Find below a symposium call for papers for the 11th European Society for the History of Science Conference (Barcelona, Sept 4-7, 2024) for the panel: «Replicate, Renew or Innovate? Historiographical Foundations and Methodological Reflexivity for the History of Science».
Please send paper proposals (title, abstract/200 words, name, and short bio) before December 15, 2023, to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lluís Coromina Verdaguer and Anxo Vidal Nogueira
REPLICATE, RENEW OR INNOVATE?
HISTORIOGRAPHICAL FOUNDATIONS AND METHODOLOGICAL REFLEXIVITY FOR THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE
In this panel, we invite researchers — especially those in the early years of their academic careers — to reflect on the production of historical knowledge and the potentials and limitations of the approaches and methods currently employed by historians of science. Our framework is the broader discussion surrounding the utility of historical works in science, technology and medicine, and their implications for reconsidering and assessing the co-construction of humanity and nature.
When approaching a historical investigation, a tension arises between the challenge of creating a new knowledge and the (imperative) need to draw on and engage with previous works, more or less directly related to the topic at hand, sometimes in a pretentiously innovative manner. Consequently, we find ourselves at a crossroads between replicating methods and approaches that have proven effective in the past, seeking a renewal of these, and/or proposing an innovation that contributes different perspectives or results. We seek to engage in a fruitful (and needed) historiographical and methodological debate around these tensions.
We particularly encourage contributions linked to heritage, material culture and memory, since the debate around the above-mentioned topics have been especially fertile in these fields. Nevertheless, proposals coming from other fields will be also considered. Since the goal of this symposium is to create a space for historiographical and methodological debate, contributions of all kinds are welcome, with no conditions regarding the scale of study (from global and transnational to microhistorical), the specific theme within the history of science (medicine, pharmacy, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, among others), and the academic background of the speakers.
Some of the questions we pose include the following. The replication of approaches and methods: Does it contribute more than a stagnant repetition? Are they suitable for a reshaping of the initial responses and contribute to a broader vision? Renewal efforts: Are they replications disguised as news approaches? Innovation: Is it advisable, or, indeed, possible? Some other more concrete questions: Can every scientific, technological, or medical vestige of the past be approached as heritage elements? Is there space for innovation in the use of material culture as a historical source? How do we write a history of memory? What methods are suitable for creating a history from below? Micro or macro history? Both? How? These —not restrictively— are some of the ideas surrounding historiography and methodology that are of interest to the panel.