[H-verkko] CFP: ESSHC 2010 (Ghent): Elites Network

agricola at utu.fi agricola at utu.fi
Ke Apr 22 10:12:15 EEST 2009

Agricolan Artikkelipyyntötietokantaan
( http://agricola.utu.fi/nyt/pyynnot/ )
on tullut seuraava ilmoitus:

ESSHC 2010 (Ghent): Elites Network

The 8th European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC)

Ghent, Tuesday 13th April to Friday 16th April, 2010

Elites Network 									

Call for Papers
Deadline for proposals: 1st May 2009


The European Social Science History Conferences are bi-annual
gatherings of historians and social scientists of different fields.
The conferences in Berlin 2004 and in Amsterdam 2006 were attended by
approximately 1300 scholars while in Lisbon 2008 the number of
participants reached 1500. The responsible organiser of the
conference is the International Institute of Social History

The eighth ESSHC will take place in Ghent, Belgium, 13 April – 16
April 2010. The conference is organised in 28 thematic networks,
which arrange their own session programmes. In a typical session of
120 minutes there are normally four paper presentations (20 min
each), one discussant and one chair. It is also possible to organise
round-table sessions. The conference fee is 200 €, if paid in
advance, before 1st December 2009. Please visit the conference
website at http://www.iisg.nl/esshc for more information.

The Elites network

The Elites network of the ESSHC hosts sessions concerning the history
of cultural, political, economic and social elites. In the Lisbon
ESSHC 2008 the network organised around 20 sessions, with numerous
papers from all over Europe and from the USA. We hope that this trend
will continue also at the Ghent conference. However, as the size of
the conference is reaching a maximum, we will have to limit our
expectations of continuous growth in the future. In the 2010
conference the Elites network will be able to organise 17 sessions.

The network does not set any chronological limits for the topics of
the papers. In the past, early modern themes have been frequent.
Recently, more topics on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have
been introduced to gain a more balanced overall view. In the 2008
Lisbon network meeting it was decided, that an even more global
perspective will be favoured to ensure maximum scope for comparison.
A thematic, comparative approach is recommended, as well as
multi-disciplinary discussion and joint-network sessions. 

How to propose a session or a paper

Proposals for theme sessions are welcome, but the network chairs
encourage single paper contributions as well, since there are good
opportunities to find a place for individual papers in some of the
already proposed sessions (for a preliminary list, see below) or in
some other, forthcoming session proposals. If you have in mind a
session theme and a couple of interested speakers, do not hesitate to
contact us. 

Please note, that the session policy has been slightly altered since
the last conference. A session organiser will be able to propose two
participants at the most, keeping two places available for
independent papers; the other two papers will be chosen in
cooperation with the session organiser. 

Priority will be given to proposals that arrive well within the time
limit. Which sessions will actually take place depends on the
proposed papers: some themes may drop out and new ones pop up. In
case only a couple of papers are proposed on a particular theme, the
chairs reserve a right to combine sessions. 

If you want to propose a paper in a particular session, please
contact both the session organiser, if mentioned, and the network
chairs, Ms. Marja Vuorinen (marja.vuorinen at helsinki.fi) and Mr. José
Antonio Sánchez-Román (sanchezroman at ccinf.ucm.es). Allow us some time
to respond; if we have not replied in a week, please mail again, in
case the mail has been accidentally deleted or otherwise gone
missing. We also ask you to use the word ESSHC in the message

If you have a scholarly preference about which paper(s) your paper
should or should not be combined with, please let us know well in
advance, to allow us enough time to attend to your wishes.

You also need to fill in the online pre-registration form on the
conference webpage http://www.iisg.nl/esshc by 1st May 2009. All the
conference participants must pre-register electronically in order to
be included in the conference programme. During the pre-registration
dialogue you will be asked to choose a conference network. In order
to propose a paper to the Elites network session, choose the Elites
from the list. If you would like to act as a session chair or a
discussant, please let us know. You can also pre-register yourself to
the ESSHC discussant pool (more information available on the
conference website).

Updated information will be available on the conference website
http://www.iisg.nl/esshc. Notification of acceptances or rejections
will occur by July 2009. All participants are required to handle
their final registration and payment before 1st December 2009. The
conference secretariat will send you a notification on this in the
autumn of 2009. 

The chairs of the Elites network are looking forward to receiving
your proposals and meeting you in Ghent in spring 2010!

Proposed sessions

1) Methodologies in the writing of the social history of elites, 16th
to 20th centuries 
Organiser: W. C. Lubenow, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
(wclubenow at aol.com)

The session aims to cover a selection of methodological issues
concerning the study of elites, in a wide time frame ranging from
early modern to modern era. The proposed case studies discuss family
reconstitution, historical demography, and parish reconstitution in
the study of small and typically hidden groups of rural villagers
below the level of the gentry, and the problems of using
classificatory categories and discourse analysis to study such elites
as members of the Royal Society, the Synthetic Society, and

Other methodological issues which this session might take up include
the unique problems in studying elites in Continental Europe, Asia,
African, North America, and South America. The panel could take up
the comparative problems of quantitative and qualitative analysis as
they relate to artistic, political, and economic elites. Paper’s
might also include discussions of the approaches taken by Geoff Eley
in A Crooked Line (2005) and William Sewell in Logics of History
(2005). Rather than resolving methodological disputes or even
systematizing them, this session can advance the study of elites by
formulating and assessing the various methodological practices used
for different times and places.

2) Elites travelling: modes and functions
Organiser: Nathanaëlle Minard, University of Helsinki
(nathanaelle.minard at helsinki.fi)

The session explores the role of travelling in the definition of
elites as a social, cultural and/or political group. While modalities
and functions of the travel may vary greatly with the context, the
session offers interesting perspectives on the motivations, the
modalities and, eventually, the values of travelling for the elites.

The themes might include but are not limited to the following: the
specificities of the travel as practised and described by the elites;
the different types of travel undertaken by elites (e.g. Grand Tour,
pilgrimages); the voyage as a constituent of some particular elite
group, for example an emigrant elite (e.g. during the French
revolution); the relations with and the representations of the elites
visited or met (fellow travellers) during the journey; the relations
with and the representations of the elites from the home country,
including after the return. 

3) Elite survival I: structures, families, individuals
Wealth, power and status within aristocracy in Modern Europe
Organiser: Konstantinos Raptis, University of Athens
(raptiskm at hol.gr)

This session focuses on the importance and the functions of the
aristocratic family in the struggle for retaining its socio-economic
and socio-political status. Which were the limits and the
possibilities for the individuals and which were the differences
within a family according to gender, rank of birth, occupation,
system of heritage, etc.?

4) Elite survival II: crises and ruptures
Loyalty, patronage and social flexibility in times of crisis:
aristocratic identities of modern Europe until World War II 
Organizers: Bertrand Goujon, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
and Mirella Marini, VU Amsterdam (m.marini at let.vu.nl) 

For decades, researchers have endeavoured to unravel noble behaviour
or aristocratic values in the context of religious wars or changing
political views. Whether these behaviours or values are studied in an
early modern context or, for example, in relation to the rise of the
“bourgeoisie” in the 19th century, the issues concerned are often the
same. Aspects of honour and dynastic loyalty, for instance, remain
difficult to place when it comes to noble revolts or the nature of a
“transnational” identity. How can we explain the ability of the
nobility to seize opportunities, even when these are ambiguous and
may lead them to betray their former commitments and their
traditional (and proclaimed) values?

In recent early modern European historiography the concepts of
‘patria’ (associated to “national” aristocratic identity) and
‘loyalty’ have been the key notions in explaining the noble behaviour
in times of crisis. Yet ‘patria’ is in itself a problematic notion in
a world of changing borders and dynasties. The complex and changing
relationships between the central authorities in modern(izing)
European states and the aristocratic forces remains largely
unexplored. The underlying question, the nature of the nobility in
relation to its identities, strategies and practices, has remained

The session focuses on the behaviours of politically active
aristocracies in periods of crisis, when denominations, national
identities and the legitimacy of the authorities are jeopardized,
forcing the aristocracy to (re)define their identities. The crucial
concept is loyalty – whether as dynastic loyalty, loyalty to family,
friends (in relation to patronage), or vassals. Other issues include
the relation between dynastic loyalty and religious choice, and the
role of honour as a justification principle in times of changing
loyalties. The concept of loyalty includes a gender aspect: did women
and men have the same conceptions and expressions of loyalty, and what
were their respective duties.

