CfP: Key Concepts in Times of Crisis

The 19th International Conference on Conceptual History, Aarhus University, Denmark, September 14-16, 2016

The general theme and title of the conference will be “key concepts in times of crisis”. The study of historical change through the formation of key concepts is at the core of conceptual history. Concepts can acquire the status as central within the political and social vocabulary through long historical processes. Even if concepts develop over time and change gradually we can also notice that in more turbulent periods characterized by increasing societal challenges contestation of existing concepts increases, which is often followed by a growing conceptual innovation. When more people move across the world due to catastrophes, poverty or instability, concepts of social cohesion are challenged and new ones appear as for instance the concept of the multicultural society or old ones such as the nation are revitalised. When climate change becomes more pressing in international political debates sustainability turns into a political key concept. When warfare changes with non-state combatants acting in new ways, terrorism becomes a key concept in international politics. At the 2016 conference we will study how new key concepts are coined and transmitted globally in situations where existing frameworks are severely challenged.

The organizers welcome proposals for panels or papers that look at conceptual change in situations of growing risks, crisis or even catastrophe and focus on the semantic and social changes which lead to conceptual innovation.

Proposals for individual papers should be no longer than 400 words, and proposals for panels should not exceed 800 words. Short CVs of the speakers should be added (name, institutional affiliations, major publications – not more than five). Panels at the conference will last two hours. There should be no more than four paper givers (or three paper givers and a commentator) per panel.

Please send your proposals to

The deadline for sending in proposals is 31 May 2016.

Further information here.