CfP: 32nd Novembertagung on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics, “Mathematics in Times of Crisis”

The Novembertagung on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics is an annual international conference aimed at graduate students in the history and philosophy of mathematics and neighbouring fields. It provides an opportunity for young researchers to present and discuss their research in a safe, informal environment, and serves as a place for them to share experience and advice, as well as to establish new contacts. Participants are welcome from around the world. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will be held online.  

Abstracts, of around 250 words, should be submitted as a PDF file via email to In your email, please also include your full name and affiliation as they should appear on the conference program. The deadline for submissions is July 1st 2021. For additional information, please visit our webpage:


On the Theme: Crisis, instability and times of uncertainty undoubtedly influenced the development of the sciences, and mathematics is no exception. Throughout history,  mathematicians found themselves facing wide-ranging challenges, both internal and external to mathematics, to which they had to respond in new and creative ways. Inspired by contemporary global events, this conference is interested in the ways that times of crisis shaped the development of mathematics. The time of uncertainty might be frustrating and confounding for the mathematicians, but from a historical perspective it can be viewed as an engine of mathematical creativity.  This year, the Novembertagung invites the participants to discuss one or more of the following issues:

  • New ideas, proofs or mathematical discoveries that undermined long-held conceptions, and the ways in which mathematicians or mathematical communities addressed this challenge;
  • Paradoxes, controversial notions in mathematics or ideas that puzzled mathematicians in various periods of history, and the methods propounded to untangle them;
  • Historical conflicts between two (or more) mathematicians or mathematical approaches;
  • How personal struggles of mathematicians between contradicting commitments (whether scientific, philosophical or any other cultural commitments) were manifested in their mathematical work, and the innovative ways they devised to reconcile these conflicts;
  • Global or national crisis that brought about novel mathematical methods or models.


Please note that the theme serves as a guide, not a criterion for exclusion, and as such it is not necessary for a submission to engage with the theme to be accepted. However, establishing links with the theme will allow for more fruitful discussions, and as such is recommended. 


Keynote lectures will be given by Amir Asghari (Liverpool John Moores University), Juliet Floyd (Boston University), and Tilman Sauer (Universität Mainz).


Bursaries: For those who are unable to obtain funding for costs related to participation in the conference (such as childcare, a stable internet connection, etc.), every effort will be made by the organizing committee to cover such costs, at least in part, if not fully. Please indicate in your application email whether you intend to apply for such a grant. There is no conference registration fee.


Organizing Committee: Brigitte Stenhouse (Open University, UK), Richard Lawrence  (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen), Tuya Sa (Loughborough University), Tobias Schütz  (Universität Mainz), Rosie Lev-Halutz (Tel-Aviv University)