fear-antwerp

Call for papers: What were the early moderns afraid of?

Call for papers for a two-day conference at the University of Antwerp. June 8-9 2017.

The early moderns seem to have had an almost endless list of fears: God, devils, ghosts, war, each other, nature, lack of knowledge, curiosity, new science, the emotions, free-thinking, sex, women, famine, execution, the law, lawlessness, death, chaos, other religions and other cultures, loss or dissolution of social rank… and their fears spanned the realms of the passions, reason, religion, culture, and politics.
The motivation for the conference is the general question of what the early moderns were afraid of, philosophically, personally, and politically. Where did these fears come from? Where did they believe they came from? How did they try to overcome these fears, or profit from them? What were they not afraid of? What did they think fear was? How different were their fears from our own?
The conference seeks to investigate some philosophical and historical aspects of early modern thought, as a means to a fuller picture of early modern conceptions of human nature and society, and to take a different approach to some historical questions. We are open to papers both philosophical and historical, addressing any aspect of fear in the early modern period.

Keynote speakers:
Winfried Schröder (Marburg)
Provisional title: Naturalism – a spectre which haunted the early moderns
Peter Schröder (UCL)
Provisional title: “I have almost forgot the taste of fear” – Some aspects of fear in the early modern mindset

Papers will be 30 minutes long, with 15 minutes for discussion. Lunches, coffee, and dinner on the first night will be provided. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse for travel or accommodation.

Please send abstracts of 300-500 words to alissa.macmillan@uantwerpen.be by March 20, 2017, and we will let you know of our decision by the end of the month.