CFP: Habitual Behaviour in Early Modern Europe, Sheffield, 1-2 June 2017

Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, 1 – 2 June 2017


‘Habit, n: A settled disposition or tendency to act in a certain way, esp. one acquired by frequent repetition of the same act until it becomes almost or quite involuntary.’
Oxford English Dictionary

‘Habit is Motion made more easy and ready by Custom.’
Thomas Hobbes, 1656, Elements Philos


What habits, practices, or routines, made up day-to-day life in Europe between 1500-1750? At what point was habitual behaviour, such as excessive drinking, considered problematic? And how did ideas about habitual practice fit into early modern concepts of body and self?

This two-day interdisciplinary conference aims to draw together scholars working on material culture, digital humanities, medicine, consumption, daily routine, practice, theory, and more, and invites them to consider their research under the heading of ‘habit’. We welcome papers on habitual behaviour, customs and practices, and daily routines, whether mealtimes or medicine, venery or vinosity.

Keynote speakers: Professor Steven Shapin (Harvard University) and Dr Sasha Handley (University of Manchester), both speaking about their forthcoming publications.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words for 20 minute papers, accompanied by a short speaker biography. We accept proposals for panels of 3 papers, under a session title. Submissions welcome from postgraduate research students as well as established scholars.

Please send abstracts to earlymodernhabits@gmail.com no later than Wednesday 16 November 2016.

Find out more at the conference homepage.

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