Archiv der Kategorie: Call for Papers

CfA: Special Issue for the journal Frühneuzeit-Info 31 (2020) – Early Modern DisAbility History // DisAbility in der Frühen Neuzeit

by Julia Heinemann/Julia Gebke

Imagine the following scenario (Goodey, 1): time travel is possible nowadays. A person labelled as disabled in today’s society has access to a time machine and travels some centuries back in time. Would this person be considered disabled in other times as well? Depending on the era and the culture this person would encounter, the answer might differ significantly. Hence, we start from the basic assumption that disability is subject to both cultural and historical change. It is therefore the result of constructions and attributions embedded in a specific historical period and culture.

In addition, being able or disabled always depends on other social categories and dynamics: Is the time traveller male or female, what is his/her social position and familial ties in the society he/she travels to, to which ethnic or religious community would the person belong, etc.? An axiom of DisAbility History stresses that “[l]ike gender, like race, disability must become a standard analytical tool in the historian’s tool chest” (Longmore/Umansky, 15). Methodologically, DisAbility History benefits from looking at intersections of analytical categories. This means that disability can only be understood in relation to ability. Therefore, it is also crucial to ask who is regarded to be able or unable to do something in certain contexts.

Continuities as well as ruptures shape our understanding of the early modern period. On the one hand, early modern times might retrospectively appear to be the incubation period of modernity (“Inkubationszeit der Moderne”, Paul Münch). In DisAbility History, we can assume that the emergence of the Cartesian mind-body dualism, of secularisation, medicalisation, or the long-standing scholarly trend to categorise phenomena, to name only a few examples, affected and changed the ways of understanding diseases and health until today. On the other hand, as researchers, we are constantly addressing early modern otherness in terminologies, experiences and conceptualisations of DisAbility. In addition, we notice some astonishingly persistent continuities from the medieval to early modern period when it comes to treating illness and disease.

For our special issue Early Modern DisAbility History in the journal Frühneuzeit-Info, we invite scholars from various disciplines focusing on the early modern period (such as history, art history, literature, archaeology, anthropology, etc.) to submit their contributions. Articles can be submitted in English or German (max. 40,000 characters, including spaces, submission deadline: 30 April 2020). Proposals for contributions in English or German, including an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short CV should be sent to and no later than 30 September 2019.

For further information see:

Call for Publications: From the “New World“ to Europe – Transfers since the 16th Century. Routledge 2017

CfA: From the “New World“ to Europe – Transfers since the 16th Century.
Routledge 2017

Prof. Dr. Martina Kaller-Dietrich, University of Vienna
Prof. Dr. Frank Jacob, City University of New York

Colonialism, as the rule of a foreign collective over an indigenous collective, is usually seen as a form of economic exploitation, in which most of the political decisions are driven by the economic demands and needs of the colonizing power. However, explorations and expansion in the so called “New World“ would also stimulate major changes in Europe as the consequence of cultural transfers, especially in the 16th and 17th century. The newly found territories had much more to offer than gold and treasure. Potatos or Tobacco are just two well known examples for the transfer of “New World“ goods to Europe that would not only cause economic, but also cultural change. Whereas in the early transfer and reception of American species and objects were treasured at curiosity chambers and restricted collections, the following centuries were shaped by global mass-transfers of America’s resources. American goods massively reached Europe. Sugar and Chili changed tastes and the globalized food habits. Precious wood, fine metals and rubber fueled an expanding industrialization on both sides of the Atlantic.
The aim of this volume is to show an essential part of globalizing processes from the 16th to the 20th century, which also allowed wide reaching networks and global connections.

With a focus on the American colonies and later nation states, the editors ask for proposals that would deal with these changes since the 16th century, be it from a global or transnational perspectivs. Possible topics could include but are not limited to studies on
– the introduction of American food and the change of European foodways
– tobacco history
– the import of tropical resources for European industrialization and changes in fabrics and
furniture designs
– fashion from feather trimmings to blue jeans
– changes in botany
– exotic objects
– or specific case studies on trade relations and their cultural impact on Europe.

Especially appreciated are comparative studies that consider a broader approach, while regional case studies are also welcome.

Interested authors should send a short proposal (300 words) and a short bio (150 words) to
Martina Kaller ( and Frank Jacob (

The proposals are due until May 31, 2016 while the final chapters (6,000-9,000 words, footnotes, Chicago Manual of Style) are expected until February 15, 2017.