5) Elites of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Block
Organiser: Meri Herrala, University of Helsinki
(meri.herrala at helsinki.fi) 

This session examines Soviet elites and their position in the Soviet
society. Soviet elites included many kinds of groups: the members of
the political and administrative elites (the so-called nomenclature),
the members of the Soviet Communist Party, as well as experts in
various fields of the Soviet society such as the cultural and
scientific intelligentsia, sportsmen, cosmonauts etc. The differences
and similarities of the status of these elites are discussed together
with positive aspects connected to the elite status. But there were
also negative aspects connected to the status of authority, and
social and financial privileges of these elites in different fields
of the society. They had also many responsibilities by the
consequence of their foremost position. 

For example, when representing their country in the West and other
socialist countries the rewards of the performing elites were in a
considerable extent taken possession by the state. While the Soviet
elites enjoyed benefits they were also living in an atmosphere of
constant surveillance and control, and their high level of expertise
was exploited for the benefit of their Soviet motherland. This
session can also offer place for the comparison of Soviet elites with
the elites of the other Eastern Block countries. The task is to put
all these aspects in a wider perspective in Soviet history and
relations inside the Soviet block.

6) Academic elites I: Elites and nation-building: universities after
World War II
Organizers: Marja Jalava, University of Helsinki
(marja.jalava at helsinki.fi) and Jussi Välimaa, University of
Jyväskylä, (jussi.valimaa at ktl.jyu.fi)

In the post-war Western Countries, the expansion of higher education
into a mass system was motivated by its contribution to economic
growth, based on the Keynesian doctrine of economic nationalism, as
well as by considering it a means of promoting social justice and
stability. Since the slogan of the day was the democratization of
society, an access to new and lower social groups to enter higher
education institutions was opened. However, all these traditions have
been challenged by the emerging neo-liberal understandings of society
since the 1980s onwards. Consequently, the nation-building function
of universities has been redefined by emphasizing the production of
innovations for industry and skilful labour force for the markets.
These changes have the potential to change the internal dynamics of
universities and to change their relationships with their societies.
The trend seems to be the re-introduction of elite institutions and
increasing demands to create ‘world-class universities’ in Europe.
The introduction of institutional status hierarchies easily
translates into demands for more socially selective admission
procedures favouring the formation of elite students and that of
higher education institutions.

This session seeks to explore the connections between elite formation
and nation-building universities. On the one hand, it will focus on
the changes which occurred in the post-war decades, and, on the other
hand, on recent history. Papers outlining concrete cases as well as
elaborating more theoretical approaches are both welcomed.

7) Academic elites II: Academic elites and dictatorships: political
and university projects
Organiser: Carolina Rodríguez López, Universidad Complutense de
Madrid (carolinarodriguez at ghis.ucm.es) 

Twentieth-century dictatorships in Europe and elsewhere saw
Universities as one of the most important fields to be reformed in
order to organize and build a new cultural, intellectual and
educational world. Academic elites, new or renewed, played an active
role in this process through their support to the new policies. This
session’s goal is to analyse the characteristics of academic elites
under totalitarian regimes. In order to achieve this, we aim to deal
with issues such as academic elites’ contribution to the “new”
university project, their beginnings as new academic elites; the
steps of their cursus honorum; or their theoretical and political
cooperation with the political system.

8) Academic elites III: 20th century Exiles Elites
Organiser: Carolina Rodríguez López, Universidad Complutense de
Madrid (carolinarodriguez at ghis.ucm.es)

Recent researches about Universities under totalitarian governments
show these universities changed –to some extent – due to the purges
carried out by this kind of regimes. As a result of these purges,
many professors were dismissed and it was necessary to quickly
rebuild the academic staff with some professors who supported the new
political regime. An important group of professors decided to continue
their careers in foreign universities which offered them this
possibility. Professors are only one example of this era global
exiles. Many others can be easily found among intellectuals elites
who departed from their home country amidst fear of political
persecution. The aim of this session is to analyse the trajectory of
intellectual elites who could continue theirs careers in exile.

9) Scientific elites and public policies
Organizer: Inmaculada Simón Ruiz, CSIC Sevilla (isruiz72 at yahoo.com)

This session’s goal is to explore the connections between scientific
developments, the establishment of professional academic disciplines
and the implementation of certain public policies, carried out by
academic, professional, political and administrative elites. For
example, the discovery of the link between certain diseases like
cholera and public waters led to the implementation of public
policies aimed to purify public waters, the introduction of sewage,
etc. In turn, this was considered as a factor associated to urban
development. There are many other possibilities that this session
will attempt to discuss, like the strengthening of Engineers
associations in the nineteenth-century and the implementation of
policies such as irrigation, dams, etc.

