Privacy Studies Podcast
Producer and host Natália da Silva Perez talks to guests about privacy from a historical perspective. Invited scholars come also from a range of disciplines beyond history, including law, social and computer sciences, communications, and philosophy. Lectures and seminars from the Centre for Privacy Studies are also featured in this show.
James Gordley argues that, in the writings of the late scholastics, private rights and the common good were in harmony, but modern liberalism disrupted this harmony. In his lecture, he explains how these ideas fit together.
Paolo Astorri, winner of the RefoRC Book Award 2020 for his book Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern Germany, talks about the influence of theological ideas in the development of contract theory in 16th century Germany. In this interview, we cover how ideas by Reformers Martin Luther and Philip Melanchton were expanded, developed, and sometimes even distorted by theologians and jurists that came in their wake.
Andrew Riggsby gives a talk titled "Locating the Private in the Roman World." He explains that, despite their common use of explicit terms for “private” (and “public”), the ancient Romans did little to theorize those categories. In his talk, Andrew supplies such a theoretical account and points out ways in which the “private” was used as a tool of social control. Drawing from examples from the realms of domestic space and of financial regulation, he attends especially to gendered aspects of this control.
Mette Birkedal Bruun talks about the Gospel of Matthew, which presents Jesus introducing the Lord's Prayer with an injunction to enter into the chamber and close the door so as to pray in secret (Mt 6.6). For early Christian authors, this command elicited a series of questions: How to reconcile the entry into the chamber with the command to pray everywhere (cf 1 Tim 2)? Where and what is this chamber – not to mention its door? How are praying persons to comport themselves in the chamber under God's watchful eye? In this talk, Mette discusses third- and fourth-century expositions of Mt 6.6 and ponder their place in privacy studies.
Florian Wöller discusses the biblical book of Judith in a Latin rendering (4th c. AD) by the church father Jerome. This book tells the story of a courageous widow who saved Israel from the Assyrians by killing the Assyrian general Holofernes. In the oldest versions of the story, Judith prays on the roof of her house, but in Jerome's translation, she prays in a cubiculum. In this talk, Florian investigates Jerome's move of Judith's place of prayer, contextualizing it with further late antique notions of cubiculum prayer, and suggesting a reading of Judith's cubiculum as a private-public place of prayer.
Laura Skouvig and Jens-Erik Mai cover different current day perspectives on information, privacy and surveillance. They end with a discussion of information and surveillance in late 18th and early 19th centuries, and share examples of concrete manifestations found in the archives of the police in Copenhagen.
Heide Wunder explores the emergence of modern "privacy“ or “Privatheit“ as a new concept of personal rights during the early modern period. She inspects evidence from printed sources such as funeral sermons, autobiographies and novels, which speak both to the spatial as well as to the gendered aspects of privacy.
Lars Cyril Nørgaard talks about the private devotional practices of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV's second wife, to whom the king was married in secret.
Anni Haahr Henriksen tells us about her encounter with traces of a medieval private reader in a manuscript at the Cambridge University Library.
Michaël Green talks about Dutch egodocuments and his research on privacy.
Mette Birkedal Bruun talks about her research on the history of privacy and the work at the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen.