ESSHC 2025 Culture Network

The 15th European Social Science History Conference 2025 is organized by the International Institute of Social History (IISH), Amsterdam in co-operation with the Leiden University and will take place on 26–29 March 2025 in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The aim of the ESSHC is bringing together scholars interested in explaining historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences. The conference is characterized by a lively exchange in many small groups, rather than by formal plenary sessions. The conference welcomes papers and sessions on any historical topic and any historical period. It is organized in 27 thematic networks.

Hereby, we are inviting you to send your paper or session proposal for the ESSHC Culture Network. You are free to suggest any theme as long as it relates to various aspects of culture or offers innovative approaches to the study of cultures and cultural history.

The ESSHC-network ‘Culture’ is interested in how earlier generations viewed the world they lived in and the meanings they attached to it. It probes the norms and values of past ages, examines the encounters of different peoples, analyses knowledge, and queries the rituals and material culture on which people drew. It queries how expressions of culture impacted individuals and social groups, but also asks how culture – including the ways in which people conceptualised the world around them – evolved through human interaction. As a result, the network sees culture as the product of dynamic process of inclusion and exclusion in time and space.  The study of culture being an interdisciplinary field, it makes use of a wide variety of (historical) sources and draws on different theoretical considerations and methodological approaches, from the purely conceptual to the use of artistic methods for historical studies. This diversity is reflected in the various topics that find a home in the network ‘Culture’. These include but are not limited to:

  • Arts (visual, literary, musical)
  • Body, gender and emotions
  • Identity, alterity and belonging
  • Knowledge and intellectual history
  • Material culture
  • Memory and remembrance
  • Mentalities
  • Rituals and ceremonies
  • Media and communication
  • Life writing

As chairs, we encourage scholars to submit proposals for panels or individual papers on all culture-related topics and methods. We also welcome cooperations with other networks, including in the form of panels jointly submitted to the network ‘Culture’ and another network. The deadline for abstract (100–500 words) submission is April 15, 2024.

Finally, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:

Eveline Bouwers (), Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz, Germany

Heidi Kurvinen, (), Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS)/Cultural History, University of Turku, Finland