Enlightenment and Peasant: Life Representations, Intellectual Debates, Cultural Conflicts, Socio-economic Transitions. ISECS Early Career Seminar

Enlightenment and Peasant: Life Representations, Intellectual Debates, Cultural Conflicts, Socio-economic Transitions. ISECS Early Career Seminar

The International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS), Faculty of History, University of Sofia, Faculty of History, University of Vienna
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"
Vom - Bis
26.06.2016 - 30.06.2016
Maria Baramova, Faculty of History, Sofia University "Sv. Kliment Ohridski"

The International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS) invites applications from scholars in all fields of eighteenth-century studies within the context of a one-week International Seminar for Early Career Eighteenth-Century Scholars. Formerly the East-West Seminar, this event brings together young researchers from a number of countries each year. In 2016 the meeting will take place in Sofia, and will be organized by the Faculty of History of the University of Sofia and the Faculty of History of the University of Vienna.

The eighteenth century is usually perceived as the age of crucial social transformation, which was likewise marked by fundamental changes in the spheres of economy, culture or science, intellectual debates, warfare and learning. Traditional patterns of living related to religion, privileges of monarchs and various aristocratic elites were questioned, new ideas were formulated and vehemently discussed in public.

Generally, scholars tend to adopt a rather urban-centric approach while discussing the great changes of the eighteenth century and regard these processes as something, which took place explicitly in the capital and in the big cities of the respective state. Evidently, the changes of these decades have rather clear urban roots; not to mention the role of the capital city in a centralized absolutist monarchy for the “Top Down” eighteenth-century social changes.
There is, however, an evident lacuna in the scholarly approach to date, which could be brought to light by simply asking a few general questions. Do we have the right to neglect the society in rural areas, if we take into account that the overwhelming majority of the population between 1700 and 1800 still resided in villages? Did the rural economy not constitute the real backbone of the industrial development of many European and non-European countries of that age? Was the everyday life in the enlightened societies of the eighteenth century not influenced by the conservative traditions, which were dominant in rural areas? Certainly the list of questions can be far longer.

The aim of ISECS international Seminar for Early Career Eighteenth-Century Scholars is to focus on that special “rural aspect” of the Age of Enlightenment, which scholars are easily inclined to forget in their studies. The Seminar will try to focus interest on the following topics:

1. Peasant Life and Village Society in Art and Literature of the Enlightenment.
2. Wars and Peasants. Warfare and Villages between 1699 and 1802.
3. Everyday Life in Rural Areas. Conservatism vs. Innovations in the Eighteenth Century.
4. The Enlightenment and the Idea of Peasant Liberation.
5. Socio-economic Transition in Progress: from Serfs to Free Peasants. The Case of Central Europe.
6. Culture and Education in Rural Areas.
7. Peasants and Revolutions in the Eighteenth Century.
8. Social Problems and Social Revolts in European and Non-European Village Communities.
9. Structural Problems of Rural Economy. Ideas and Reality in the Eighteenth Century.
10. Eighteenth-Century Regional Specifics of Rural Societies in Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

Submission of Proposals: The seminar is limited to 15 participants. The proposals (approx. 2 pages, single-spaced) should be based on an original research project (e.g. a doctoral dissertation) that deals with one of the aspects mentioned above. Because this is a seminar rather than a conference, each participant will be given approximately one hour to present the texts and questions that will then form the basis of a group discussion. Preference will be given to scholars who are at the beginning of their academic career (PhD or equivalent for less than six years). The official languages are French and English.
Applications should include the following information:
- a brief curriculum vitae with date of PhD (or equivalent);
- a list of principal publications and scholarly presentations;
- a brief description of the proposed paper (approx. 2 pages, single-spaced);
- one letter of recommendation.

Travel and Accommodations: Accommodation costs will be covered in full by the organizers who reserve hotel rooms. The costs for lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the evening meals on Monday and Tuesday will be covered by the organizers as well. The organizers will offer moderate travel assistance for the participants.

Proceedings: As is the case each year, the proceedings of the seminar will be published by Honoré Champion Éditeur (Paris) in the “Lumières internationales” series.

Deadlines: We invite submission of proposals; the deadline is March 15, 2016. All applications should be copy sent by e-mail to the following three addresses:
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivan Parvev (ivanparvev@yahoo.com);
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schmale (wolfgang.schmale@univie.ac.at);
Assist. Prof. Dr. Maria Baramova (mariabaramova@gmail.com)



Maria Baramova

Sofia University, Faculty of History, 15 Tzar Osvoboditel blvd., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria