The subject of craftsmen and their institutions looks back on two centuries of research tradition, but it has long been caught up in clichés such as the guilds’ supposed backwardness and exclusiveness. In the course of the last years a paradigmatic shift has increasingly emphasised the guilds’ dynamics and social mobility. This has opened the way to a series of new studies and research questions, but currently there is no institutional framework to facilitate a systematic exchange on the subject.
The conference, which is organised by the History Department of the University of Luxemburg and the research project “Villux”, wants to provide a dialogue board for young and more experienced researchers to present their approaches to the exploration of guilds and craftsmen on an international level. Moreover, it aims at the exchange of medieval and early modern historians, and thus expressly encourages contributions on the latter period.
The conference focuses on socio-historical perspectives. It is especially interested in papers which take up the new approach of researchers such as Claire Dolan, Josef Ehmers, Philippe Minard, Simona Cerutti and Steve Kaplan who lay new emphasise on the heterogeneity of guilds by analysing not simply their institutional framework, but the different strategies of their members generating this framework.
Potential topics are:
- social capital and social strategies of craftsmen
- guilds and social cohesion: personal relations inside and outside of guilds
- crafts and women
- functions of guilds
- living conditions and economic situation of craftsmen
- crafts and their spatial arrangement in urban environments
- supraregional exchange and mobility
The conference will take place from September 12th-14th 2013 at the University of Luxemburg. Presentations should be limited to 30 minutes and should preferably be given in English, but contributions in German and French will also be considered. Abstracts of no longer than 300 words and a short CV can be submitted to Eva Jullien (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Novembre 23d.
Travel and accommodation costs can be partly subsidised by the organisers.