10) Re-inventing the urban elite? Comparative European perspectives,
Organisers: Jon Stobart, University of Northampton
(jon.stobart at northampton.ac.uk) and Bruno Blondé, University of

Socially elite groups have long been seen as playing a crucial role
in shaping the physical form, economic structure, cultural life and
political functioning of towns. Only with the rise of a powerful
bourgeoisie – often seen as a product of nineteenth-century
industrialisation – was this privileged position challenged, both on
the ground and in the historiography. And yet, unlike their rural
counterparts, the urban elite do not appear to have had a consistent
or 'natural' definition. This session seeks to explore the variable
and changing character of urban elites from the seventeenth to the
nineteenth centuries, addressing such fundamental questions as: who
were the urban elite, what made them socially distinct, and how did
they maintain their privileged position in urban society?
Eschewing simplistic economic arguments (that the rich inevitably
formed the elite), we wish to use this session to examine the
relative and changing importance of four dimensions of urban elite
status: heritance: urban elites being defined by blood-line; human
capital: status being 'earned' through education, apprenticeship or
political activity; cultural capital: status defined by lifestyle;
social capital: the importance of personal networks. Far from seeking
abstract or generic explanations, however, we are interested in
exploring how elite groups drew on these mechanisms (or others) to
reinvent themselves in a changing chronological framework. To what
extent, for example, is it possible to see a retreat from heritance;
or a switch from political activity to leisure and consumption
practices as a means of blurring social boundaries and climbing the
social ladder? At the same time, we wish to explore the commonalities
and variations in experience across Europe. We therefore welcome
papers that take a long-term or comparative perspective. 

11) Elites through material culture
Organiser: Jari-Matti Kuusela, Oulu University
(kuusela at mail.student.oulu.fi)

The session focuses on elites’ representation of their individual
and/or group identity through material culture. Following Bourdieu,
actors in the social field have a habit of distinction which also
applies to the material representation of their habitus. Thus
material culture has been, is, and will continue to be an important
element in the representation of the elite. The study of the elite
through material culture makes it possible to examine them through a
wide period of time from prehistory to modern times.

The session welcomes contributions from different fields of study,
like archaeology and architecture for example, and encourages a wide
chronological and geographical perspective. Contributions may, for
example, deal with prehistoric elites studied through archaeological
material or modern elites’ impact on the urban cultural geography.

12) Towards a comparative view on constructions, memories and
practices of the nobility in Europe (1800-2000) 
Organisers: N.H.Bijleveld (n.h.bijleveld at gmail.com) and Yme Kuiper,
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Y.B.Kuiper at rug.nl)

After the cultural turn of the 1980s new themes, sources and
perspectives have been introduced to the study of the
nobility/aristocracy in different European countries. Time has come
to evaluate the results of recent research on nobility within an
interdisciplinary framework.

The session aims at bringing together these new themes and
perspectives, either by discussing contributions by specialists of
different fields or by introducing concepts from cultural history and
historical ethnography to the study of the nobility. We welcome
contributions on the constructive and fictional aspects of the
concept of nobility (‘noble blood’) and how these are embedded in
different forms of interaction between nobles and non-nobles. Another
promising topic is the specific identifications and images connected
with noble practices and projects (from stately homes to sports, from
preferential marriage to family tradition, from education to
professional career, from genealogy to novel writing). The aim is to
explain why the nobility/aristocracy has shown such a remarkable
success in adapting to changing political and social circumstances in
the 19th century Europe and how it managed to accommodate to the rise
of denobled societies of the 20th century. 

The papers may include but are not limited to discussing perspectives
and concepts like: habitus, field, strategies for the
reproduction/transformation of economic, social, cultural and
symbolic capital (Bourdieu; De Saint Martin); the nobility as
Erinnerungsgruppe (nobility as remembrance group; Marburg, Wienfort);
stately homes as national heritage and the revival of the stately home
(Mandler); nobles and elites (Reif, Wasson); nobles, notables and
bourgeoisie; collective memory and historical drama’s (Malinowski);
noble identity as family identity (Conze); noble culture and
narratives; the making of nobility and noble self images (Cannadine,

13) When elites dream of empires

This session deals with elites’ designs, projects, narrations like
history, literature or travelogues or even utopias regarding the
creation or consolidation of an empire, or its recreation once the
empire has died. In this sense, elites are intellectuals,
politicians, religious persons and whoever thought of empire as a
solution not only to political problems but also to social, moral or
religious ones.

