Call for papers: Early modern science, technology, and institutions

The University of Manchester

Conference to be held at the University of Manchester


May 13, 2022

Conference title:

Early modern science, technology, and institutions

Keynote speakers:

Debin Ma (University of Oxford) and David de la Croix (U. Catholique de Louvain)

Closing address:

Patrick O’Brien (LSE)

Conference organizers:

Nuno Palma and Meng Wu, Unversity of Manchester.

Conference theme:

In the last few decades, scholars have come to understand that the road to modern economic growth was a long one, with a gradual but non-linear road where both science and institutions had a central role, and which culminated in the Industrial Revolution and its dissemination across the world.

The goal of this conference will be to gather scholars who are working at the frontier of this exciting research program, and provide a comparative discussion. One of the keynote speakers is an expert on the economic history of China, and the other on that of Europe.

The conference is anticipated to be fruitful in allowing scholars to carefully discuss each other’s work in a way that will lead to cross-fertilization of ideas. The conference will have an interdisciplinary scope, and we welcome paper proposals that from a wide variety of perspectives and either focused on particular case studies or more comparative in nature. We are particularly interested in papers that consider aspects of early modern science, technology, and institutions.

Costs and funding:

There will be no conference fee. We have secured funding which will cover catering costs and dinner, as well as travel and accomodation costs for graduate students who do not have funds from their own institutions. We expect presenters to be a mix of junior and senior scholars. Pending on other ongoing funding applications, we may be able to fund additional benefits for those who need this in order to attend. However, it is unlikely that we will be able to fund full travel and accomdation costs for all participants. Tenured faculty, in particular, will be expected to cover their travel and accomodation costs.


February 28, 2022 – deadline to send us a paper proposal

March 18, 2022 – we will communicate the accepted proposals (and possibly a waiting list)

4 April, 2022 – final program will be posted

For applications, please email a paper proposal to both Nuno Palma and Meng Wu.

Note: the conference is expected to take place offline only.

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