CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History

Konjunkturen der Höflichkeit in der Frühen Neuzeit
Early Modern Dynamics of Politeness
International and Interdisciplinary Conference


Source of Information: FICINO 2006-11-17
Date of Event: 2008-03-13 to 15
Location of event: Frankfurt, Germany
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 2007-01-31





  Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
              Zentrum zur Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit

          Konjunkturen der Höflichkeit in der Frühen Neuzeit
                 Early Modern Dynamics of Politeness 
            International and Interdisciplinary Conference
                Frankfurt am Main, 13.- 15. March 2008

                            Call for Papers


Both in popular and in academic discourse, politeness has recently 
experienced a resurgence of interest. Questions of politeness, of 
propriety, of manners and conduct have moved - once again - into the
centre of attention. However, the topic has rarely been discussed in the
light of the questions and parameters of cultural analysis - as a
situative communicative system tailored to the specific needs of societies
or cultures in transition, as a highly gender-specific regimen of body and
language, as a means of mediation between cultural groups that provides a
basis for social or intercultural communication; as a flexible and
undogmatic instrument to create order in the absence of stable rules and
codes. 

In recent years, historical research has regarded politeness or 
courtesy as phenomena of political, cultural, social or religious 
transition. Speaking of the `end of courtesy´ or the `emergence of 
polite society´ implies that these phenomena are not universally 
observed.The specific emphasis on politeness or courtesy that can be
witnessed in certain historical periods (such as, for example, the late
16th or the early 18th centuries) seems to be necessary when - due to
social economic, religious or ethnic changes - disparate social groups
clash in cultural contact zones such as the court, the university, the
city or the market place. Here, courtesy and politeness provide a
communicative basis which helps negotiate incertainties of social status
and deal with foreignness; they thus answer to the consequences of social
or cultural mobility which are not cared for by traditional codes of
conduct. Politeness thus helps negotiate difficulties and frictions
between social groups; it facilitates communication between cultures, it
inscribes itself in the subject as a technique of self- fashioning. As a
highly gender-specific code of conduct, it also produces gender difference
by disciplining the body and language and by restructuring symbolic and
real spaces. 

This conference wants to focus on the dynamics of politeness, its 
rhetoric, behaviour codes and on the cultural functions of politeness. It
addresses the question why discourses of politeness and courtesy feature
prominently at certain times while they are neglected at others and also
why we, in our own historical moment, might be interested in the history
and practice of politeness. It wants to look at the gender- specific codes
and the disciplinary impetus of courtesy and politeness, and at its impact
on the formation of the subject as well as society. 



Please let us have your title, an abstract (max. 30 lines) and 
biobliographical information (max. 25 lines) by January 31, 2007, to one
of the following email addresses:


Dr. Gisela Engel
Zentrum zur Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
G.Engel@em.uni-frankfurt.de


Prof. Dr. Brita Rang
Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaften
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
BRang@t-online.de


Prof. Dr. Susanne Scholz
Institut für England und Amerikastudien
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
s.scholz@em.uni-frankfurt.de


Prof. Dr. Johannes Süßmann
Historisches Seminar
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
suessmann@em.uni-frankfurt.de