15 de junio de 2016

CfP International Conference Information and Power in History

Type: Call for Papers
Date: April 16, 2017
Location: Netherlands
Subject Fields: Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Intellectual History, Political History / Studies, Social History / Studies
CfP International Conference Information and Power in History
"Nowadays we all know that information is the key to power, and that the masters of information rule the world," Anthony Grafton wrote in his commendation of Jacob Soll's book on Jean-Baptiste Colbert, The Information Master (2009). Yet this notion is much older; it has even been attributed to the Chinese general Sun Tzu (544-c. 496 BCE). As far as the relationship between power and information is concerned, present-day scholars point out that we find ourselves in a special phase. The ‘information revolution’ of today has caused information to become a separate object of study during the last two decades. Historians distinguish different ages of information, from the invention of the printing press to the age of the scientific revolution to that of the digital revolution. Notwithstanding past and present fears, the information revolution has not brought an Orwellian control of society by the central government. On the contrary, some experts would say that modern communication techniques have ensured a fragmenting and decentralizing effect on the provision of information. It is clear that the relationship between the control over information and the exercise of power is a relevant subject for all times. Since research into its historical evolution has been recent, this two-day conference aims to put this topic explicitly on the research agenda. We are particularly interested in the connection between different types of information and the exercise of power, including the role of confidentiality; knowledge regarding politics and international relations, opposition movements, (weapon) technology, geography or economic issues; among others. We want to focus on actors who provided (or tried to withhold) information, whether and how its quality and reliability can be established; and how crucial knowledge became exclusively available to those who exercise power. Papers may reflect on one or more of the following questions:
-Who possesses relevant information and how did that come about?
-How does the process of collecting and providing information take its course?
-Is there a perception of ‘information’ as a concept to those who control it, and does this change during the ages?
-Which groups, networks, individuals and institutions are involved in the exchange of information?
-What type of information serves as a power tool?
-How well informed is the ruler in his decisions?
-Does ‘hidden’ power based on information control exist?
-At which political and administrative levels and within which arrangements of governance is information brought forward and does timing play a role in this? -Why and how is particular information selected? -Are mechanisms of power also responsible for technological changes in the production, distribution and filtering of information?
Confirmed keynote speakers are:
- Prof. dr. Ann L. Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and History, The New School for Social Research, New York, USA.
- Dr. Toni Weller, Visiting Research Fellow in History, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
The language of the conference is English. A peer-reviewed publication is planned. Submissions Guidelines We welcome proposals for 20-minute, English-language papers related to one or more of the conference's themes. Submissions about all periods and geographical areas are welcome, because the relation between information and power is of all times. Proposals should include:  a preliminary title for your paper  an abstract of 250-300 words  a CV of no more than 1 page  contact information, including any institutional affiliation.
Submit your proposals to congress@huygens.knaw.nl by 30 June 2016. Successful applicants will be notified by email before 15 September 2016. Participants are expected to organize and cover the costs for their own travel and accommodations, and are advised of a registration fee of € 50,- (€ 25,- for students). The fee covers lunches and coffees during the conference, as well as the conference dinner. The conference organizers have applied for additional funding with which they hope to be able to reduce the fees. For questions please contact the conference organizers at congress@huygens.knaw.nl. Conference Organizers This conference on 16-17 March 2017 (Amsterdam) is organized by Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Huygens ING) in collaboration with Radboud University (RUN) and Leiden University (UL). The organizational team includes Prof. dr. Ida Nijenhuis (Huygens ING, RUN), Dr. Marijke van Faassen (Huygens ING), Dr. Ronald Sluijter (Huygens ING), Dr. Wim de Jong (RUN) and PhD Joris Gijsenbergh (UL). The conference organizers are grateful for financial and material support from Huygens ING.

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