Conference Programme: Fractured States in the History of Political Thought

Conference Programme: Fractured States in the History of Political Thought

29-30 June 2017, University College London

We are pleased to announce that the programme for the 8th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought on ‘Fractured States’ is now available to download. The conference will feature a keynote lecture by Annabel Brett (Cambridge), opening remarks from Richard Bourke (QMUL), and a concluding roundtable with Valentina Arena (UCL), Quentin Skinner (QMUL), Richard Bourke (QMUL), and Nicola Miller (UCL). The conference is free to attend, but registration is essential.

To register, please see the conference website.


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Conference: Sacrifice revisited

Conference: Sacrifice revisited

19 May 2017, University of Oxford

A revisitation of the concept of Sacrifice in late modernity in its various configurations, philosophical and ideological. A conference of the Crisis, Extremes and Apocalypse – CEA Research Network. With Dr Faisal Devji (St Anthony’s), Dr Leader Maynard (Politics), Dr Brad Evans (Bristol), Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis (Politics), Professor Martin Crowley (Cambridge), and Professor Kimberley Hutchings (QMUL).

Papers include:

Faisal Devji (Oxford): ‘Gandhi, Sacrifice and the Ambiguities of non-violence’
Martin Crowley (Cambridge): ‘Bruno Latour’s Anti-sacrificial Politics’
Kalypso Nicolaidis (Oxford) ‘Meanings of ‘Sacrifice’ in Brexit Mythology’
Brad Evans (Bristol) ‘The Violence of an Artificial Love’
Jonathan Leader Maynard (Oxford) ‘Consequentialist Extremism: Present Sacrifices for Future Dreams in the Justification of Violence’
Kimberley Hutchings (QMUL) ‘On Violence, Gender and Sacrifice: old stories and new reflections’

Audience members who would like to join the speakers for dinner after the workshop should email

For more info, please see the website.


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CfP: The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew and ‘Oriental’ Languages on Scholarship

CfP: The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew and ‘Oriental’ Languages on Scholarship, Science, and Society in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

13-15 December 2017, Leuven Collegium Trilingue

In 1517, Leuven witnessed the foundation of the Collegium Trilingue. This institute, funded through the legacy of Hieronymus Busleyden and enthusiastically promoted by Desiderius Erasmus, offered courses in the three ‘sacred’ languages Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. LECTIO (Leuven Centre for the Study of the Transmission of Texts and Ideas in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance) seizes the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Leuven Collegium Trilingue as an incentive both to examine the general context in which such polyglot institutes emerged and—more generally—to assess the overall impact of Greek and Hebrew education, by organizing a three-day international conference. Our focus is not exclusively on the sixteenth century, as we also welcome papers dealing with the status and functions accorded to Greek, Hebrew, and other ‘Oriental’ languages in the (later) Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period up to 1750. Special attention will be directed to the learning and teaching practices and to the general impact the study of these languages exerted on scholarship, science and society.

The keynote speakers are: Luigi-Alberto Sanchi (Institut d’Histoire du Droit Paris) and Saverio Campanini (Università di Bologna)

Participants are asked to give 20-minute papers in English, German or French. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words (along with your name, academic affiliation and contact information) to by 30 April 2017.

Please visit our website for the full CfP.


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Conference: Gli illuministi e i demoni / The Enlightenment and the Devil

Conference: Gli illuministi e i demoni / The Enlightenment and the Devil

26-27 May 2017, Colloquio Internazionale di Studi, Rovereto

Gli illuministi e i demoni. Il dibattito su magia e stregoneria nel Trentino del Settecento e i suoi legami con l’Europa. A metà Settecento Rovereto e l’Accademia degli Agiati furono al centro di una delle principali controversie sul sovrannaturale di tutto l’Illuminismo. Furono stampati trattati e scambiate corrispondenze sul rapporto tra scienza e magia, sull’esistenza della stregoneria, sui poteri e la natura di demoni, fantasmi e vampiri. Questo dibattito non fu isolato, ma si sviluppò nel contesto di una più ampia discussione europea, che ben restituisce la quintessenza del messaggio dell’Illuminismo e nacque sulla scia delle ‘nuove filosofie’ di Descartes, Bekker e Leibniz. Il convegno si propone di offrire alcuni contributi su aspetti finora trascurati e sulle fonti e ricezione del dibattito trentino, ponendolo in relazione con il contesto europeo a cui è collegato.

