CFP: Prophecy, Prognostication and the Printing Press (SCSC Bruges)

Cara  Janssen's picture

CFP, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Bruges (August 18-20 2016)

Panel: Prophecy, Prognostication and the Printing Press

The birth of the printing press has long claimed its prominent role in early modern historiography. Well known historians such as Elizabeth Eisenstein described early modern print culture as an active and accelerating mechanism in the spread of reformed, humanist and even new scientific ideas (Eisenstein, 1980). But only recently, scholars have begun to pay more attention to the impact of print culture on early modern popular astrology and vice versa (Green, 2012 and Barnes, 2016). This panel seeks to focus on the merging of these two agents in sixteenth-century Europe by highlighting the importance of prophecies and prognostications within this process.  


Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The printing press as an accelerating element in the diffusion of popular astrological ideas.
  • The transition from oral to print culture with regard to early modern prophecies, etc.
  • The Culture of Translation and border-crossing of popular astrological themes or prophecies.
  • (Governmental) attempts to control the print production of popular almanacs, prognostications, etc.
  • Strategies of authors, publishers and printers in selling printed prophecies and prognostications. 
  • The recycling of ancient or medieval prophecies in print.
  • The political use and abuse of printed prophecies and prognostications.
  • The employability of printed prognostications and prophecies within early modern conflicts such as the Dutch Revolt, The French Wars of Religion, the German Peasants’ War, The Italian Wars, etc.


Please send a brief abstract (no more than 250 words) and a curriculum vitae that includes your academic affiliation to Cara Janssen ( by February 5th, 2016.