Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revolution and Evolution

The Birkbeck Early Modern Society’s Third Student Conference
Saturday 25 July 2009, 10.00-16.30
Room 532, Malet St


The Birkbeck Early Modern Society is pleased to announce our third annual student conference. We aim to provide a safe and constructive space for students to present their research and to network and exchange ideas with peers from a range of disciplines. The day promises to be an ideal forum to showcase student research and to provide opportunities to practice presentation skills. Our theme this year is ‘Revolution and Evolution’. We are interested in revolutionary and evolutionary change during the early modern period (roughly 1500-1800), whether it be in the field of politics, art, science, religion, music, literature, philosophy, belief, medicine, consumption, etc. Briefly, we have taken ‘revolution’ to imply a greater, more immediate change, and ‘evolution’ to imply a small series of incremental changes. We are looking for a diverse collection of papers, based on subjects that can be connected to our conference theme.
Here are some points which you may wish to consider but please do carry out your own interpretation too:
• What different types of revolution are there and what impact do they have? Political, social, cultural, ideological, intellectual, and religious revolutions can all be considered.
• How did the early moderns define a ‘revolution’? Has this changed over time? What makes a revolution ‘revolutionary’?
• Is a revolution the culmination of an evolutionary process that has reached the end of its natural life? Does evolution need the ‘big event’ of a revolution to restart the process on a new level?
• Evolution typically refers to a process of development by small, incremental steps. Are these changes planned or unplanned?
• ‘History is a process, not an event’. Given that premise, is evolution a series of tiny, but distinct, revolutions?
You are invited to submit a proposal for a paper lasting 20 minutes (approximately 2,000 words).
Please email your proposal for a paper in the form of a synopsis of about 250 words, to Laura Jacobs, Secretary of the Birkbeck Early Modern Society:
The deadline for proposals is Monday 22 June 2009.


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