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News and Announcements: Calls for Papers

CfP: Paper Trails: Early Modern Inventories, SCSC 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019   (0 Comments)

Paper Trails: Early Modern Inventories

Call For Papers – Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, 50th Anniversary
St. Louis, Missouri, USA – 17–20 October 2019

Inventories are simultaneously reassuring to the historian and deceptive in their reassurance. Structured by institutional and bureaucratic processes, inventories are an important part of the early modern world’s legal and archival remains. These constructions stand as reflections of workshops, dowries, collections, and estates. Implicitly complete, but often partial, inventories can appear as notarized documents, casual lists, published catalogues, or cyclically updated asset sheets. Inventories challenge the scholar in myriad ways, while providing a glimpse into the elusive documented material past.

This Call For Papers is open to scholarly research focusing on any of the many aspects of research that have grown out of or that use inventories. Presentations could focus on the following issues and practices seen across the world from 1400-1700 CE:

  • Big data: Probate inventories
  • Deception and fraud in inventories
  • Institutional inventories
  • Seeing spaces in inventories
  • Social class and material culture in household inventories
  • Workshop inventories: tools, production, and worth
  • Dowry inventories and wedding purchases
  • Combining or dividing households
  • Bills, payments, and loans: household accounts and inventories

Please send a half-page curriculum vitae, a presentation title, and a 200-word abstract of the proposed presentation to the session organizer Jennifer Mara DeSilva ( In addition, please detail any A/V requirements that you might have.

All presenters must register for the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, be committed to attending the conference in St. Louis, and make their own travel arrangements. For more information about the SCSC, please see the conference website:

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 March 2019.

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