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Emulation, Fame, and Knowledge Transfer: Prize Contests in the European Republic of Letters (1670–1800)

Jul 13, 2022 - Jul 15, 2022

International conference organised by the project “Erotema. The Question as an Epistemic Genre” in cooperation with Avi Lifschitz (University of Oxford)

  
Prize competitions constituted a shared practice across countries and institutions, playing a central role in the 18th-century public sphere, but they have received little scholarly attention so far. The conference examines these contests through new analytical and theoretical lenses, with an emphasis on comparative and transnational perspectives. Speakers analyse the long-term history of the genre and its rhetorical background while engaging with individual competitions especially from peripheries of the Republic of Letters and beyond Europe. The conference thus contributes to an entangled history of this particular medium of the early modern Republic of Letters.
 

Programme

Wednesday, 13 July

15:30–16:00    
Avi Lifschitz (University of Oxford), Martin Urmann (Freie Universität Berlin, SFB 980)
Welcome and Introduction
 

16:00–17:00    
Martin Urmann (CRC 980 Episteme in Motion)
Panegyric, confirmation of the canon and knowledge production: prize contests as a hybrid medium of public debate
  

17:00–17:15   
Coffee break

  
17:15–18:15    
Arjan van Dixhoorn (University College Roosevelt, Middelburg)
Dutch prize contests as a measure of long-term cultural change in Europe
 

18:15–19:15    
Maria Florutau (University of Oxford)
The role of the jury in shaping the prize essay genre in the Netherlands in the second half of the eighteenth century
   

19:30    
Conference Dinner

   
Thursday, 14 July

10:00–11:00   
Martin Gierl (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Prize – Questions – Know-How: Scholarship Meets Wissenschaft and Administration Meets Career
  

11:00–12:00    
Rita Krueger (Temple University, Philadelphia)
Constructing useful knowledge: essay contests in Habsburg Bohemia and Moravia
  

12:00–14:00   
Lunch Break

 
14:00–15:00    
Nicola Miller (University College London)
Competing to define the future: prize contests in independence-era Spanish America
 

15:00–16:00    
Béla Kapossy (EPFL, Lausanne)
‘‘The spirit of legislation”: the Bernese prize essay competition of 1764
  

16:00–16:30    
Coffee Break

  
16.30–17:30    
Juliane Engelhardt (University of Copenhagen)
The distribution of prizes in essay contests in the Danish Composite Monarchy (1770–1814)
  

17:30–18:30    
Kelsey Rubin-Detlev (University of Southern California, Los Angeles)
Popularisation and prestige in the staging of prize contests at the St Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1777–1802
    

19:00    
Conference Dinner

  
Friday, 15 July

10:00–11:00    
Maria Susana Seguin (Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier/ENS Lyon)
Prizes and awards at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris, 1700–1750
   

11:00–12:00    
Iwan Michelangelo D’Aprile (Universität Potsdam)
The transformation of academic prize contests in the aftermath of the French Revolution
  

12:00–13:30
Lunch Break

   
13:30–14:15
Final discussion
    

Time & Location

Jul 13, 2022 - Jul 15, 2022

Freie Universität Berlin
SFB 980 Episteme in Bewegung
Sitzungsraum
Schwendenerstraße 8
14195 Berlin

Further Information

Convenors: Avi Lifschitz (University of Oxford) and Martin Urmann (Freie Universität Berlin)

Please register with emilia.sophie.moreno@hotmail.com