Intellectual Hinterlands: Keynotes Announced

hinterlands_small_imageIntellectual Hinterlands : The 2014 Conference of the International Society for Intellectual History

25-27 June 2014, Victoria College, University of Toronto

The Conference Committee is pleased to announce that the keynotes for Intellectual Hinterlands will be Sarah Hutton (Aberystwyth University), Alan Charles Kors (University of Pennsylvania) & Martin E. Jay (University of California, Berkeley).

Over the past few decades, intellectual history has undergone significant changes as it has adapted to advances in cultural history, the social sciences, the history of the book and the letter, material culture, learned practices, the fine arts, and the history and philosophy of science, among others. Due to its inherently interdisciplinary nature, the adoption of new methods from outside disciplines could be said to be one of its greatest strengths. Yet, at the same time, the speed with which intellectual history has been able to adjust to changes in the outside world has meant that its identity has become fluid; lacking firm definition. What methods today define the practice of the intellectual historian? Is intellectual history a discipline still circumscribed by the “great book” and by “great thinkers,” its focus on canonical authors and their texts a help or a hindrance? Is a canon indispensible for connecting to students and broader readerships? Or should we emancipate ourselves from it entirely? Intellectual Hinterlands proposes to investigate the increasingly expansive historical, contextual, and methodological spaces in which intellectual history is now practiced, and to question whether, as intellectual historians, our unique perspective enables us to address the problems now facing liberal education, the humanities, and society at large.

Intellectual Hinterlands seeks papers and panels which address two general aspects of intellectual history: first, sessions built upon the success of cultural and intellectual contextualization, which stress the historical continuum of ideas which proceed the individual, “great” thinkers around whom courses, publications, and our discipline has principally been built; and second, sessions which take aim at methodological problems, such as the place of “great thinkers,” “great books,” and “grand narratives” in intellectual history, and, moreover, whether/how contemporary academics have addressed recent criticisms.

For the CFP, please see the conference webpage.


This entry was posted in Society Updates. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
  • #ISIH2022 Conference

    #ISIH2022 Conference

    #ISIH2022 Our 2022 Conference will take place in Venice, 12-15 Sept.