AàC – Colloque international « Universities and witchcraft. In Europe between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period », 9-10 Sept. 2021, Bologne

The Centro interuniversitario per la storia delle università italiane (CISUI) is hosting the
“Universities and Witchcraft in Europe between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period ” conference. The Conference theme is the involvement of Universities “as institutions”, over the issue of witchcraft from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age throughout Europe: west, east, Catholic, Protestant.

Decisions made by academic institutions throughout the period in question had a major cultural and social impact. Such was the case, for example, of the responsa issued by the College of Theologians of the University of Paris in 1398. They approved twenty-eight articles condemning not only Satan’s snares, the Devil’s Contracts and magical practices used to subjugate devils to his service, but condemned also the scepticism of those who did not believe in the articles’ effectiveness. The articles addressed issues relating to witchcraft and covered intellectuals “as professors”, students’ behaviours, attitudes, doctoral theses and dissertations, as well as university courses.

In the spirit of the above and by way of illustration, the main aspects (12th to 18th centuries) on which proposals for papers should be based are:

  1. The reactions of universities to cases in which their students and professors were formally
    questioned over witchcraft;
  2. University courses and responsa / consilia on matters of witchcraft;
  3. Doctoral theses and dissertations on witchcraft;
  4. Student behaviours, attitudes, and witchcraft (e.g. blasphemy and superstitions ventilating
    witchcraft; provisions of university college statutes; provisions regarding student behaviour and parties; satirical compositions).

Alongside Italian, conference languages include French, English, Spanish and German.
Proposals (title and abstract of no more than ten lines, together with name, contact details, and a brief curriculum vitae) must be submitted to the Scientific Committee – professors Patrizia Castelli, Marco Cavina, Guido Dall’Olio, Maria Rosa Di Simone, and Vincenzo Lavenia) – by and no later than 16 November 2020 at the following email address: cisui.redazione [at] unibo.it. Responses to proposals will be sent by 21 December.

CISUI will arrange overnight hotel stay and meals for conference speakers, as well as
publication of conference papers in the CISUI series “Studi e ricerche sull’università”, Il Mulino Editore

Publication – « Nos ancêtres les Gaulois ! », n° 32, Parlement[s], Revue d’histoire politique 2020

« Nos ancêtres les Gaulois ! » : la formule hante notre mémoire collective comme un élément central du discours sur l’identité porté par le roman national tel qu’il s’est longtemps écrit. Mais ces ancêtres paradoxaux – fiers de leur liberté mais désunis, attachants mais querelleurs, redoutables guerriers mais vaincus – sont le résultat d’une véritable fabrique. Cette image des Gaulois émerge dès l’Antiquité, reprise et étoffée au XVe siècle en fonction des besoins politiques et identitaires du moment, pour servir l’affirmation de la francité au siècle suivant, puis, à partir de la Révolution française et au XIXe siècle, elle s’installe durablement dans l’imaginaire politique, comme en témoigne encore le discours public depuis 1958. Ce dossier montre, par une lecture culturelle du politique, la façon dont la figure du Gaulois, siècle après siècle, a nourri les représentations et les identités nationales dans un usage politique de l’histoire. Et comment le discours sur le présent prend la voix du passé.

Parution – Jussi Välimaa, « A History of Finnish Higher Education from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century », 2020.

This book unravels the origins, continuities, and discontinuities of Finnish higher education as part of European higher education from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It describes the emergence of universities in the Middle Ages and the Finnish student, and  moves on to the Reformation and the end of Swedish rule. It then discusses the founding of the Royal Academy of Turku, its professors and governing bodies, its role as a community, student numbers, the research and controversies. Travelling through the age of autonomy, the first decades of independence and the Second World War, the book examines the expansion of higher education, the development of the system, and the establishment of polytechnics. It concludes by analysing the multiple institutional and organisational layers of Finnish higher education. Altogether, the book offers an historical study that shows how and why education and higher education have been important in the process of making the Finnish nation and nation state.