Posts Tagged ‘social science history’

Just a quick heads up that the call for papers and panels for the next European Social Science History Conference, to be held at Queen’s Belfast in April 2018, has just been published. Full details for the Antiquity Network, which I co-chair, can be found over at the little-frequented Social Science Ancient History blog (https://socsciah.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/esshc-2018-belfast-call-for-proposals/), so I won’t go into detail here, except to say that this is always a great opportunity to meet not only fellow ancient historians working on topics in economic, social and cultural history, but also to engage with colleagues from all periods and geographical areas. If you have an idea for a panel – and don’t feel that you need to be a senior academic to put together a proposal – then Arjan and I would really like to hear from you; we have a few plans of our own for sessions focused on one or more of the really important books that have been published in our field in the last year or so, but it’s always the variety of themes and debates that makes this such a worthwhile and stimulating occasion, and that depends on you…

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There’s an interesting piece in Aeon magazine this week about mainstream economics, the title of which gives a fairly broad hint about what’s coming: The New Astrology. Both systems of knowledge, Alan Jay Levinovitz argues, are actually pseudoscience; they adopt the trappings of genuine empirical science (astrology’s elaborate calculations and specialised terminology, economics’ “mathiness” and formal models) but ultimate represent failed intellectual models which are incapable of producing reliable predictions – which is their main claim to authority, and the main justification for the substantial rewards enjoyed by those practitioners who receive official blessing. Some (well-established, tenured) economists will admit that the empirical basis of their claims is sometimes problematic, and that the failure to anticipate the 2008 crash was indeed troubling – but the basic model of what is considered valid economic analysis persists. (more…)

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11th European Social Science History Conference 2016, Valencia, Spain, 30 March – 2 April 2016

Antiquity network: Call for Papers and Sessions

The ESSHC is a biennial conference that brings together historians and other scholars from across the world who are interested in studying the past using the methods of the social sciences.  The programme is organised around Networks, each of which organises panel sessions (including collaborative sessions with other networks): some of these are period-based, some based on geographical area, and some focused on themes or methods.  You can find further information about the ESSHC on its web page, http://esshc.socialhistory.org/.

The ESSHC has had an Antiquity network since its inception; it has become the main regular forum for discussions of ancient economic and social history, an opportunity to meet scholars from other countries as well as to see what’s happening in other periods and other fields. The network is currently co-chaired by Neville Morley (Bristol) and Arjan Zuiderhoek (Ghent).

We now invite proposals for panel sessions and individual papers for the next meeting of the ESSHC, in Valencia in 2016.  Panel sessions last two hours, and generally involve four (sometimes three) papers on a specific theme, with or without a discussant, and with a chair.  Ideally, panel contributors should come from a mix of countries, and certainly a mix of universities.  We are particularly interested in proposals for inter-disciplinary and comparative panels, on such themes as urbanisation, credit and debt, or poverty and inequality, but we will be happy to discuss any ideas you wish to put forward.  The earlier you contact us, the more advice we’ll be able to offer.

There is also scope for proposing an individual paper, of roughly 20 minutes, if you do not wish to organise a whole panel; if your proposal is accepted, we may put you in touch with the organiser of a relevant session, to see if your paper could be accommodated there, or we may seek to put together a composite panel of individual submissions.  Again, the sooner you contact us to discuss your ideas or submit your proposal, the better.

Two important notes.  Firstly, proposals for both panel sessions and individual papers need to be submitted via the ESSHC website using their online pre-registration form by 1st of May 2015 in order to be considered, even if you have been discussing the idea with us. Panel organisers need to ensure that all participants in their panels have sent in their abstracts and pre-registered by the deadline, with an indication of the name of the session to which their paper belongs. Secondly, the ESSHC does have a relatively substantial conference fee (but with a good discount for postgraduates), and does not have the resources to support travel expenses, so if you’re organising a panel you will need to make sure that all your speakers are aware that they’ll have to cover their own costs.

Once again, please do contact one or both of us if you would like to discuss proposing a paper or a panel.

Arjan (andriesjohan.zuiderhoek@ugent.be) & Neville (n.d.g.morley@bristol.ac.uk)

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