and spheres of political activity, from the individual actor to, for instance, the global structures of imperialism. The question of legitimacy therefore touches upon all the core themes of political history, including the topics of continuity and change, the workings of institutions, the dynamics of conflict, the functioning of networks, the spread of ideas, and the performativity of power. In encompassing these subjects, this workshop aims to bring together historians working on diverse periods and places.

The workshop’s central questions are: how did historical actors try to legitimate new capacities of power? How did discourses of legitimacy determine the shape and functioning of political organizations? In what ways was legitimacy depicted, imagined and acted out? How did understandings of legitimacy relate to notions of illegitimacy? How were dominant readings of legitimacy contested? How was legitimacy mediated between different settings and groups of people? Together, these questions should help us to grasp the multitude of ways in which historical actors thought about and engaged with legitimacy as a central issue of political activity.

We encourage applications on topics including (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • Theories of legitimacy
  • Diplomacy and legitimacy
  • Legitimacy in official and societal organizations
  • Discourses and depictions of illegitimacy
  • The legitimacy of violence and political resistance
  • Legitimacy amidst continuity and change

Practical Information:

Proposals for papers should include the title, an abstract of maximum 300 words, and a short CV of the presenter. Please send proposals to phdpolhis@gmail.com before April 1st, 2018. Notification of acceptance will be announced before the end of April. Participants are expected to submit a 3,000 – 5,000 word paper ahead of the workshop by 25 September. A limited amount of funding is available for travel reimbursements. Participants who wish to apply for a reimbursement should indicate this on their application.

For further information and questions please contact us at phdpolhis@gmail.com, join the Political History PhD Network on Linkedin and sign up for our monthly newsletter by writing us an email!


Posted in Calls for Papers, Conferences and Workshops | Comments closed

2018 Charles Schmitt Prize Winner

2018 Charles Schmitt Prize Winner

The winner of the 2018 Charles Schmitt Prize is Xiaona Wang, who is a final year PhD student in the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. Her essay is entitled:  ‘By Analogy to the Element of the Stars: The Divine In Jean Fernel’s and William Harvey’s Theories of Generation’, and it will be published in Intellectual History Review later this year.

For more information, please see Intellectual History Review.


Posted in Prizes, Society Updates | Comments closed