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What is new in social history ?

Illustration du colloque

Jeudi 28 et vendredi 29 septembre 2023

Nihon Room, Pembroke College
University of Cambridge (United Kiingdom)

This event, organised by Elsa Génard (Harvard University), Renaud Morieux (University of Cambridge), and Claire Zalc (CNRS-EHESS), is supported by the Joint Centre for History and Economics at Harvard and Cambridge, the Past & Present Society, and the ERC Lubartworld (IHMC-CNRS/EHESS).

In recent years, scholars across various subfields have revitalized the practice of social history. This workshop will bring together leading practitioners to ask where the field is headed. It will explore the emergence of social history, at the crossroads of several disciplines. First, we wish to reflect on the practices of interdisciplinarity research within a comparative, international, and transgenerational framework. By bringing into dialogue senior and early-career researchers from different countries, we aim to identify the effects of national frameworks on our practices. Bringing together historians from different countries also makes it possible to compare the intellectual geographies in which social history has been embedded. Second, we want to highlight the current relationship between history and other social sciences. Without falling into a naive or empty vision of interdisciplinarity, we would like to reflect on how historians today adopt methodological proposals or analytical frameworks from sociology, anthropology, ethnography, political science, and economics, as well as from law and literature. While some historians, such as William Sewell, have sought to define the theoretical connections between history and the social sciences, this workshop will centre the historians’ methods and praxis : from their choice of an analytical framework to their writing techniques, including the concrete work on sources and the implementation of their methodology. One of the workshop’s key assumptions is the notion that the “tricks of the trade” (Howard S. Becker) will enable its participants to think collectively about the past and current challenges faced by social history.

Thursday, September 28

9:00am : Welcome/Coffee

9:30 am : Introduction

10:00 am - 12:00pm. Panel I. Interdisciplinarity in Action

Social History and the Law : The Conditions for a Fruitful Encounter (Savoy Estate, 18th century)

Simona Cerutti (EHESS)

Interactions, Process, Configurations : The Commune de Paris as a Test

Quentin Deluermoz (Université de Paris)

The Warden and the Prisoners. Analyzing a Power Relationship Over Time, between Social History and Sociology

Elsa Génard (Harvard University) and Corentin Durand (Sciences Po Paris)

12pm - 1:30pm. Lunch

1:30 - 3:30pm : Panel II. Working with and on Silences

Seeing and Hearing the Social in Transpacific Japan

Martin Dusinberre (University of Zurich)

Jews, Catholics and the others. Interpreting missing information on confession in 1930s Poland

Claire Zalc (CNRS-EHESS) et Anton Perdoncin (CNRS)

Impossible Retrievals : A Palestinian Childhood After Catastrophe

Mezna Qato (Newnham College, University of Cambridge)

3:30 - 4:00 pm : Coffee break

4:00 - 6:00 pm : Panel III. The Transformation of Social History since the 1970s

History and the Social Sciences in Britain, An Emeritus Perspective

Joanna Innes (University of Oxford)

Social History Revisited (c. 1979) : Histories of Economic Life in the French Provinces

Emma Rothschild (Harvard University)

I Care ! : Social Reproduction, Carework, and the Writing of History.

Sarah Knott (Indiana University)

7:30 pm : Dinner at a local restaurant

Friday, September 29

9:30 : Welcome/Coffee

9:45 - 11:45am : Panel IV. Beyond Constructivism

Taking Political Risks:Financial Speculation and Innovation in Marseille’s Marine Insurance Market, 1754-1783

Mallory Hope (Harvard University)

From Numbers to Boundaries, from Boundaries to Numbers : Apprentices in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century France

Claire Lemercier (CNRS) (with Clare Crowston)

Racial Capitalism and the Social History of Colonialism

Madeline Woker (University of Cambridge)

12:00 – 1:30 pm : Lunch

1:30 – 3:30 pm : Panel V. Styles of Inquiry, Writing Styles

The Past Lasts Forever : An Early-Modern Historian Confronted by the History of his Family

Renaud Morieux (University of Cambridge)

An Olivarera [Olive Worker] from Andalusia and New Ways to Write History

Roseanna Webster (University of Cambridge)

Historians and Their Kin : Epistemological, Rhetorical, and Positional Displacements

Stéphane Gerson (NYU)

3:30 – 4:15 pm. Closing discussion

Publié le 5 septembre 2023, mis a jour le vendredi 6 octobre 2023

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