Call for Papers: The Sea: Maritime Worlds in the Early Modern Period
The 12th conference of the Working Group on Early Modern History in the German Historians’ Association (Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands) will be hosted by the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. This conference on the theme of “The Sea: Maritime Worlds in the Early Modern Period” will take place 5-7 October 2017. We warmly invite proposals for panels in German or English.
The sea, Fernand Braudel once stated, formed both a “barrier” and a “useful, almost perfect plane” during the early modern period. It was an important resource – but also a hazard: For those living in port cities and coastal areas or on rivers and islands, the sea was at once vital and life-threatening; not until the end of the period did it become a place of yearning. So, on the one hand, this conference seeks to explore the perceptions, imaginations and experiences of those living by, on and off the sea. It investigates interpretations which, time and again, helped people define their relationship with the sea, and it considers strategies that people developed in interacting with the sea. But the sea has always been a route of transport, a contact zone, and an arena of conflict, too: long distance trade, naval wars and transoceanic migration shaped the “Hinterland” as well as more distant regions, both locally and globally. Thus on the other hand, the conference enquires into the dimensions, range and influence of the maritime. It looks for economic, ecological, political, social and cultural entanglements, transfers, exchange relationships, and interdependencies brought about by maritime mobility and interaction in the early modern period. These perspectives offer multiple starting points into a broad and varied field of research. For if an “Oceanic Turn” or a “New Thalassology” are already being discussed, these primarily challenge boundaries – not just national and disciplinary boundaries, but also, for example, the limits of established historiographical conceptions of space.
Please send proposals for panels with a maximum of four speakers and one (optional) discussant to Professor Peter Burschel (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1st September 2016. These should be written in German or English and should not exceed 800 words. Proposals should contain a title, a brief summary of the topic and the names of participants. We hope to be able to offer financial support to colleagues travelling from abroad. Panels for the conference will be selected by the steering committee of the Working Group at this years’ Historikertag (20-23 September 2016).