Conference Call for Papers: Early Modern Privacy – University of Copenhagen

PRIVACY > CFP Conference Early M...

13 September 2018

Conference Call for Papers: Early Modern Privacy

Call for Papers: Early Modern Privacy Conference: Notions, Spaces, Implications, Copenhagen, 9-10 April 2019

Deadline for submission: 2 December 2018

The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies (PRIVACY) at the University of Copenhagen invites applications for its inaugural conference. We encourage scholars from throughout the humanities, social sciences, and architecture to investigate notions, concepts, usages, and practices of privacy by focusing on early modern historical sources. Researchers will have an opportunity to re-examine and discuss source material in order to understand practices, spaces and ideas of privacy (and connected concepts) that emerged in the early modern period. We invite considerations of practice and performances of privacy and its opposites, even in cases where sources might not explicitly mention terms related to privacy. We also encourage analyses of terminology, vocabulary, and languages related to privacy, for example, in sources mentioning words using the prefix priv-. We are particularly interested in contributions that approach the subject of privacy from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Selected papers will be published.


  • Legal and religious definitions of private and public
  • Individuality and subjectivity in relation to private and public spaces
  • Dwellings and households: questions of access to private spaces
  •  The emergence of the modern home
  •  Vagrancy, poverty and homelessness: questions of access to public spaces
  • Education, politics, and access to knowledge
  • Secrecy and exchange of information
  • Confidentiality, gossip, and surveillance within communities
  • Sexual normativity and deviance from sexual norm
  • Notions of privacy in relationship to hierarchy
  • The household economy
  • The life-cycle inside and outside a (house-)hold
  • Confessional spaces
  • Interior and exterior design and life
  • Public and private politics
  • Spaces broad and narrow


With its pioneering site-based interdisciplinary approach to historical research, The Danish Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies (PRIVACY) investigates architectural, religious, legislative, political and educational demarcations of privacy in early modern northern Europe. Our goal is to generate a robust form of historical analysis fit to inform scientific approaches to current privacy issues, by mobilizing knowledge of historical notions of privacy, and bringing more nuance to contemporary challenges that demand responses beyond mere technology. For more information, please visit


We invite colleagues working within any field of Early Modern studies to submit proposals for papers in English of 20 minutes duration. Please upload paper title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a concise CV on this website by no later than Sunday 2 December 2018. Abstracts and CVs should be in English. A limited number of travel bursaries are available on a need basis; submit your travel bursary application with an estimated budget alongside your materials at the link above. For further information, please email A final program from the conference will be published primo January.

Organising Committee

Natália da Silva Perez, Anna Katharina Becker, Fredrik Torisson, Michaël Green

Apply here

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