Monthly Archives: March 2017

Ordering the margins of society: space, authority and control in early modern Britain, call for papers

by Richard Bell, Joe Harley and Charmian Mansell (conference organisers) Since the spatial turn, historians have conceptualised space not as a passive backdrop against which social interactions and everyday life took place, but as a social construct that shaped identity, societal development, human behaviour and experience. Historians of early modern Britain have long been concerned with questions of social order and control. Debates continue about the relationship between the coercive and participatory facets of governance and the capacity for social discipline. Yet while these subjects remain fertile areas of research, relatively little work has examined the interaction between space, authority and social control of the people on the margins of society. This one-day workshop aims to address these historiographical lacunae by considering the attempts of those in charge to order society within particular places, spaces and locales. It asks how marginal populations (i.e. the economic or socially vulnerable) were organised in spaces such as workhouses, taverns, households, prisons, asylums, hospitals, streets, marketplaces and churches. It seeks to explore how authorities attempted to exert social control and discipline within these spaces and how these efforts might be resisted. What were the extents and limits of negotiation, participation and defiance within the […]

South Asia in 1947: Broadening Perspectives Workshop, Call for Papers

By Aashique Iqbal and Radha Kapuria (conference organisers) 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of perhaps the most important year of South Asia’s 20th century. The year saw the end of the British rule in India and the creation of the independent dominions of India and Pakistan. As was pointed out for another equally turbulent time, 1947 was a year in which “decades happened.” The passing of nearly two centuries of colonial rule was accompanied by mass violence, the movement of populations, the establishment of new institutions and the reconfiguration of South Asian polities oriented towards new centralising nationalisms. The Partition of British India between India and Pakistan has come to mark a watershed in histories of the period due to its immense scale, and its often tragic consequences for millions of people in both the newly independent states. 1947 was also significant for a bevy of other reasons such as the transformation of colonial subjects into citizens, the integration of the princely states, the consolidation of constituent assemblies, the militarisation of South Asia, and the entry onto the world stage of two states representing nearly a fourth of humanity, to name a few. Seven decades give us sufficient distance to […]

“Living Well and Dying Well in the Early Modern World” a call for papers

by Sarah-Jayne Ainsworth, Harry McCarthy, Josh Rhodes (conference organisers) Following the success of our inaugural conference last year, the Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Exeter is pleased to announce our second annual postgraduate conference. This two-day conference will explore the varied aspects of life and death and their representations in art, literature, and culture between 1500 and 1800, and we welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers from postgraduate students in any humanities discipline. The conference will take place between 15-16th June at the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus. Suggested topics for papers include, but are not limited to: *Ideas of a good life in the early modern period *The economic lives of early modern families *Concepts of happiness, satisfaction, or enjoyment *Advice on how to ensure a good life or death *Class and society *Celebrations and memorials (in society, art, music, and drama) *Medical, scientific, and other advances which contributed to the quality of life *Work and labour *Valued relationships, beliefs, or objects *Gendered virtue, sociability, or affection *Stage representations of living, the life cycle, death, and dying Proposals should comprise a 200-word abstract and a brief biography. Please email proposals to with the heading 2017 conference […]