Call for Papers: Rural History 2019 panel proposal – Rural Epistemologies in Dialogue

RHN 126/2018 | Call

Organisers: Corinne Geering and Dietlind Hüchtker

Rural History 2019, 10-13 September 2019, Paris, France

Deadline for panel proposals: 15 October 2018

Call for Papers:
Rural History 2019 Panel Proposal
Rural Epistemologies in Dialogue: The Production of Knowledge in Peripheral Regions in the 19-20th Centuries

Modern society has been characterised as a knowledge-based society. Access to education, popularisation of science and replacement of manual labour have transformed knowledge into a valuable resource in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the case of rural actors, however, knowledge was largely perceived to be the subject of unidirectional centre-periphery relations. This was due to middle class based and government-initiated reforms that aimed to modernise and educate the rural population. Contrasting with such unidirectional perspective, recent research has highlighted the role of the rural population in the production of scientific knowledge, in particular, the contribution of indigenous knowledge to the fields of agricultural science and botany. This panel seeks to expand on these historical accounts and focus on rural actors outside the realms of agriculture and husbandry, which are most readily identified with the countryside. Instead, the papers in this panel discuss the epistemologies of rural entrepreneurs, craftsmen, teachers and members of organisations dealing with various social and political issues (selection not exhaustive). While knowledge in these fields is still primarily associated with state centres and urban civil society, this panel instead addresses the formation, adaptation and ruptures of modern rural epistemologies that occurred in interaction with central initiatives. Thus, rather than the passive notion of enlightenment, knowledge serves as a prism to focus on processes of interaction. How did rural epistemologies shape political, social and economic structures? How were they overshadowed by more resourceful actors from the centres? What caused cleavages and conflicts? By discussing these and other questions, this panel seeks to deepen the understanding of the social dimension in the modern production of knowledge.

We invite scholars from different disciplines to send a short abstract dealing with these questions (up to 300 words) and a short cv (up to 50 words).

Corinne Geering

Dietlind Hüchtker

Conference website:

The Rural History 2019 Call for Panels can be found in RHN 70/2018.