CfP: The History of Knowledge Conference – Porto 2023

30. Maggio 2023
Call for papers

The production and circulation of Knowledge and its external representations have been the object of investigation in a diversity of research fields of historical research. In this sense, and to cover all this
diversity, the selected papers will be invited to join the discussions within at least one of the six conference topics.

1 – Circulation mechanisms: this topic addresses the societal processes of knowledge circulation, including the action of individuals both within informal, self-organised networks and within institutions, be they of a political, cultural or academic nature. How are these networks formed? To what social, geographical, cultural, political and epistemic contexts are they related? What is their role in the transformation of Knowledge? These are just some of the questions underlying this first topic.

2 – Migrant Knowledge: this topic welcomes papers that address, in historical terms, the social, material and intellectual impacts of the flows of Knowledge that accompanied the massive migratory processes. Whether it concerns spontaneous displacement processes or forced population movements, we are interested in discussing the transformations brought about in the reception places by knowledge transfers. We are very excited to welcome research works that analyse, among other topics, the universes of social and cultural practices, changings in the relations of populations with the environment and the transformations in material culture, practical Knowledge, science and technology and its impacts on educational processes.

3 – Translations, selective permeabilities and misunderstandings: we also welcome papers that propose to discuss the role of translation of texts in the context of knowledge circulation processes. Translation processes and the performance of translators and other go-betweens are crucial for the dissemination and communication of Knowledge. In this sense, we expect to receive papers that analyse translation as a source of information for the understanding of the role of Knowledge in historical processes of social transformation.

4 – Historicising knowledge societies: This topic is dedicated to the historical processes of the emergence of Knowledge Societies. Here the term “knowledge society” is used broadly, related to broad-spectrum social change. In this sense, we invite researchers whose work focuses on the centrality of Knowledge in a wide variety of historical processes, such as the transformations of social structure, its relationship to globalisation, the diffusion of specialised culture, the relevance of intellectual capital and its impact on economic change. Research papers that address the specific historical and socio-economic conditions that provided the necessary activating energy for an economy based on the production and circulation of Knowledge are especially welcome.

5 – Knowledge and Globalisation: This topic addresses the idea that, in historical terms, the production and circulation of Knowledge are linked to the establishment of communication processes that often involve coercion and social, economic, or racial inequality. Throughout the long process of globalisation initiated at the beginning of the Early Modern Age, knowledge production, circulation and consumption expanded rapidly, contributing decisively to essential changes in the existing social and economic organisation. With this in mind, we welcome papers addressing how the circulation of Knowledge has been impacted and transformed by the construction of global connections.

6 – Public knowledge circulation: This topic intends to welcome the debates around the circulation processes of Knowledge outside its original production niches or close-knit knowledge communities. What can be considered Public Knowledge in different historical, social or geographical contexts? What processes involve increasing the reach of a particular type or body of Knowledge? What are these processes’ social, economic, cultural or political implications? This topic welcomes papers exploring these and other questions around the Public Knowledge concept.

The call for proposals is open between March 1st and May 30th.

Researchers are invited to submit their papers on the social material and intellectual conditions of the historical processes of production and circulation of Knowledge. The scope of this conference encompasses topics related to the transformation processes that impacted cultural identities, social practices, political conjunctures and cognitive dimensions. Research related to any geographical area from the Early Modern Age to the 20th century is welcome.

Organizzato da
CITCEM - University of Porto


Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto Via Panorâmica
Via Panorâmica


Gisele Cristina da Conceição

+351 226 077 177
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