Hansards in the World: Continuity and Discontinuity on the Intellectual, Cultural, and Economic Frontiers of the Early Modern Hanse – Call for Papers

Date / time: 31 October, 12:00 am

Hansards in the World: Continuity and Discontinuity on the Intellectual, Cultural, and Economic Frontiers of the Early Modern Hanse - Call for Papers


Early Career Symposium – Call for Papers, 31 October 2021

Date: 20-21 January Time: 10:00 – 12:00 h. CET each day 13.30- 16.00 h. CET each day Submission deadline for CfP: 31 October 2021

Location: University of Amsterdam

Organizers: Alexander Collin (University of Amsterdam) & Suzie Hermán (Princeton University)

Language: English

Keynote speaker: Dr. Angela Huang (director of the Research Centre for Hanse and Baltic History at the European Hansemuseum)



Hansards in the World gathers and promotes new histories of the Hanse, an association of European merchants and towns, and how they interacted with the wider world in the early modern period. Contributors explore novel perspectives and approaches on the late life and afterlife of this association. How might we engage with the kinetic character of the Hanse? How does our perspective on the Hanse, its people, and its encounters with the non-Hanseatic world change if we focus on art, everyday life, or intellectual currents in the period of its supposed decline from the sixteenth century onwards?

We welcome contributions from PhD students and early career researchers and are keen to hear from applicants who might not consider themselves as Hanse historians. For instance, urban and maritime historians; researchers of artistic, political, or popular culture; or scholars of any of the many other histories which intersect with Hanseatic studies. Participants will contribute to understanding which aspects of the Hanse persisted beyond the medieval period, and which aspects changed in early modernity. Contributions can draw on a wide range of methodologies and intellectual traditions. The following questions are provided for inspiration but applications responding to other questions are also appreciated.

  • To what extent was the early modern period a time of decline for the Hanse?
  • How did processes of globalization manifest in the Hanse?
  • In what respects did the Hanse operate as a bridge between (European / Global) markets or cultures?
  • How and why were Hansards, the Hanse, and Hanseatic towns represented in literature, art, and architecture?
  • How did Hanse merchants experience or contribute to cultural exchange?
  • Who were the Hanse’s key intellectual players and how did their world of thought affect the course of the organization?
  • What role did the Hanse play in the transmission of skills, technologies, and intellectual movements such as humanism?
  • What was the role of women in the Hanse?
  • How did Hansards adapt the legal and political structures of the Hanse to changing ideas of law, state, and sovereignty?
  • How did the laws of Hanseatic cities interact with the jurisdictions their citizens passed through?
  • How were young Hansards prepared for their futures? Did the Hanse have distinctive educational institutions and cultures?
  • Did the changes of early modernity reshape the demography of Hanseatic towns or the material circumstances of their inhabitants?

Guide for Authors

The symposium will take place over two days, with each participant presenting for 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. The language of the symposium will be English. Abstracts of up to 300 words along with the applicant’s name, position, and institutional affiliation should be submitted by 31 October 2021.

Abstracts should include: The central question of the paper; How the author proposes to answer the question; Outline of the methodology; What the paper adds to the participant’s area of research and to Hanse Studies in particular.

PhD students, postdocs, and early career researchers are especially encouraged to apply. Some funding will be made available to defray travel costs, applicants who are interested should indicate this in their submissions. Our intention is to develop contributions to the symposium for publication, applicants who would like to contribute should express interest in their submissions.

Corona acknowledgement: The event is planned to be held in person at the University of Amsterdam, however, due to COVID19, plans may change. If the in-person event cannot go ahead, the symposium will be held as an online event. If you are unable to travel due to the Covid-19 situation in your area please contact us regarding online participation.

Contact information: For submissions, questions, and to register for the symposium please contact us at: hansardsintheworld@gmail.com

Organizing team: Alexander Collin: a.j.collin@uva.nl and Suzie Hermán: johannah@princeton.edu