Cities and Citizens 17th-Century Studies Conference
13th July 2015, 09:00 to 15th July 2015, 14:00, Durham University
Conference website: https://www.dur.ac.uk/imems/events/?eventno=20694
Confirmed keynote speakers :
Professor Chris Fitter (Rutgers University) Title to be confirmed
Professor Susanne Rau (University of Erfurt) From Urbanization to Urbanity. New trends in exploring the history of early modern cities
Professor Phil Withington (University of Sheffield) Early Modern English Urbanization Reconsidered
The 2015 conference focuses on the topic of ‘Cities and Citizens’ and will focus on the ways in which urban centres were perceived, experienced, understood and represented in the ‘long seventeenth century’ (c.1580-1720). The conference will be held within the World Heritage Site on Palace Green in the heart of the seventeenth-century bishopric capital of Durham.
The conference aims to provide an opportunity for scholars in a range of disciplines to meet and discuss their work on the city and citizenship. Our over-arching theme is the distinctive urban experience of the seventeenth century. How did the seventeenth-century European city arise from late medieval urbanism and become established in the New World? How did the European city stand between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment? How did cities and ‘citizenship’ function in non-European cultures? How did different urban cultures interact and influence one another?
We invite papers on how the built environment of the city was represented in cartography, painting, printed images and in literary and dramatic works. What were the physical and sensory characteristics of the urban environment? How did the material form of the city change? Especially important here is architectural form – civic, ecclesiastical, official and vernacular. How did urban and rural people read the urban landscape? Here we hope to draw on the insights of archaeological theory as well as on recent findings in post-medieval urban historical archaeology.
The distinctiveness of the urban experience will be explored. What were the effects of inter-urban trade and of trade and migration between town and countryside? What were the economics of urbanization? In what ways did urban labour differ from that in rural communities and how was it regulated? How did urban people understand customary law and access to common resources? How did civic remembrance connect with popular memory? How did religious conflict change cities and in what ways were confessional identities inflected by the urban experience?
Special emphasis will be placed upon the idea and practice of citizenship. Who did this term include and who was left out? In what ways were ideas about citizenship inflected by nationality, ethnicity, belief, class, gender, property, skill, schooling and age? How far were early modern ideas about citizenship reflective of classical ideals, and how did they connect to those of the late medieval period? To what extent did citizenship guarantee inclusion within the urban polity, and what rights and obligations came with that inclusion? In what ways did those excluded from citizenship nonetheless participate in the urban polity?