Institutions have always been an integral part of human society and were traditionally understood as instruments of bureaucratic and social control and administration. However, recent events such as the Eurozone crisis have seen a collapse of trust in politics and the rise of activist movements such as Avaaz. These global changes have called into question the traditional definitions of institutions. ‘Institution’ also has a metaphorical meaning, from the ‘institution’ of marriage to a set of behaviours with very specific rules.
What is an ‘institution’? Who makes ‘institutions’? How do they operate? What does the process of ‘institutionalisation’ entail? With these questions in mind, the History Lab Conference 2013 aims to investigate the relationships between institutions, societies and individuals through the analysis of historical example.
Postgraduate students and early-career researchers are invited to submit proposals for papers (twenty minutes), or panels of three speakers, on specific topics exploring institutions or on wider relevant methodological and philosophical issues.
Papers may cover any historical region or period, exploring institutions in topics including, but not limited to, the following areas:
Religion and morality;
Social and community activism, protest and resistance;
Governmental, non-governmental and charitable;
Medicine, medical institutions and treatment;
Administration, bureaucracy and accountability;
Industry, trade and commerce;
The family, education and welfare;
Cultural production and practices;
Labour, business and industrial relations;
Policing, law and order, and incarceration
Some travel bursaries will be available for research students travelling from the United States. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
To submit a proposal for the conference, please send your title along with a 250-word abstract, your institutional affiliation, and full contact details to: email@example.com by the deadline of Thursday 28th February, 2013.