Call for Panels: Rural History Network of the ESSHC 2018

RHN 47/2017 | Call

Chairs: Dulce Freire (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal), Tim Soens (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

4-7 April 2018, Belfast, N-Ireland

Deadline: 1 May 2017

Rural History Network of the ESSHC 2018

The Rural History Network (RHN) of the European Social Science History Conference invites session and paper proposals for the European Social Science History Conference which will be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 4 to April 7, 2018.

Session and paper proposals can be submitted through the conference website. Deadline for session and paper proposals is 1 May 2017. Please note that the network chairs are especially eager to see complete session proposals, as we find that this is conducive to intellectual coherence in sessions. However, promising single paper submissions will be given every consideration, and each edition the Rural History Network manages to merge single paper submissions into coherent and innovative panels.

Why not use the ESSHC 2018 conference as the follow-up for successful sessions organized at the 2017 Rural History Conference (Leuven) or the 2017 Environmental History Conference (Zagreb) or to prepare your panel for the World Economic History Conference (Boston, summer 2018). The ESSHC Rural History Network offers the ideal occasion to develop existing international collaborations between rural historians and establish new ones. Of course, the RHN-sessions at the ESSHC also provide rural historians with the opportunity to present their work to colleagues in other subdisciplines in history and the social sciences. This conference gives us the chance to demonstrate the importance of rural history for the historical process in general, but also to encourage discussions between (sub-)disciplines. For this purpose, we accept that sessions can be proposed on more than one network. In this case, session organizers should refer what is the partner network of the RHN.

When you have suggestions for recent books that would merit a “Meet the author”-session, we would very much appreciate it that you send these suggestions to us. We can also have “Round tables” sessions. The Round table-format is suitable when you want to stimulate discussion on a general topic or when you embark on a new theme and want to raise some first reactions.

Possible themes for sessions in Belfast (this list provided by the network chairs is just meant to stimulate your thoughts. We are open for other themes and proposals):

  • Climate Change & Agriculture
  • Peasant farming
  • Wealth inequalities and economic development in rural societies
  • The circulation of agricultural knowledge & innovations
  • Regional divergences in agro-systems.
  • Biological standards of living (food, health, disease, length)
  • Feeding the City: agriculture and urban food supplies
  • Resilience to disaster and exogenous shocks in the countryside
  • European farming in non-European contexts
  • Urban Agriculture and Urban Husbandry
  • Agritourism and Ecotourism
  • Collective Action: from Commons over Confraternities to Cooperatives
  • Modernizing the countryside
  • Agriculture and biodiversity in historical perspective
  • Land improvement and Land Grabbing
  • World food needs and agriculture changes
  • Governing the rural: institutions and policies
  • Migrations and rural society
  • (Re)Construction of regional identities
  • Authoritarian regimes and the countryside

How to propose a paper: Fill out the pre-registration form on the Internet: Include an abstract of your paper (100-500 words).

How to organise a panel session: Gather four speakers who each will present a paper on a related topic, a commentator who will introduce the discussion with a prepared comment on the papers and a chair. The roles of the session organizer, chair and commentator can be fulfilled by the same or by different persons. Confirm participation and arrange with these individuals the (date of) exchange of papers and the way the session will be conducted. Submit the proposal for a session with a pre-registration form for each individual speaker ( The deadline for this is May 1, 2017. Contact the speakers regularly; to make sure that the preparation of the session is progressing, as you would want it to be.

If you want to organise a panel session and you are looking for contributors, you may think of using H-Rural for asking other scholars to join you in a session.

When you have any additional question about how to participate in the Rural History Network, please do not hesitate to contact the chairs: Dulce Freire and Tim Soens

Conference fee: Payment in advance (before 1 January 2018) full fee: Euro 200; one day attendance: Euro 100; Student Fee 90.

Conference website: Additional information regarding the conference can be found at