ESHS Symposia, Call for abstracts ‘Cosmic Distances: Ideas and Techniques for Measuring the Celestial Realms in Medieval and Early Modern Times’

This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural symposium seeks to foster discussion on the theme of ‘Distance’ in the context of medieval and early modern astronomy and cosmology. The aim is to provide a platform for diverse perspectives and approaches on distance-related topics, bringing together scholars from various areas of expertise and theoretical background.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:
* Planetary Distances: Papers exploring the measurement and understanding of the distances between celestial bodies in the pre-modern era. This may encompass different cosmological models (geocentric, heliocentric, geoheliocentric) and the methods used to estimate astronomical distances.
* Observation of Comets and New Stars: Investigations into how medieval and early modern astronomers observed, interpreted and visualized the distances, movements, and significance of comets and supernovae in the night sky.
* History of Scientific Instruments: Studies of the development and utilization of instruments, such as quadrants, and telescopes, in measuring astronomical distances, as well as their impact on the evolution of cosmological thought. Papers on the material culture of astronomy and cosmology are particularly encouraged.
* Measuring Techniques: Exploration of the methodologies employed by astronomers to estimate the distances to celestial objects, including parallax, trigonometric methods, and their role in shaping cosmological concepts.
* The Intellectual History of the Concept of Distance: Investigations into how distance was understood in the philosophical and cosmological context of the time, considering its influence on the evolving theories of the universe.

Comparative studies that explore the theme of distance across different theoretical frameworks, cultures and regions are welcome. Proposals from early career scholars, with different geographical origins, and from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.

Submission Guidelines:
* Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and submitted as a Word document.
* Please include a brief biography (ca. 150 words) highlighting your academic background and research interests.
* All submissions should be emailed to .
* The deadline for submission is 19 November.
If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the organizer.

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