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

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The AGM of the ISIH will be held on 14 September 2022 at 09.30 CET, during the ‘Histories of Knowledge Conference’ at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. Contact the ISIH General Secretary for information.

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CFP: Women in Intellectual History: An Online Seminar of the International Society for Intellectual History

The International Society for Intellectual History is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the second instalment of its seminar series, Women in Intellectual History, which will take place online in late 2022 / early 2023.

Women thinkers and their writings are still underrepresented in the discipline of intellectual history. Despite decades-long efforts at canon-busting, research agendas and teaching curricula alike attest that much work remains to be done to counteract the bias of gendered historiographies. As a prominent meeting place for practitioners of the discipline in all stages of their careers and from various parts of the world, ISIH provides an ideal forum for the discussion of recent work in this crucial area of research.

Through a series of online meetings in late 2022 / early 2023, featuring selected presentations and commentary followed by discussion, early career researchers active in the field of women’s intellectual history will be able to connect with each other and with senior scholars with matching expertise. Submissions from a broad range of specialisations—including the history of social, political, legal and economic thought, literary history, the history of philosophy, and the history of science—and across historical periods and geographical boundaries are encouraged. This second instalment of the series focuses explicitly on the early modern period, broadly conceived (from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth century).

If you are an early career researcher and would like to participate in this seminar by giving a paper, please send an abstract (max. 300 words) and a short bio to elias.buchetmann@uni-rostock.de by 30 September 2022.

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2022 Charles Schmitt Prize Winner

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Charles Schmitt prize for 2022 is Felix Schlichter of the University of Cambridge, for his essay ‘Flavius Josephus and Early Modern Biblical Chronology’. The winning essay will be published in Intellectual History Review.

The quality of top submissions was particularly high this year. So the panel of judges also wish to commend the proxime accessit, Kajetan Kubala of Queen Mary University of London, for his essay ‘Hobbes, Ius Gentium, and Corporation’.

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.

For more info, please see the Charles Schmitt Prize.

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Women and Religion in 18th Century France: Ideas, Controversies, Representations

24 June 2022

Virtual Symposium, Queen Mary, University of London

We are delighted to announce that registration for our online symposium on ‘Women and Religion in 18th Century France: Ideas, Controversies, Representations’, taking place on Friday 24 June, is now open.

Prof. Mita Choudhury (Vassar College) will deliver the keynote address, entitled ‘Reflecting on Gender, Religion, and the Historian’s Craft’. She’ll speak about the approach to her current project on sexual assault and the Catholic Church in eighteenth-century France.

The programme can be found here.

Registrations close 22 June 2022

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CFP Graduate Summer School – Enlightenment legacy: the rights of man in a global perspective

1-3 September 2022

Luigi Einaudi Foundation, Turin

The Turin Humanities Programme and Fondazione1563 are pleased to invite postgraduate students and early career researchers to submit their applications to the summer school “Enlightenment legacy: the rights of man in a global perspective”.

The summer school intends to elucidate, from a global perspective, a fundamental – although often neglected – aspect of the legacy of the Enlightenment to better understand its enduring and controversial presence over time in the fields of politics, society, law, and economics.

We encourage applications from researchers with a strong interest in human rights/rights of man and woman/natural rights in an historical, global and interdisciplinary setting. In particular, but not limited to:

-constitutions and the constitutionalization of human rights

-the development of representative democracy

-ancient and modern republicanism

-political economy and commerce

-the law of nations and international law

-race, slavery, colonialism

The summer school will be held in English.

The summer school programme includes keynote lectures by Professor Nicholas Cronk (Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford), Professor Dan Edelstein (Stanford University), Professor Serena Ferente (University of Amsterdam), Professor Vincenzo Ferrone (University of Torino), Professor Franco Motta (University of Torino), Professor Céline Spector (Sorbonne Université), Giovanni Bietti (composer, pianist and musicologist), early career researchers’ presentations of original manuscripts/book projects, workshops and roundtable discussions.

To apply for the Summer School, prospective participants should submit a brief academic CV (max. 2 pages), an abstract of the research they wish to present (max. 400 words) and a short essay on why they would like to attend the Summer School (max. 200 words).

Applications are due 5:00pm (Italian/CET time) 20 June 2022

For full details and application information please click here.

