SMITE conference – Social Mobility in Preindustrial Europe

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Date / time
28/04/2022 - 29/04/2022, All day

Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Bocconi University, Milan – Italy

Call for papers

Rates of social and economic mobility are notoriously difficult to measure properly – for today societies, and even more for preindustrial ones. This is why, for a long time, preindustrial social mobility has been the object more of speculation than of proper attempts at measurement and analysis. Only in recent years the situation has started to change, with some research groups finally rising to the task of exploring long-term trends in social mobility during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Most of this new research has focused on Europe, also due to the exceptionally good and ancient historical sources available for many areas of that continent. The project SMITE (Social Mobility and Inequality across Italy and Europe 1300-1800), funded by the European Research Council, has also contributed to this renewal of interest by organizing a string of workshops and conference sessions on social mobility and inequality.

SMITE is now working on its final conference, which aims at bringing together representatives of all the main research groups working on long-term trends in social mobility in preindustrial Europe. The conference is meant to provide an opportunity for comparing the new information which is being collected, to favour cooperation between international scholars, to establish some clear landmarks (‘what we know about social mobility in the past’) as well as to indicate the path for future research (‘what we don’t know’).

All proposals about social and economic mobility in any part of Europe before ca.1800 are welcome. Preference will be given to proposals presenting new evidence, reconstructing long-term trends and/or offering comparisons between different areas of the continent.

The conference will take place at Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), on 28 and 29 April 2022. The conference is expected to take place in presence, but this might change depending upon the development of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The organization will cover the travel expenses of all accepted participants.

Proposals, inclusive of a title and a short abstract, should be sent to Guido Alfani before 6 February 2022.