CfP: The Meaning of the Modern World: Burckhardt at 200 (GSA, September 2018)

Peter Meilaender's picture
Call for Papers
February 9, 2018
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, European History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Intellectual History, Political History / Studies

CFP: The Meaning of the Modern World: Bicentennial Perspectives on Jacob Burckhardt

German Studies Association, September 27-30, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA, USA


In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jacob Burckhardt, the Swiss Studies Interdisciplinary Network seeks to organize a panel or a set of linked panels at the 2018 annual meeting of the German Studies Association (

Jacob Burckhardt, born on May 25, 1818, is among the giants of Swiss intellectual history.  After abandoning his initial studies in theology, Burckhardt turned to history, attending lectures at the University of Berlin by eminences such as Leopold von Ranke and Jacob Grimm.  Rising to prominence with his Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860), Burckhardt taught for 35 years at the University of Basel, where his teaching was praised by Friedrich Nietzsche, among others.  He became especially well-known for his studies on art history, but his writing ranged widely across cultural history, touching on philosophy, political theory, and the arts.  Interest in Burckhardt has waxed and waned over the decades, but he is due for a reconsideration as we mark the bicentennial of his birth in 2018.  We seek participants for an interdisciplinary panel or linked series of panels, examining Burckhardt’s work and influence.  Proposals are welcome from any discipline.  Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • specific works by Burckhardt, themes across his works, or his voluminous correspondence;
  • Burckhardt’s contributions to historiography;
  • comparisons between Burckhardt and other contemporary (or subsequent) thinkers;
  • Burckhardt’s historical context--in Basel, Switzerland, or Europe--and its influence on his work;
  • Burckhardt contributions to art history;
  • Burckhardt as a political thinker or philosopher;
  • influences of his early theological training on Burckhardt’s thought; or
  • the influence of Burckhardt on subsequent thinkers, and his place in European intelletual history.

Proposals for individual papers or complete panels are due by February 9, 2018.  They (as well as any questions) should be addressed to Peter Meilaender (Professor of Political Science, Houghton College), co-director of the Swiss Studies Network, at  Please send a 250-word abstract as well as a brief CV or bio that includes institutional affiliation.  If the number and quality of submissions warrants it, we may consider pursuing the subsequent publication of papers in an anthology.  Note that according to GSA rules, all participants, including moderators and discussants, must be registered GSA members, and no participant may present more than two papers or serve in two capacities on the program.


Contact Info: 

Peter Meilaender, Professor of Political Science, Houghton College