Ignorance, Nescience, Nonknowledge. Late Medieval and Early Modern Coping with Unknowns

Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris
RU Bochum / DFG / DHI Paris
23.04.2015 - 24.04.2015
Cornel Zwierlein

Sponsored by the German Science Foundation (DFG) and the German Historical Institute, the second part of an interdisciplinary two-place conference on Historicizing Ignorance in Late Medieval and Early Modern History is taking place at the German Historical Institute in Paris. The first part has taken place on Feb 19/20 at Harvard University, History Department, Robinson Hall. The conference seeks to address how ignorance about phenomena in different epistemic fields of the late medieval and early modern world was recognized (or not), used and coped with, differently from modern times. The Paris part is devoted to the history of coping with Ignorance within the realm of the history of economy, Travel, Communication, Politics and Geography.

Attendance is free, please register for purposes of organisation prior to April 15, 2015 under Event@dhi-paris.fr






Thursday, April 23

9.00 Welcome note Prof. Dr. Thomas Maissen, Director German Historical Institute

Short introductory note Prof. Dr. Cornel Zwierlein

Economy I

Chair and Comment: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaiser (Paris I/EHESS)

9.30 Prof. Dr. Daniel Smail (Harvard): Economic Measuring, Estimation and System Uncertainties in Late Medieval City Economies Link

10.00 Dr. Giovanni Ceccarelli (Parma): Coping with unknown risks in Renaissance Florence: Insurers, friars and abbaco teachers Link

Short discussion

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Dr. Moritz Isenmann (Cologne): Non-knowledge and perception as factors for trade policy in the Seventeenth Century? Link

11.30 Prof. Dr. Cornel Zwierlein (Bochum/ Harvard): The unknown nation. Ignorance and Mercantilism in the Mediterranean 1660-1740 Link

12.00 Panel discussion

12.30 Lunch

Economy II

Chair: Prof. Dr. Philippe Minard (Paris VII/EHESS)

14.00 Prof. Dr. Marie-Laure Legay (Lille): L’ignorance dans la culture financière de l’Etat au XVIIIe siècle Link

14.30 Dr. William Deringer (Columbia): Modelling Ignorance: Uncertainty, Secrecy, and Financial Analysis in Eighteenth-Century Britain Link

15.00 Dr. Magnus Ressel (Frankfurt/M): Institutionalization as compensation of market intransparency: The Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice and the Levant Market Link

15.30 Panel discussion

16.00 Coffee break

16.30 Comments on the Panels Economy I and Economy II

Dr. Jean-Marc Rohrbasser (INED), Premodern Perspectives

Prof. Dr. Alessandro Stanziani (EHESS), Modern Perspectives and Comparisons

Friday, April 24

Travel, Geography, Communication, Politics

Chair: PD Dr. Rainer Babel

9.00 Prof. Dr. Adam Kosto (Columbia): Ignorance about the traveller: Safe-Conduct in the Middle Ages Link

9.30 Dr. Lucile Haguet (Rouen): D’Anville and the specified ignorance: an unexpected but powerful way of promoting maps and geography Link

10.00 Short coffee break

10.15 Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Behringer (Saarbrücken): Knowledge gaps, security and the development of Early Modern Transport communication

10.45 Dr. des. Devin Fitzgerald (Harvard): The blind Emperor: long-distance communication in 17th century China

11.15 Short coffee break

11.30 Dr. Fabrice Micallef (Paris I): Decision-making without knowledge. European powers and the ‘affairs of Provence’ (1589-1596) Link

12.00 Dr. Albert Schirrmeister (HU Berlin/EHESS Paris), Ignorance before a war: attitudes and action of expectation (the Spanish War of Succession)

12.30 Comment on the Friday Panel Prof. Dr. Christine Lebeau, Paris I

Panel Discussion, Final Discussion and Conclusion

13.30 Lunch


Cornel Zwierlein

Ruhr-Universität Bochum - derz. Harvard University, History Department



Ignorance, Nescience, Nonknowledge. Late Medieval and Early Modern Coping with Unknowns, 23.04.2015 – 24.04.2015 Paris, in: H-Soz-Kult, 23.03.2015, <www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-27502>.