CfP: ‘Cities of Strangeness, 1350-1700: strangers / estrangement / becoming-strange’

Deadline: vrijdag 19 januari 2018

The Northern Premodern Seminar, Friday 11th May, University of Manchester

The period spanning the years 1350-1700 saw a massive expansion in urban populations, transforming social formations. Changes and developments in medieval and early modern cities were intricately tied up with trade, migration, politics, economics, shifting possibilities for social mobility, and the growth of commodity culture; the relationships of individuals and communities to, and in, the city were frequently characterised by alienation and disorder. The early meanings of ‘strange’ as foreign or alien, and also new, wondrous, and astonishing, point towards premodern cities as sites of danger, possibility, conflict, and discovery.

Cities of Strangeness, 1350-1700 is an interdisciplinary one-day conference exploring the centrality of strangeness and estrangement in literary, artistic, and cultural representations of the premodern city. To what extent is the experience of the premodern city characterised by estrangement or alienation? How did the growth and transformation of urban spaces across the late medieval and early modern period alter social identities and formations? What were the relationships between a city and its strangers? How do literature and art respond to cities in strange ways?

We invite proposals for papers that explore any of the following, or related topics, in relation to late medieval and early modern cities:

  • strange bodies, strange creatures
  • the psychoanalysis of estrangement
  • race, immigration, emigration, diaspora
  • alienation and capitalism, class and poverty
  • protests and riots
  • gender, sex and sexuality
  • heterotopias and liminal spaces
  • uncanny, imaginary, mystical or supernatural cities
  • strange languages, strange speech, strange sound

We welcome papers from scholars working in literature, visual cultures, history, religious studies, urbanism, and other related disciplines. We encourage papers that take a cross-period or interdisciplinary approach.

Confirmed plenary speakers: Adam Hansen (University of Northumbria), Anke Bernau (University of Manchester), and Matthew Dimmock (University of Sussex).

Please send 250 word abstracts for fifteen-minute papers to Annie Dickinson and Laura Swift at by Friday 19th January, 2018. Please include a brief biography.

The venue is wheelchair accessible, with accessible, gender-neutral toilets and designated parking bays. Information about prayer rooms, dietary requirements, assistance dogs, hearing loops, transport and accommodation can be found on the website (; please contact the organisers if there is anything you would like to discuss in advance.

Lunch, refreshments, and a wine reception will be provided. Replies to all submissions will be sent in early February 2018, when registration will open.

The conference is kindly sponsored by artsmethods@manchester.

CfP: ‘Isaac Beeckman in Context: Science, the Arts, and Culture in the Early Dutch Republic’

Deadline: 15 februari 2018

Middelburg, The Netherlands, 27-28 September 2018

1618 was a crucial year in what is now known as the Scientific Revolution. In September of that year the Dutch artisan, theologian, schoolmaster and natural philosopher Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637) was promoted to doctor of medicine in the French city of Caen. To his dissertation he added a number of Corrolaria in which Beeckman laid down the principles of a new and revolutionary way to account for natural phenomena, the mechanical philosophy. Then, in November 1618, Beeckman met the young military officer René Descartes in the city of Breda. In a series of highly stimulating conversations he put Descartes on the track towards his own philosophy of nature. The rest is history.

On September 27 and 28, 2018, an international conference, to be held at the premises of the University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, the Netherlands, will commemorate these pivotal moments of 1618. Beeckman was a native of Middelburg and it was in this bustling commercial city that he was groping with his revolutionary insights in the years before 1618. Here he was deeply embedded in a cosmopolitan culture, a world in which sophisticated artisanal skills, riches from the overseas trading routes, humanistic culture and the study of nature were merging into a new culture of knowledge. Our conference aims to put Beeckman in the context of this new culture of knowledge and more specifically 1) to investigate how this world interacted with Beeckman’s mechanical philosophizing in form and content, 2) to study Beeckman’s role in the shaping of the new philosophy of nature, 3) to evaluate how Beeckman’s role in the development of the mechanical philosophy was viewed, both by contemporaries like Descartes and by modern scholars, especially in France.

Keynote speakers are:

Floris H. Cohen (Utrecht University)

Sophie Roux (École Normale Supérieure, Paris)

John Schuster (University of Sydney)

Huib Zuidervaart (Huygens/ING, Amsterdam)

Proposals for papers

We welcome abstracts for papers on topics related to the theme of the conference. Please send the abstract of your proposal to: by February 15, 2018. The abstract must be no longer than 500 words and sent as a doc or a docx file (please do not use pdf format). The author’s name and contact information (affiliation, address and professional status) should be specified in the accompanying email. If you are not sure that your proposal fits into the larger programme, feel free to contact the organizers at the above email address. Notification of acceptance of the proposal will be sent by March 1, 2018.

Conference Organization:

Klaas van Berkel (University of Groningen) (

Albert Clement (University College Roosevelt, Middelburg) (

Arjan van Dixhoorn (University College Roosevelt, Middelburg) (

CfP: ‘The Economic History of the Book in the Early Modern Period’, Antwerpen, 4-6 oktober 2018

Deadline: 31 Januari 2018

Tijdens dit driedaags congres in oktober worden de economische aspecten van het vroegmoderne boek verkent.

“Aspects of production, distribution, and consumption have been the subject of thorough study, but analyses of the economics of the book trade remain rare, or less than comprehensive. The special status of the book, its importance for pre-industrial economy as a whole, and the limitations of the sources available seem to have prevented the undertaking of comparative, diachronic, and synchronic surveys from the economics point of view. (…) We wish to programme papers going beyond isolated cases, and including, for instance, analyses of wider synchronic or diachronic data sets, which will help to clarify essential trends and factors in the economy of the book in Early Modern Europe.”

Lees de volledige CFP.


CfP: European History across Boundaries (Mainz, 24-26 januari 2018)

Het Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz, Duitsland) nodigt promovendi uit om deel te nemen aan de workshop European History Across Boundaries from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century. Het symposium vindt plaats van 24 tot 26 januari 2018 in Mainz, Duitsland en wordt mede-georganiseerd door Lyndal Roper. Deelnemers kunnen hun promotieonderzoek presenteren en het transculturele en transnationale aspect ervan bediscussiëren met andere promovendi. Het instituut verzorgt accommodatie en vergoedt (deels) de reiskosten van deelnemers.

De deadline voor voorstellen (max. 500 woorden) is 16 juli 2017. Zie de call for papers.

CfP: Connections in Commerce and Consumption (Sheffield, 15-16 september 2017)

Deadline: zondag 21 Mei 2017

Het Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies organiseert op 15 en 16 september 2017 een congres met als titel: “Connections in Commerce and Consumption: Production, Distribution and Consumption in Britain and Europe, 1500-1800”. De organisatie verwelkomt voorstellen voor presentaties van twintig minuten.

Voor meer informatie, zie de oproep.