The application of spatial paradigms to the study of late medieval and early modern societies is now well underway. In contrast, the so-called ‘mobility turn’ has struggled to find its way from the social sciences to the humanities and, in particular, to history. This conference proposes to bring the two together by exploring how everyday mobility contributed to the shaping of late medieval and early modern spaces, and how spatial frameworks affected the movement of people in pre-modern Europe.
In focusing on these issues, the conference also intends to relate to current social challenges. The world is now more mobile than ever, yet it is often argued that more spatial boundaries exist today than ever before. The conference hopes to reflect on this contemporary paradox by exploring the long-term history of the tension between the dynamicity of communities, groups and individuals, and the human construction of places and boundaries.
Prospective speakers are invited to submit proposals of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers. Papers may engage with questions of mobility and space at a variety of levels (regional, urban, domestic) and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged. Potential sub-topics may include, but are by no means limited to:
Performing space through movement (border patrols, civic and religious processions, frontier trespassing)
Mobile practices in public spaces (itinerant courts, temporary fairs, diplomatic exchanges, travelling performances, revolts on the move)