For any further information, please contact the organisers at info@fondazione1563.it

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CFP: Power and Knowledge from the 18th Century to Today

University of Lorraine (Nancy, France), 24-25 November 2022

Dating back to the beginnings of Greek democracy and the Platonic conception of the philosopher king, the relations between power and knowledge have recently come back to the fore with the rise of populism or the sanitary crisis. Whether an obstacle to democracy, a means for citizens to control their representatives or a vehicle for regenerating democracy (Mounk, 2018), knowledge now appears, more than ever before, as a constitutive feature of government.

This interdisciplinary conference will seek to explore the implications of such relations since the 18th century and to examine to what extent knowledge may establish, legitimize or discredit the forms and figures of political power.

Papers may discuss, but are not limited to:

  • Experts, intellectuals, scholars in the public sphere
  • Think tanks and debating societies and their relations with rulers, parties and ideologies
  • Historiography as a political project
  • Political economy as the art of governing and/or economic science in the service of the
    political (mercantilists, physiocrats, classics, scientific socialists…)
  • The disciplinary evolution of economics: depoliticisation and politicisation
  • Knowledge as constitutive of national identity
  • The legitimisation of policies through science
  • The fashioning of the elite (intellectual trajectories and influences, training, Oxbridge, the
    Ivy League, the formation of canons…)
  • Committed academics and knowledge as a channel for protest: Cultural Studies theorists
    and practitioners, neo-Conservative intellectuals, cultural critics…
  • The specialisation of knowledge and democratic representation
  • Power and knowledge in formal institutions and/or the public sphere

Please send proposals in English or in French (300 words maximum) and a short biography to
stephane.guy@univ-lorraine.fr and powerandknowledge@sciencesconf.org by 24th June 2022.
You will be notified early July about the committee’s decision.

Organising committee:
Vanessa Boullet (Université de Lorraine)
Pauline Collombier (Université de Strasbourg)
Stéphane Guy (Université de Lorraine)
Linda Mathlouthi (Université de Lorraine)
Alice Monter (Université de Lorraine)
Peterson Nnajiofor (Université de Lorraine)
Ecem Okan (Université de Lorraine)
Françoise Orazi (Université Lumière Lyon II)
Rafal Soborski (Richmond: The American International University in London, UK)
Colin Tyler (University of Hull, UK)

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CFP: Beyond Anti-Liberalism? Lessons from Experience

13–14 June 2022

Submissions Due: 30 April 2022

A workshop of the Civic Constellation III project co-organised with the Department of Philosophy of the University of Milan

Over the past decades the rise in constitutional democracies across the world, and significantly throughout Europe, of anti-liberal politics has changed the terms of academic and public debates on democracy and rights. In real politics anti-liberal claims and practices are argued in the name of democracy and even of basic rights. Beyond electoral rhetoric, this challenge is not just theoretical.

The rise of anti-liberalism is now a widespread reaction to what is rhetorically presented as the faults of weak democratic regimes that, as the cases of eastern European countries illustrate, were passing through the various tests of consolidation, civic and institutional. And this has become a pervasive experience in the entire continent affecting also the most venerable democracies which are not immune to decay. In this regard, the questions multiply over the real capacity of the European Union as a bulwark of democracy.

Yet, along with this, the spread of anti-liberal views shows, on the one hand, significant parallels with the attacks, from politicians, academics, intellectuals and journalists, on liberal parliamentarism through the 1920s and 1930s. And on the other hand, a growing appraisal of the contestability of liberalism in our time. Accordingly we invite paper proposals dealing with any of the aspects related to the rise of anti-liberalism from conceptual to historical approaches in the humanities and the social sciences. Re the latter, the workshop aims also to focus on historical and critical assessments of the concept of liberalism and its multifaceted traditions.

–  Please send your paper proposals of ca. 200 words (including your position, affiliation and contact details) before Wednesday, 30 April 2022, to the three conveners:

Prof. Gabriella Silvestrini (gabriella.silvestrini@uniupo.it)

Prof. Mauro Simonazzi (mauro.simonazzi@unimi.it)

and Prof. Marta Postigo (martapostigo@uma.es)

– Participants will be notified of acceptance by mid-May. Optional extended abstracts of up to 2,000 words are expected by Monday, 6 June 2022 For further information click here.

