27. May 2024

Call for Papers: Call for Papers

Dependency and Agency at the Northern Crossroads of Pre-modern Asia and Europe

Recent cataclysms in Eastern Europe prove glaringly just how important it is to continuously discuss and analyze asymmetrical dependencies in premodern inner Eurasian connecting spaces north and east of the great mountain ranges (e.g., Carpathians, Caucasus, Pamir, Tien Shan, Altai, etc.), now in large parts claimed by Russia.

The conference reaches beyond what is now Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, encouraging scientific debates across regional and temporal disciplinary boundaries with area studies globally within the framework of the histories of entanglements and memory

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The Research Network Premodern East Slavic Europe is committed to bringing together historians studying this area in periods up to the long 18th century for scientific exchange and dialogue, to overcome the current marginalization of these fields in scientific and public perception. The conference invites participants to grapple with the concepts of dependency and (inter-)agency in the premodern northern connecting spaces of Europe and Asia.

It focuses, on the one hand, on exploring the approaches to asymmetric social dependencies, e.g., on serfs, captives, (debt-)slaves, apprentices, convicts, colonized, coerced, and within the family or household. On the other hand, cross-connections with fields of inquiry in political and (trans-) imperial history with a view to asymmetrical interethnic and resource dependencies as well as environmental history will be examined.

Submission Details

Abstract Length: Maximum 500 words
Presentation Duration: 20 minutes
Languages: German or English
Documents Required: Abstract and a tabular CV with a list of publications (if available) in PDF format
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2024
Submission Email: alehmber@uni-bonn.de (Astrid Lehmberg, team assistant, Prof. Dr. Christoph Witzenrath)

Conference Details

Conference Languages: German and English (primary lingua franca is English)
Travel and Accommodation Costs: Covered by the Chair of Pre-Modern Slavery and Asymmetric Dependencies, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn
Publication: A thematically focused publication of selected contributions is envisaged, conditional on the quality of the academic debate.

Visa Information

Visa Application: If needed, send your application at your earliest convenience

Topics for Debate
Possible questions for debate include, but are not limited to:

  • The concept of strong asymmetric dependency (SAD) and its analytical utility
  • Relationships and interactions among actors in SAD contexts
  • Regulation or barring of exit and protest in SAD
  • Impact of various social markers on SAD
  • Spectrum between mutual dependency and SAD or slavery
  • Historical prevalence and variations of SAD
  • Local and trans-local embedding of SAD in institutions and practices
  • Change in SAD, such as emancipation of serfs
  • Access to resources for SA dependents and gatekeeping by dominants
  • Contributions of environmental and (trans-)imperial history to understanding SAD
  • Influence of cultures of memory on perceptions of SAD
  • Continuing social and cultural power of past SADs

Go to the Full German & English Call for Papers PDF

Further information on the concept of strong asymmetric dependency and working definitions can be found on  concept papers

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