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"The History of Families and Households: Comparative European Dimensions"

CAS 22/10/2009

International Conference
Institute of Historical Research, University of London
24-26 June 2010

Second Call for Papers

Following the June 2006 Regional Symposium on ‘Social Behaviour and Family Strategies in the Balkans (16th to 20th Centuries)’ held at the New Europe College in Bucharest, this conference aims to place Balkan family history in its wider European context. While research in family history in the Balkans is still in its infancy compared to that of many other parts of Europe, and scholars can learn much from the methodological groundwork of (for example) the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, it is equally true that scholars outside South-Eastern Europe have a limited, indeed stereotyped, understanding of the situation in the region. Bringing these communities of scholars together will be an important step towards a deeper mutual understanding of the issues in family history, and lay better groundwork for a comparative methodology.

The conference will have two elements:

- A two-day symposium, with papers drawn equally from specialists in the Balkans and in other parts of Europe. Themes covered will include (but not be limited to):

o kinship and co-residence
o ageing, retirement, and inheritance
o urban and rural – contrasts and relationships
o government and fiscal policies
o the relative influences of religious, cultural, occupational, environmental and socioeconomic factors on family and household structures
o families in literature.

- A one-day workshop focusing systematically on methodological issues, with sessions on:

o Laslett’s definitions and classification systems of households and their relevance today
o comparisons of different types of source (e.g. census-type documents; fiscal registers; Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Muslim sources)
o the roles of quantitative and qualitative analysis in family history, and the relationship between the two.

To date over 40 scholars from 19 countries have offered papers for this event. The second call for papers is aimed especially at scholars from outside the region to help achieve a fully comparative context. Those who would like to offer a paper are invited to submit a title and short abstract by 15 January 2010. Please email these to the organiser:

Dr Silvia Sovič, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, University of London; Email:

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