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CFP: London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought – Extended Deadline

Classes and Masses in the History of Political Thought

Thursday 30 June-Friday 1 July 2022

Keynote: Prof. Adom Getachew (University of Chicago)

Location: University College London (Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre)

Roundtable Speakers: Tejas Parasher (Cambridge), Sarah Dunstan (Glasgow), Nicola Miller (UCL), Adam Sutcliffe (KCL)

Social divisions and social collectives have always been at the heart of political thinking. Thucydides described destructive struggles between “the many” and “the few”, Aristotle sought to balance the interests of rich and poor, and Machiavelli celebrated the productive tension in conflicts between people and aristocracy. Karl Marx famously declared that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”, and attributed a universal mission to one class – the proletariat.

But for other thinkers, politics has been defined by the presence not of organised classes, but of diffuse masses. During the French Revolution, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote of an “unyoked multitude”, freed from despotism, but lacking the education to exercise reason. In the nineteenth-century, liberals worried about the emergence of “mass society”, whose homogenising tendencies threatened to efface individuality. In the post-war era, Hannah Arendt argued that it was the “transformation of classes into masses” that brought about the breakdown of European civilisation, while anti-colonial theorists such as Frantz Fanon looked beyond Europe, to see the “colonized masses” of the Third World as agents of global liberation.

The ideas of “classes” and “masses” have always been contested: their nature, their significance, their composition. And today, both concepts remain central to how politics is understood. To take just one example, the phenomenon of “populism” is interpreted variously as a recurrence of classical demagoguery, a return to mass politics, or indeed a new form of class conflict. In this context, it is timely to interrogate both the history of these concepts, and the role they have historically played as subjects and drivers of political discourse.

This conference will explore the different ways in which thinkers, writers, and actors throughout history have seen politics through the lens of classes and masses. We invite submissions from graduate students in history and related disciplines, working on all periods and places. We especially welcome proposals relating to figures who were actively engaged in politics, and/or outside the traditional canon. Proposals for papers and panels may wish to consider the following themes:

– class conflict and class politics in the history of political thought – ideas about mass society, mass culture, and mass politics
– historical conceptualisations of social structure
– crowds, mobs, and collectives

– class, status, and identity
– group agents in political theory
– the social context of political thought
– Marxist approaches to intellectual history
– the political thought of the masses and intellectual history from below

To apply, please email a proposal and a CV to historyofpoliticalthoughtnet@gmail.com. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words for papers of 20 minutes in length. Panel proposals should include the titles of individual papers and not exceed 1500 words in total. Please note that as this is a graduate conference, we can only consider proposals from applicants who have not yet been awarded a doctorate. 

Abstracts must be submitted by 1 April 2022, and successful applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

As we are hoping to hold the conference in person, we would request that you signal in your application whether or not you expect to be able to travel to London. If there is a large demand for online participation, we will be happy to accommodate. Moreover, given the changeable nature of current circumstances, there is a chance that much of the conference will have to be online anyway, so please do apply regardless of location.

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ISIH appoints new Executive Committee member: Elias Buchetmann as Early Career Representative

The ISIH is delighted to announce a new position on our Executive Committee: Early Career Representative. The inaugural holder of this position is Elias Buchetmann (University of Rostock). The Early Career Representative will be responsible for arranging events each year primarily geared towards early career researchers in intellectual history. Last year these events included Coerced Labour in the Early Modern World (1500-1800): Definitions, Justifications and Resistances, organised by Giovanni Lista; New Work in Intellectual History: A Project Development Workshop Series, organised by Shiru Lim; and Women in Intellectual History, organised by Elias Buchetmann.

The ISIH is now inviting expressions of interest from early career researchers who would like to organise an online event for ECRs with ISIH in 2022. For more, click here.

To see our Executive Committee, click here.

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Call for Expressions of Interest – 2022 ISIH Online Events for Early Career Researchers

The International Society for Intellectual History is inviting expressions of interest from early career researchers who would like to organise an online event for ECRs with ISIH in 2022.

Possible formats include but are not limited to workshops and seminar series, with a topic that would engage intellectual historians from a broad range of backgrounds. ISIH provides practical support and a platform where ECRs can meet with senior scholars as well as each other to discuss work-in-progress in a constructive atmosphere.

Interested parties (which could be teams as well as individuals) are invited to contact the ISIH Early Career Representative Elias Buchetmann at elias.buchetmann@uni-rostock.de.

Last year these events included Coerced Labour in the Early Modern World (1500-1800): Definitions, Justifications and Resistances, organised by Giovanni Lista; New Work in Intellectual History: A Project Development Workshop Series, organised by Shiru Lim; and Women in Intellectual History, organised by Elias Buchetmann.

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  • #ISIH2022 Conference

    #ISIH2022 Conference

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