In recent years, historians have devoted increasing attention to the study of university systems and of research and higher education institutions. A closer integration in topics and approaches of traditional intellectual history, sociology of culture and intellectual professions, and the study of institutions and public administration, is more and more frequently proposed in such research field.
However, until now the richest documentary surveys and the most thought-provoking reflections have been dedicated to the ‘long’ Nineteenth century, and especially to the European and global diffusion of the ‘Humboldtian’ model of research university.
This conference, instead, will be centered on the key period from World War I, an event that disrupted traditional patterns of academic exchanges of competences, ideas, and personnel, to the widespread student protests for university reforms in the 1960s. In that period, the United States emerged as a global power in the production of advanced knowledge, while the quick and massive expansion in numbers of students, instructors and researchers required new models for an integrated organization of teaching and research activities. For these reasons, in several areas of the world, significant changes in the governance of academic systems and in the management of single institutions took place.
The conference will gather scholars from any country and field of specialization whose research work is relating to university systems and institutes for research and higher education from World War I to 1968. It aims at verifying to what extent a comparative and/or transnational study of international history of universities in the Twentieth century is possible. Proposals may take in consideration either specific case studies, national systems, or transnational dynamics. Among the key topics of the discussion, the following themes might be highlighted:
- People in universities: teachers, scholars, students, administrators. Selection and career dynamics of faculties; models of training to academic professions; students’ access to higher education and forms of social and economic support to cultural promotion; international circulation of competences and personnel ad its role in the emergence of new study fields and/or teaching and research methods and approach; development of new structures and professiona figures in financial and material management of advanced research.
- Disciplines and organization of studies. The emergence of new disciplines and their integration in existing teaching and study program; the role of administration and governance of academic institutions in the creation, promotion and consolidation of new areas of knowledge; “nationalization” and “denationalization” of patterns of production and transmission of knowledge.
- Funding and finance. Cooperation and competition of public authorities and private sector; cultural, political and social aims of the growing economic commitment in higher education.
Contributions from established scholars as well as junior researchers in all fields relevant to the broader subject, either in Italian or in English, are invited. Participants should submit a 300-word abstract of their proposed paper, a brief biographic note, and contact information, at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, by November 3, 2013.
The conference will take place at Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Italy), on September 4-5, 2014. A selection of revised and enlarged conference papers will be collected and published in an edited volume for international circulation.
For any further information, about the conference please contact either Andrea Mariuzzo (email@example.com) or Paola Carlucci (firstname.lastname@example.org).