Four more CFPs–Urban Communities, Toronto GHS, Creation and Destruction, Pre-doctoral Researchers,

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Passing along four more calls for papers….I figured the University of Toronto’s CFP deserves some love, especially as it’s from a fellow graduate organization.  The CUNY graduate conference on “Creation and Destruction” in the Middle Ages sounds intriguing as well.  Personally, I’m all booked for the spring semester, so that’s a “pass” for me on these fine gatherings, but happy reading nonetheless!


CFP: Creation and Destruction in the Long Middle Ages

The Pearl Kibre Medieval Study announces its seventh annual Graduate Student Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center on Friday, February 24, 2012. This year’s theme, Creation and Destruction, is designed to address a number of methodological, historical, and theoretical issues within the diverse fields of medieval studies ranging from late antiquity to the early modern period. The cycle of beginnings and endings has a number of manifestations that are unique to the medieval period. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: concepts of time and history, iconoclasm, imperial mythology, hagiography, invention and translation of relics, scientific discoveries, literary themes, burial practices, archaeological sites, and theological developments.

Please send 200-word abstracts to by December 20, 2011.


Call for Papers: Eighth Annual Graduate History Symposium

University of Toronto, February 3-4, 2012

“Debt and Dependence”

Issues of debt and dependence surround us, as bailouts, deficit reduction
and budget cuts have become a regular part of political discourse. Newspaper
and magazine columns, as well as television shows, have helped to make
becoming financially responsible a part not only of our social conscience
but also of our everyday contexts.

As scholars, we can also conceive of debt and dependence in broader social,
cultural, political and methodological terms. For instance, notions of debt
and dependence help define the interactions between individuals and the
physical environments that surround them, and the desire and/or need to
consume in both pre-capitalist and capitalist times. They also influence
individuals’ efforts – whether in pre-modern or modern societies – to impose
or contest unequal power relationships underpinned by gender, class, racial,
and religious dynamics. And finally, they allow us to explain the
intellectual debts that we as scholars have incurred in developing our
fields and shed light on our dependence on print, visual and oral sources to
study the past.

How can we reflect on debt and dependence in history? With the different
forms of debt we incur, how do we manage and repay them? What debts do we,
as scholars, owe to the subjects of our research and sources, especially
when studying memory and/or living sources? How do we deal with the power
imbalance between dominant and dependent discourses? As scholars, how do we
decide who gets to speak?

The graduate students of the Department of History at the University of
Toronto are pleased to accept paper and panel proposals for the Eighth
Annual Graduate History Symposium (AGHS), to be held February 3-4, 2012. The
organizing committee encourages paper and panel submissions on, but not
restricted to, the following topics:

– Consumerism and its consequences

– Cultural contacts

– Debt, dependence and violence

– Environmental changes and long term costs

– Food resources and survival

– Gender and sexuality

– Justice and the law

– Modernity, technology and development

– Oral history, as well as other print and visual sources

– Patronage and clientage

Please submit a 250-word proposal and a short biographical sketch to by Thursday, December 1, 2011. Successful submissions will
be notified by mid-December.

For more information, please visit:


International Congress of Middle Ages for Predoctoral Researchers. Almeria (Spain), June 18-22, 2012.
The purpose of the congress is twofold:
1. The creation of an international meeting and debate forum to promote the exchange of ideas among predoctoral researchers on the Middle Ages, be it History, Art History, or Archaeology.
2. To report the different research lines being developed, with an emphasis on:
-The subject of thesis projects
-Research methodology
-Computer assisted data processing
-Field work
The call for papers is open to any researcher working on a doctoral thesis in History, Art History or Mediaeval Archaeology. Besides, proposals will be accepted from researchers expected to defend their doctoral theses on after 1 March, 2012. Proposals of papers can be sent to the Organizing Committe until November 11 -included- ( After evaluation, the acceptance of proposals will be communicated until November 25.
For further information, please go to Call for Papers Spanish/English available.


CFP: Between Families and Institutions: Towards a Comparative History of Urban Communities, 1350-1600

The social organisation of medieval and early modern urban communities has long been debated, particularly the significance of norms, networks and institutions for advancing social integration and cohesion. Pre-modern urban life is sometimes thought to have rested on a lost form of association rooted in kinship, friendship and neighbourhood. Others argue that these relations were particular and primordial: genuine trust and solidarity based on reciprocity are then regarded as properties of modern society. More recently, the emergence of corporation-based institutions (guilds, fraternities, neighbourhoods, etc.) in medieval cities and towns has drawn much attention. These voluntary associations, by generating social capital, gave rise to political stability, fostered economic growth and strengthened societal cohesiveness; and, as such, they shaped urban civil society.

The last conclusion has met with general acceptance, even though we still do not know how voluntary associations contributed to the well-being of both townsmen and urban society as a whole. This workshop, therefore, addresses the question as to how membership of trade and craft guilds and religious fraternities benefited individuals and how these organisations strengthened the cohesiveness of medieval and early modern European urban communities. It aims to scrutinise the social texture of these corporations and how their various roles in urban society developed over time, thereby challenging participants to re-examine existing data and re-evaluate current theories. The comparative perspective of the workshop should also be instructive in determining the factors that explain variations in the role of voluntary associations as integrative forces in urban society, particularly between southern and north-western Europe.

The call for papers, therefore, aims to attract contributions on the following themes:
1) Structure and membership: Under what conditions did guilds and fraternities emerge as the collective consequence of cooperation between individuals? How did the growth and institutionalisation of these voluntary associations affect their internal organisation and members’ participation? Which segments of urban society had access to guilds and fraternities, i.e. how did mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion operate? And, to what extent were these multi-layered voluntary associations shaped by kinship ties or ingrained in neighbourhoods?
2) Functions and beneficiaries: How did the secondary political, social or cultural functions of guilds and fraternities relate to their core economic or religious purposes? Were secondary functions – for example social assistance – important motives for joining voluntary associations? Did benefits of membership also extend to the families of members? And, to what extent and how did these organisations produce public goods that benefited the urban community as a whole?
3) Institutional contexts: What kind of linkages and interactions (particularly through overlapping social networks) existed between guilds and fraternities and urban religious and secular institutions? To what degree was their organisation and functioning determined by variations in the wider urban institutional framework? And, to what extent did differences in family structures and household formation patterns affect the social role of guilds and fraternities in urban society?
4) Ideology and culture: Did ideological, religious and cultural norms and beliefs emerge that strengthened cooperation within guilds and fraternities? Were the religious and cultural activities of voluntary associations interwoven with urban festivities, and to what extent did they fit into an overarching urban ideology? And, did these activities contribute to or harm the social cohesiveness of urban communities?

Early career researchers and researchers working on southern Europe are particularly encouraged to participate.

Please send abstracts of around 250 words for 20-minute papers to the organiser, Dr Arie van Steensel (

Deadline for abstracts is 5 December 2011.

The workshop will take place on Friday, 27 April 2012, at the European University Institute (EUI), Department of History and Civilization, Florence, Italy.

Selected paper participants will receive reimbursement for accommodation expenses.

Funding is provided by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme as part of the Marie Curie Actions IEF-project ‘Constructing Solidarities. Kinship Ties and Social Networks in the Urban Communities of Italy and the Low Countries, 1250-1550’, and by the European University Institute.


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