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International Conference, Université de Nice, 2-3 July 2009 - Call for Papers


Diffusion and Circulation of Masonic Practices in Europe and in the Mediterranean, 1720-1820

International Conference
Nice, 2&3 July 2009

Organized by :
-Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine,
Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis
-Institut Universitaire de France

Programme de l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche CITERE : Circulations, Territoires et Réseaux en Europe de l'âge classique aux Lumières/Communicating Europe : Early Modern Circulations, Territories and Networks

The history of Freemasonry today is undergoing significant growth throughout the academy - from graduate students to established scholars - but it has also reached a crossroads. While earlier generations of historians tended to focus on the internal dynamics of the brotherhood - the institutional life of lodges as well as the sociology of membership - more recent trends have focused attention on the evolving relationship between Freemasonry and its wider context from the Enlightenment to the present day, be it the political, social, cultural or religious environment. 

As these particularly rich new lines of inquiry are pursued, it has also become increasingly urgent to reevaluate Masonic research methodologies. In the first instance, historians will need to give much more serious consideration to working collectively rather than in isolation, as much of the history of Freemasonry still remains uncharted territory. Secondly, explicit and intensified dialogue and exchange with other fields will be critical to the reformulation of a more interdisciplinary perspective in Masonic history. 

In this spirit, the international conference at the Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis represents the beginning of a biannual cycle of thematic meetings devoted to the most fruitful research areas. The objective is clear: To federate research, to gather several generations of scholars and to identify the most promising research fields in order to further develop them in research teams, and through senior scholars and their graduate students. 

For this first meeting, the organizing and scientific committees have chosen to focus on the circulation and diffusion of Masonic practices within the Euro-Mediterranean space. This topic operates under the assumption that Freemasonry was not simply a social fact but also a cultural one. Central to this project will be assessing both in the long and short term cultural transfer across a myriad of frontiers - be they cultural, confessional, political, linguistic or gendered - as well as examining the phenomena of appropriation and the invention of tradition; the latter was of particular importance for an institution that claimed an unbroken connection to Noah and Adam. 

We are very interested in papers that make use of newly accessible archival holdings that allow scholars to move beyond the confines of western European Freemasonry and explore how Masonic practices circulated either in the eastern Mediterranean or eastern and central Europe as well as Scandinavia. 

Organizing Committee :

Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire (Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis et Institut Universitaire de France) 
Kenneth Loiselle, Trinity University, Austin, Texas)
Jean-Marie Mercier (Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine)
Thierry Zarcone (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Scientific Committee :

Gian Mario Cazzaniga (Université de Pise)
Baudouin Decharneux (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Académie royale de Belgique)
Katsumi Fukasawa (Université de Tokyo)
Margaret C. Jacob (UCLA, Los Angeles)
Andreas Önnerfors (Université de Sheffield)

Proposals should be sent to the Organizing Committee before March 1, 2009. They should include an abstract (no more than 15 lines), as well as a brief biography and list of publications. Papers may be delivered in French or in English.


Pr. Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire
Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis 
Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines
Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine
98, Boulevard Edouard-Herriot 
B.P. 3209 
06204 Nice Cedex 3 
téléphone : +33 (0)4 93 37 54 50 
fax : +33 (0)4 93 37 53 48

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