Source of Information: CFP 2000-03-23 (received 2000-03-31)
Date of Event: 2001-07-13 to 14
Location of event: London, U.K.
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 2000-06-30
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Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory in Early Modern Britain and Europe, 1500-1800 A two day international conference to be held at: Birkbeck College, University of London, July 13-14 2001 For the general public, Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, the 'Man in the Iron Mask' and the Devils of Loudun offer some of the most compelling images of the early modern period. Conspiracies, real or imagined, were an essential feature of early modern life, offering a seemingly rational and convincing explanation for patterns of political and social behaviour. This conference will examine conspiracies and conspiracy theory from a broad historical and interdisciplinary perspective, by combining the theoretical approach of the history of ideas with specific examples from the period. The organisers invite papers exploring issues such as: the popularity of conspiracy theory as a mode of explanation; why was it so attractive to early modern minds? What evidence was produced to support it, and how were these ideas challenged? Did the supposedly scientific and rational thought of the Enlightenment, or other intellectual movements, undermine the foundations upon which these theories were constructed, or did they merely alter their forms? Papers examining the social and cultural role of conspiracy theory are also invited. Why were witches, heretics and religious minorities perceived in conspiratorial terms? Later, is a comparable approach useful in the study of atheism, free-thought and freemasonry? Papers dealing with actual or imagined plots, whether successful or otherwise, their causes, uses and consequences will also be welcomed. To what extent did contemporaries actually understand political culture in terms of conspiracy theory? As prevailing notions of royal sovereignty equated open opposition with treason, almost any political activity had to be clandestine in nature. Factions and cabals abounded in European courts as a result, but can a similar pattern be detected in other institutions. Did clerical bodies, Parliaments, Provincial Estates, municipalities or village communities, to name but a few, obey similar laws? By the late eighteenth century, Britain had begun to develop the notion of a loyal opposition', and in the France of Louis XVI a similar movement was arguably taking shape. Why then was the outbreak of the French Revolution frequently explained in conspiratorial terms, and why did European rulers and their subjects remain obsessed with conspiracies both real and imagined? Proposals for papers of not more than 300 words should be sent by post or Email to: Dr Barry Coward firstname.lastname@example.org Professor Michael Hunter email@example.com Dr Julian Swann firstname.lastname@example.org Birkbeck College, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of London, Malet St, London, WCIE 7HX The deadline for receipt of proposals is 30 June 2000. =============================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List CFP@english.upenn.edu Full Information at http://www.english.upenn.edu/CFP/ or write Erika Lin: email@example.com ===============================================
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