The Enlightenment and the Devil. The Debate on Magic and Witchcraft in 18th-century Trentino in the European Context.

In the mid-eighteenth century, one of the major controversies of the entire Enlightenment regarding the supernatural took place at the Accademia degli Agiati in Rovereto. For several years, treatises were printed and correspondence was exchanged on the relationship between science and magic, on the existence of witchcraft, and on the powers and nature of demons, ghosts and vampires. The debate did not take place in isolation but developed in a wider European context, which represents the quintessence of the message of the Enlightenment and originated from the “new philosophies” of Descartes, Bekker and Leibniz. The aim of the conference is to offer some contributions on the debate in Trentino, on its sources and aftermath and on aspects that have been neglected up to now, relating the North Italian debate to the European context it has connections to.

Speakers: Federico Barbierato (Verona), Antonio Trampus (Venice), Serena Luzzi (Trento), Wolfgang Rother (Zurich), Nicola Cusumano (Palermo), Bernd Roling (Berlin), Stefano Ferrari (Rovereto), Riccarda Suitner (Erfurt), Michaela Valente (Rome / Molise), Christian Zendri (Trento), Francesco Paolo De Ceglia (Bari), Edoardo Tortarolo (Vercelli)

For further information, please see website.


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Conference: What happened with A.C. Crombie’s “magnum opus” on the Philosophy of Galileo and Mersenne?

What happened with A.C. Crombie’s “magnum opus” on the Philosophy of Galileo and Mersenne?

9 June 2017, Trinity College, Oxford

Recently, Dr. Filip Buyse discovered in the archives of Trinity College Oxford a substantial typescript (of over 2000 pages) composed by Professors Alistair Crombie and Adriano Carugo on the natural philosophies of Galileo and Mersenne. In 1969, Crombie and Carugo jointly won the prestigious Galileo prize for the first version of the manuscript, and over the next two and a half decades, the two authors made major additions to the work. The revision process came to an end with the death of Crombie in 1996, and the whereabouts of the typescript became unknown.

The rediscovery of the work allows historians to ask a number of questions about its content, and about the contribution it can still make to the field of the history early modern science. The workshop will address the content of the work and the historical contexts of its composition, as well as the role it played in the careers of its two authors. The conference will celebrate the rediscovery of the document, and it will take place in the Danson Room of Trinity College Oxford on 9 June 2017. All are welcome!

For more information, please click here.


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CfP: Singular Acts: The Role of the Individual in the Transformation of Collective Culture

CfP: Singular Acts: The Role of the Individual in the Transformation of Collective Culture

16 November 2017, The Warburg Institute

The Warburg Institute will host its second Postgraduate Symposium on 16 November 2017. This year’s Symposium focuses on particular personalities who acted for or against historical and cultural change. The Early Modern period saw seismic shifts across all aspects of society, ranging from technological developments to new artistic techniques; to innovations in philosophical thought and religious doctrine and scientific discoveries; to social and political movements. This interdisciplinary conference will appraise the extent to which such transformations were triggered or repressed by the acts of individuals such as innovators, pioneers, reformers and censors.

Questions pertaining to specific individuals might include: What was the relationship of the individual to their societal context, and how did this affect their actions? What was the short and long term reception of their activities? Did their contribution come from a position of authority, or subvert it? More critical lines of enquiry might encompass: What factors determine a positive or negative perception of innovation? What are the methodological and historiographical implications of focusing on the individual in history? Did the notion of ‘individuality’ change in the period and does this differ to how it is perceived in the present day?

The Symposium will bring together speakers from different backgrounds in the humanities and draw on a variety of disciplinary tools and methodologies. We hope to engage with a wide range of topics represented by the global cultural interests of the Warburg Institute, within the chronological frame of the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. The Symposium will be multidisciplinary and will cover topics that fall into the unique classification system of the Warburg Library: Image, Word, Orientation and Action. We invite submissions on Individuals including but not limited to:

  • Artists, Craftsmen, Patrons.
  • Writers, Publishers, Translators.
  • (Counter-)Reformers, Heretics, Mystics.
  • Philosophers, Scientists, Doctors.
  • Social and Political Theorists, Explorers.

The Symposium is intended for postgraduate students and early career researchers. Proposals for papers should be sent to: by 31 May 2017. Abstracts should be a maximum of 300-words, in English, for a 20-minute paper. Please send files in PDF or Word format. Please also include a one-page CV, including full name, affiliation, contact information. All candidates will be notified by 31 July 2017. Limited funding to help cover travel expenses is available. Attendance is free of charge.

For further info, please see the conference website.


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CfP: Epistemic Vices: Continuities and Discontinuities, 1600-2000

CfP: Epistemic Vices: Continuities and Discontinuities, 1600-2000

25-26 January 2018, Leiden University

Impartiality, objectivity, honesty, and accuracy are qualities that generations of scholars have regarded as necessary for the pursuit of scholarly inquiry. Philosophers call them epistemic virtues, because these virtues facilitate the pursuit of epistemic aims such as knowledge and understanding of reality. As such, epistemic virtues are supposed to help scholars overcome barriers of prejudice, ignorance, sloppiness, and dogmatism – dispositions known as epistemic vices.

Following Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison’s Objectivity (2007), historians of science and historians of the humanities alike are paying increasing attention to epistemic virtues. Surprisingly, however, they have devoted much less attention to the negative counterparts of these virtues: epistemic vices. Moreover, in so far as vices are subjected to historical scrutiny, there is little interaction between scholarship on early modern science and literature on the post-1800 period. This is regrettable, if only because vices such as dogmatism have surprisingly long histories, which can be traced only through collaborative efforts of modernists and early modernists.

This conference therefore intends to stage a conversation between historians of early modern science and scholars working on post-1800 science (the humanities and social sciences included), focusing on four closely related questions:

  1. What continuities and discontinuities can be identified in how scholars in different times and places conceived of epistemic vices? How did vices acquire new meanings in new circumstances, sometimes even to the point of becoming virtues (as in the case of curiositas)?
  2. To what extent have early modern catalogs of vice been retrieved in modern times – think of the rediscovery of Francis Bacon’s “idols of the mind” in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
  3. How to explain (dis)continuity over time? What were the carriers of the tradition (textbooks, for instance) or key factors altering the moral economy of science?
  4. In what language did scholars speak about epistemic vices? To what extent are “deficient skills” and “lacking competences” modern reformulations of ancient vitia sive errores eruditorum?

The conference will open with a keynote lecture by Steven Shapin (Harvard). Other confirmed speakers include Richard Bellon (Michigan State University), Sorana Corneanu (Bucharest), Ian James Kidd (Nottingham), and Sari Kivistö (Tampere).

In addition, the conference welcomes submissions for twenty-minute paper presentations related to one of the four questions above. Proposals of no more than 500 words are due by June 15, 2017 and can be send to Herman Paul at Notification of acceptance will be given by July 8, 2017.

The conference will take place at Leiden University, close to Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol). There will be no conference fee. Lunches, and a conference dinner will be offered to all speakers at no cost. Participants will be responsible, however, for their own travel and accommodation costs.

The conference is organized under auspices of “The Scholarly Self: Character, Habit, and Virtue in the Humanities, 1860-1930,” a research project led by Herman Paul and funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). For more information, please contact Herman Paul at

For more info, please contact the convenor.


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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 ( or Johan Olsthoorn (

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: A fee of £11.50 will be charged for afternoon tea.

For more information, see the conference website.


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