CFP - Another City: Émigré Intellectuals and Transnational Intellectual Communities in Early Modern and Modern Cities - EAUH Rome 2018, 29 August - 1 September

Nicholas Mithen's picture
Call for Papers
August 29, 2018 to September 1, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Intellectual History, Urban History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Social History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies
Session M10 of the 14th International Conference of the European Association for Urban History (EAUH)
Rome, 29 August - 1 September 2018
Another City: Émigré Intellectuals and Transnational Intellectual Communities in Early Modern and Modern Cities (1500-1950)
Session Coordinators: Katalin Straner (European University Institute, Florence/Central European University, Budapest), Nicholas Mithen (European University Institute, Florence)
That cities and urban centres are the engines of intellectual innovation and production has often been remarked, but the historical relationship between the city as an entity and the life and thought of its inhabitants has not always been tackled head on. This is especially true of of intellectuals, whose treatment by the history of ideas has tended to place them in meta-historical dialogue with one another, rather than situate them in the, often urban, environments where they lived, worked and thought.

In response to this tendency, this session will explore the urban dynamics and metropolitan cultures of émigré intellectuals and migrant intellectual communities in early modern and modern cities (16th to 20th century). The city is not only conceived as a space of transnational intellectual encounter, but also a connective node in transnational intellectual network. Thus, the session is also concerned with ways in which urban space fosters the movement, transmission and translation of knowledge and ideas in and between cities. The nature and role of migrant groups in urban space, of course, is not a new question for urban historians. However, in light of the recent interest of historians of knowledge and science in the city as more than just a location for intellectual exchange, the panel aims to extend these discussions by viewing exiled intellectuals and displaced intellectual groups through the lens of the social and political frame of intellectual activity: the establishment of new networks and the maintenance of old ones through the navigation of a new and complex urban environment. The organisers are particularly interested in the urban intellectual agency of exile and migration: both in the role of the city and urban space in the way intellectual communities form and function in exile, as well as how intellectual displacement, encounters, and the exchange of knowledge influences the city.

The session organisers welcome paper proposals relating to the exile and migration of intellectuals from, to and between cities across Europe and beyond, incorporating for instance transatlantic and colonial perspectives, in the period c.1500-1950. We are particularly keen on interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives, as well as case studies of particular towns, cities, individuals and networks. We especially invite papers dealing with with (but not necessarily limited to) the following topics:

- Transnational encounters and movements in and between European cities
- Forms and structures of intellectual life in cities
- Influence of city on intellectuals, and intellectuals on city
- (Inter-)Urban approach to intellectual and cultural history
- Movement and transmission of knowledge and ideas in and across cities
- Power/political relationship between metropole/metropolis and provenance of intellectuals (especially in colonial context, but also outside of this)
- Institutions and organisations in the city, and between cities – international organisations which facilitate establishment of international intellectual culture/mobility
Please submit your paper proposals of up to 450 words online to the EAUH2018 website (prior registration is required)
Deadline for paper proposals submission: October 5, 2017
Notification of paper acceptance: December 1, 2017
Further information about the conference:
Contact Info: 

Nicholas Mithen, European University Institute, Florence:

Katalin Straner, Central European University, Budapest, European University Institute, Florence: