Call for Papers: Rural History 2019 Panel – Global Connections, Rural Translations

RHN 186/2018 | Call

Organisers: Elizabeth Williams (University of Massachusetts at Lowell) and James Simpson (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

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

Deadline for paper proposals: 1 February 2019


Call for Papers:
Rural History 2019 Panel
Global Connections, Rural Translations:
Circulations of expertise and technology between the rural and the global in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Innovations and developments in the rural sphere often have connections to broader global circulations of technology and expertise. This panel proposes to highlight the multi-faceted and perhaps unexpected connections that come to light when these global intersections that merge in the rural local are explored. Bringing together methodologies from the history of technology, economic history, and environmental history, the papers on this panel will examine circulations of expertise and technology as a multi-sited process of exchange and translation. They will expose complex networks that challenge uni-directional narratives of progress and complicate notions of transfer. Spanning multiple continents and perhaps even substantial periods of time, they will consider the variety of local ecological particularities, social circumstances, or economic conditions that influenced the translation of ideas and theories into local practice. Rejection of concepts or activities deemed “modern” or “scientific” was not necessarily reactionary, but a measured, rational response based on local knowledge. On the other hand, “modern” or “scientific” methods often owed more to prior practices than discourses about them were willing to acknowledge. Current cases to be discussed include the globalization of wine production and the emergence of a global discourse of dry farming and its associated practices in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The former draws on sites in Europe, North and South America, and Australia, while the latter will consider connections between the eastern Mediterranean, southern Europe, north Africa and western North America.

We welcome papers that would further this exploration of global circulations and their varied manifestations in particular locales.

All proposals shall be submitted via the conference website ( with copy to Elizabeth Williams ( and/or James Simpson (