14) Elites-in-denial, 19th to 20th centuries 

In his classic text “Myth today” (in Mythologies, 1957) Roland
Barthes coined a notion of bourgeois elite groups as ‘hidden elites’,
who avoid admitting or even acknowledging their elite status by posing
as intermediary middle groups. Their ideological makeup is essentially
post-revolutionary, nationalist and modernist: they got rid of the
aristocracy and put up regimes based on scientific, rationalist,
progressive values and the promotion of democracy. Such
elites-in-denial are usually fairly recent power groups, determined
to cling to their middle class origin, thus actively presenting
themselves as non-elites. 

The original, Barthesian wave of this phenomenon were the 19th
century and early 20th century bourgeois elites. The second wave were
the radical leftist intellectuals of the 1960s and ‘70s, who in their
turn aimed at overthrowing the bourgeois rule. The session seeks to
compare case studies on these two momentous appearances of the
phenomenon, but welcomes also papers that discuss (or contest) the
whole notion, or introduce its other manifestations.

15) Antonio Gramsci and the organic elites

Antonio Gramsci is probably best remembered for his notion of
‘hegemony’, as opposed to ‘domination’, and the role of ideology in
maintaining a hegemonic position. No regime can remain in power for
long through a coercive apparatus alone, but can maintain stability
only by ascertaining popular support. Mass education and other mass
communications provide a subtle means of control. Hegemony results
from an ideological bond between the rulers and the ruled, as the
majority of the population is socialised to accept the current set of
values as normal. The role of the intelligentsia in an established
hegemony is to perform the ideological maintenance work.

To bring about a shift of hegemony a new group has to create a
‘counter hegemony’. This is best achieved through informal education.
Again, the contribution of intellectuals is crucial. Therefore each
emerging social group has to create within itself intellectuals to
think and speak for it, organise it, give it meaning, and bind it
together: functionaries, teachers, writers, technicians, scientists,
artists, managers, lawyers, doctors etc. They develop organically
alongside a ruling class and function for its benefit. 

The session explores the role of intellectuals – whether bourgeois,
nationalist, socialist, capitalist, Marxist or fascist – in
legitimising and maintaining hegemonies. The main focus is on the
19th and 20th centuries, but the time frame is extendable to earlier

16) Workshop: the concept of power, applied

This workshop focuses on the central concept of elite research:
power. The word as such raises immediate passions and can be misused
in many ways for ideological purposes, but is nevertheless
indispensable for understanding how societies function. Elite
researchers need constantly readdress questions about the nature,
ways, types, sources, expressions, manifestations, and disguises of
power. As students of elites, we also need to have a clear
understanding about the multitude of scholarly definitions and
everyday usages of our key concept. If you wish to share your
dilemmas and insights concerning the study of power with other
like-minded researchers, this workshop is for you. 

The session won’t be arranged as a main event, with big names on a
podium, but as a grass root level discussion about case-related,
research-originated problems and solutions. So far the network has
recruited speakers on Bourdieu and Gramsci, and is inviting more
speakers to discuss giants like Foucault and other favourite
theorists of power and elites – so take your pick! A paper can seek
to cover the ideas of a theorist (several papers can approach same
one from different angles), or discuss various interconnected
theories or models. 

To make the discussion as democratic as possible, we hope to stage
the session in a room with an actual round (or square) table. The
workshop may be organised as an extended, four-hour session.

Other possible session themes

Other possible topics include, but are by no means limited to

- Culture of distinction in the Bourdieuan sense
- Elite semiotics 
- Media as an elite arena 
- Cultural and political conflicts between established and aspiring
- Imperial/National to Soviet to post-Soviet political elites, in
Russia proper and in former  
Soviet Socialist Republics, e. g. in the Baltic States & Baltic
- Applicability of gender perspectives on elites & feminist elites
- Imperial Elites/Global Elites 

Ilmoituksen lähetti: Marja Vuorinen <marja.vuorinen at helsinki.fi>
Ilmoitus vanhentuu: 02.05.2009
Lisätietoja WWW-osoitteesta: http://