London School of Economics and Political Science
3-4 June 2016
This two-day conference will bring together researchers working on the history of post-World War II social science. It will provide a forum for the latest research on the cross-disciplinary history of the post-war social sciences, including but not limited to anthropology, economics, psychology, political science, and sociology as well as related fields like area studies, communication studies, history, international relations, law and linguistics. We are especially eager to receive submissions that treat themes, topics, and events that span the history of individual disciplines.
The conference aims to build upon the recent emergence of work and conversation on cross-disciplinary themes in the postwar history of the social sciences. A number of monographs, edited collections, special journal issues, and gatherings at the École normale supérieure de Cachan, Duke University, the London School of Economics, New York University, the University of Toronto and elsewhere testify to a growing interest in the developments spanning the social sciences in the early, late, and post-Cold War periods. Most history of social science scholarship, however, remains focused on the 19th and early 20th centuries, and attuned to the histories of individual disciplines. Though each of the major social science fields now has a community of disciplinary historians, research explicitly concerned with cross-disciplinary topics remains comparatively rare. The purpose of the conference is to further encourage the limited but fruitful cross-disciplinary conversations of recent years.
Submissions are welcome in areas such as:
- The uptake of social science concepts and figures in wider intellectual and popular discourses
- Comparative institutional histories of departments and programs
- Border disputes and boundary work between disciplines as well as academic cultures
- Themes and concepts developed in the history and sociology of natural and physical science, reconceptualized for the social science context
- Professional and applied training programs and schools, and the quasi-disciplinary fields (like business administration) that typically housed them
- The role of social science in post-colonial state-building governance
- Social science adaptations to the changing media landscape
- The role and prominence of disciplinary memory in a comparative context
The two-day conference, hosted by the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics, will be organized as a series of one-hour, single-paper sessions attended by all participants. Ample time will be set aside for intellectual exchange between presenters and attendees, as all participants are expected to read pre-circulated papers in advance.
Proposals should contain no more than 1000 words, indicating the originality of the paper. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 5 February 2016. Final notification will be given in late February after proposals have been reviewed. Completed papers will be expected by 15 May 2016.
The organizing committee consists of
Craig Calhoun (London School of Economics), Jamie Cohen-Cole (George Washington University),
Philippe Fontaine (École normale supérieure de Cachan), and Jeff Pooley (Muhlenberg College).