Call for Papers: Rural History 2021 Session Proposal – Digital Tools and Property

RHN 108/2020 | Call

Organisers: Gérard Béaur (CNRS & EHESS, CRH, Paris, France), Rosa Congost (Universitat de Girona, Spain), Eric Saguer (Universitat de Girona, Spain), Anne Varet-Vitu (CNRS, CRH, Paris, France).

Rural History 2021, 23–26 August 2021, Uppsala, Sweden

Call for Sessions deadline: 15 September 2020


Call for Papers for a Rural History 2021 Session Proposal:
Digital Tools and Property. From the extraction of data to spatial analysis


The issue of property, either dealing with its definition, the various overlapping of property rights, or with its distribution among social groups, the transfers of land through the market or the inheritance systems, the land use practices, and finally with all kinds of changes over time concerning these topics has since long attracted the interest of historians. With conventional statistical tools, they have greatly advanced our knowledge in this area by working with data at the local or regional or even national scale and by comparing their results. Many unknown factors remain however while this kind of approach is marking time, and while this decline raises a lot of questions. The eclipse of quantitative studies is all the more surprising in that the computer opened up hitherto unexpected perspectives. Today, it is possible to go further with the digital tools that have recently been developed and which offer even more possibilities to improve our analysis and to enhance our knowledge. This is the case with a lot of progress in the automation of manuscript transcription methods, which assist the researcher from data entry to statistical processing. This is the case too with the Geographic Information Systems which provide extremely efficient instruments for spatializing phenomena.

The objective of this panel is to present new applications resulting from these techniques of analysis and representation and to highlight the range of possibilities which are henceforth accessible to develop much finer and more efficient studies than in the past. Property in its social and spatial dimensions will therefore be considered through the prism of these tools, the contributions of which need to be circumscribed. We will focus on the qualitative changes in ownership, on the forms of transaction, on the price systems, on the extent of the movements of ownership through the market, for sale or for rent, on the flows of credit, as well as on the methods of allocation of land and urban buildings through inheritance processes, on the organization of land or the structure of urban housing. We will endeavor to take advantage of the new techniques which are thus offered to us to put these data in relation and ultimately to obtain a better understanding of the functioning of property relations in different societies.

Proposals of contributions should be sent either to Gérard Béaur ( or to Rosa Congost (


The Rural History 2021 Call for Sessions can be found in RHN 61/2020.

Conference Website:


© 2020 » European Rural History Organisation «
Follow us: