Republic of Letters

 

 

        Welcome to History of Political Thought

This website is intended to be a resource for postgraduates working in the fields of intellectual history and the history of political thought, as well as those in related areas such as the history of science, political theory and legal history. This forum was established in 2009 by London-based postgraduates studying the history of political thought, and continues to be run by postgraduate students.

On this page, you will find information about, and can register for, upcoming conferences organised by London postgraduates working in the field. The London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thoght is currently one of three annual HPT graduate conferences in the UK, and has attracted speakers from the United States, Brazil, and Canada, as well as from numerous British institutions. The objective of the conference is to identify and explore themes in intellectual history that have resonated through the ages, gathering innovative scholarly contributions from both graduate students as well as established authorities. Past keynote speakers include Eric Nelson (Harvard) and John Dunn (Cambridge), with previous themes including Global Order and Disorder, Conceptualising Change, and Property, Dominium and Self-Ownership. The organisers of the conference have also launched an online peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought, which includes more in-depth discussions of issues raised at conferences.

You can find information about the conference and journal using the tabs at the top of this page. Scroll down to find news stories associated with the conference and our other activities. Finally, on the left of this page is a feed from the facebook group "The Republic of Letters", which often includes CFPs, job advetisements and notices about upcoming events of interest. 



 

Friday
Jun102016

Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought (30 June-1 July 2016): Programme

We are pleased to announce the programme for the Seventh Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought, 'Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought', which takes place at the Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre at University College London (UCL), on 30 June and 1 July 2016. Download the programme here

Thursday
Feb182016

CFP: IMAGINED WORLDS

CALL FOR PAPERS

NB: THIS CALL FOR PAPERS IS NOW CLOSED. THE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.  

Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought

Seventh Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought

30 June - 1 July 2016

Venue: University College London (UCL)
Keynote speaker: Professor Melissa Lane (Princeton) 

Deadline for Proposals: 15 April 2016
Notifications of acceptance will be sent out on 30 April 2016

The quincentenary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) occasions renewed reflections on imagined worlds in the history of political ideas. Thinkers have long wrestled with notions of perfect worlds and their antitheses, contemplating the possibilities and pitfalls of attempting their realisation. From Plato’s Republic and Dante’s Inferno to Bacon’s New Atlantis and Rousseau’s Social Contract, to Bentham’s Panopticon and Fourier’s phalanxes to Orwell’s Oceania and Huxley’s Brave New World, the imagined world has surfaced in innumerable forms and served myriad purposes in the history of political ideas. Why have so many thinkers and writers been fixated with imaginary worlds? What is the rhetorical function of the imagined world in political thought? How does it negotiate and redefine the boundaries between literature and political theory, fiction and reality, and blueprint and commentary? This year’s London graduate conference therefore invites proposals for papers and panels exploring imagined worlds in the history of political ideas, whether utopian or dystopian, fantastical or practical, theorised or realised.

 

Proposals for papers and panels may wish to consider some of the following themes:

-       Imagined communities: nations, empires, kingdoms, civitates, and civilisations
-       State(s) of nature, conjectural histories, and noble savages
-       Discoveries and explorations of e.g. the New World and the Pacific
-       Theories of utopias and dystopias: blueprint or commentary?
-       Political reform: philosophical kingship, ideal polities and societies
-       Social and economic utopias and dystopias
-       Theories of the state: from contractarianism to the body politic to the persona ficta
-       Imagined worlds and political ideas in literature and the theatre
-       Afterlives, underworlds, millenarianisms, and eschatologies
-       Perpetual peace, international arbitration, imagined futures, and visions of world order

 

To submit a paper, please email a CV and proposal of max. 500 words for presentations of approximately 20 minutes to conference@historyofpoliticalthought.net. Panel proposals will also be accepted.

 


Monday
May182015

2015 Conference Programme

Public and Private in the History of Political Thought

2015 London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought Programme

Click HERE for full programme!

Monday
Apr202015

Registration for 2015 Conference

Register here for the 2015 Conference: Public and Private in the History of Political Thought!

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Tuesday
Mar172015

CFP: Public and Private

CALL FOR PAPERS

Public and Private in the History of Political Thought

Sixth Annual London Graduate Conference

in the History of Political Thought

IHR, Senate House, University of London

5-6 June 3015

Keynote speaker: Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge)

Deadline for Proposals: 16 April 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out on the 18th April.

Given the increasing blurring of the public and private in today’s society this conference invites proposals for papers and panels exploring the intersection of these spheres in the history of political thought. From the classical to the modern era, political discourse has grappled with defining this relationship. We encourage abstracts engaging with the definitions of public and private as well, particularly, as those considering the relationship between the two.

Proposals for papers and panels may wish to consider some of the following themes:

 

  • The role of non-state actors in national and international politics
  • The domestic, the household and civil society
  • Gender in the history of political thought
  • Privacy, security and surveillance
  • Habits, customs and codes of public conduct
  • Sociability and Society
  • The making of citizenship
  • Arts and culture as political discourse
  • Media, censorship and self-censorship
  • Corporations and economic structures as political actors
  • Civil associations and interest groups
  • Civil religion and the relationship between church and state
  • Sexual identities and sexuality in public discourse
  • Education and educational institutions
  • The concept of the individual

 

We invite proposals from a diversity of fields that deal with the intersection of public and private in a historical perspective, including the history of political thought, political theory, geography, anthropology, international relations, philosophy, literary studies, classics and other related fields.

To submit a paper, please email a CV and proposal of max. 500 words for presentations of approximately 20 minutes to conference@historyofpoliticalthought.net. Panel proposals will also be accepted.