CfP: Universals' Locales workshop, deadline Friday

In theory, the ideas and methods of modern theoretical and mathematical sciences are born universal, ungoverned by researchers' locales and unconstrained by geopolitical borders. In practice, material and political constraints, linguistic and national barriers, and the manifold idiosyncrasies of individual research settings have historically divided theoretical and mathematical scholars more than their putatively placeless quarry has united them. Supported by the British Academy, this workshop brings together a network of early career scholars with a collection of senior mentors to attempt to articulate and engage the distinctive challenges of studying the international and global history and sociology of subjects whose universal ideals have only relatively recently corresponded to globe-crossing institutions and research communities. We aim to encourage to new collaborations and approaches to vital questions in the history and sociology of science, with implications for those concerned with access, diversity, participation, equity, and integration in science policy and practice around the world.
We seek early career scholars (according to your own definition) interested in the history or sociology of modern theoretical and mathematical sciences (broadly understood) and the methodological challenges and analytic frameworks they entail. Early career participants will circulate position papers in early December in advance of moderated round-table and open discussions at the workshop to compare and explore approaches, resources, themes, and challenges.

Senior Mentors

We are delighted to have the participation of the following senior mentors for the workshop:
  • Professor Martina Merz, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria.
  • Professor Tatiana Roque, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Professor David Aubin, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France.
  • Professor Ursula Martin, Edinburgh and Oxford Universities, United Kingdom.
We also anticipate a brief appearance from Professor Donald MacKenzie, University of Edinburgh.

Practical Information

The workshop will take place at the University of Edinburgh from 8-9 January. In most cases, participants should plan to arrive on 7 January and leave in the evening of 9 January. Accommodation will be provided, along with breakfast for visiting participants at the hotel, lunch for all participants on both days, and dinner on 8 January. Reasonable air or rail costs will also be covered for visiting participants.
This project is supported by a 2019 British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award and organized by Michael J. Barany, University of Edinburgh.


Please email the following information to by 20 September, 2019:

  1. Your name, preferred email address, website (if applicable), and any other contact information we should know.
  2. A very brief biography summarising your scholarly background and current situation, including date or expected date of PhD. We rely on your self-definition as an Early Career Scholar, but this information helps us report on participation to the workshop funder.
  3. A brief statement about your interests in the workshop topic, relevant work you have done or are doing, and what you hope to gain from your participation.
  4. The location from which you will be traveling in January and an estimate of your air/rail fare to get to Edinburgh for the workshop dates. You do not need to include local transportation, accommodation, or other expenses within Edinburgh, as we have budgeted for these separately and will make relevant arrangements.
  5. If you have a source of travel support from another grant or your home institution that can offset some of your travel cost, please let us know, as this would allow us to extend our available travel resources to more participants.
Unfortunately, budget constraints and the recent British currency situation limit the number of participants we can support from longer distances, but please do be in contact anyway if you would like to participate and we will try our best.


  • 20 September, 2019: initial deadline for workshop applications.
  • October, 2019: travel and logistical arrangements.
  • November, 2019: pre-workshop communication among workshop participants to develop themes and positions for the workshop.
  • December, 2019: participants circulate position papers in advance of the workshop.
  • 8-9 January, 2020: Universals' Locales Workshop, Edinburgh.

Further Information

Further information will appear here, as applicable.


Please make sure you are aware of visa requirements for travel to Scotland, which may be affected by Brexit on 31 October.
We will contact accepted participants about details for arranging travel.

Publication plans

We do not have fixed publication plans associated with this workshop, but plan to explore the possibility of a journal special issue or edited volume depending on the outcome of discussions.

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