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Scientiae 2024

The 11th annual meeting of Scientiae will take place in Brussels, with support of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), the ERC-funded project VERITRACE, and the FWO/FRS-FNRS funded RENEW18 project. The conference committee is led by Prof. Cornelis J. Schilt (VUB), and includes Prof. Steffen Ducheyne (VUB) and Eleonora Sammarchi (ETH, Zürich). As always, proposals are accepted on all topics related to the 1400–1800 period, with an interdiscplinary focus and the view of generating a global investigation of knowledge-making.

This year, the committee envisions a significant cluster of papers on the theme “The Twilight of the Gods,” which addresses the process in which from a relatively isolated Europe, Asia, and the Americas, the world became global. In the European heartland, religions are vying for power, the sun and earth are at the center of major controversies, authority is waning. The old gods are dying — or are they? Whilst some discard everything old in search for more of the new, others hark back to bygone antiquities, real and imagined. Scientific and religious institutes reinvent themselves — some slowly, others rapidly — and adapt to new realities. It is the twilight of the gods, yet new light dawns on the horizon.

Moreover, the committee specifically seeks contributions that critically examine our methodology and historiography of the period, for example, but not limited to, how nineteenth- and twentieth-century perspectives have shaped our understanding — or lack thereof — of the past, and how modern-day categories and terminologies have helped or hampered our discussions of particular historiographical concepts.

Scientiae 2024: Brussels will include two keynote addresses by Steven Vanden Broecke (Ghent) and Sietske Fransen (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome) as well as plenary VERITRACE and RENEW-18 panels.

Deadline for contributions: January 15th, 2024.

For information on the programme and registration, go to this website.