Call for papers

The goal of this workshop is to get a better understanding of the causes and effects of energy transitions in early modern Europe seen from a household perspective.

It welcomes papers tackling the relation between energy and material culture from a wide range of approaches: economic, social, cultural (from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries).

It also stimulates comparative research, both chronologically and geographically. Ultimately aiming at publishing an edited volume on energy in the early modern home, this international workshop wishes to welcome several experts in the field.

Specific questions to be explored may include:

  • How and why did household economies adopt new fuels and fuel appliances throughout the early modern period?
  • How was domestic energy consumption related to other household activities?
  • What were the social and cultural aspects of household heating, lighting and cooking, when the hearth for instance long remained the central and symbolic place of the home?
  • How did the increasing emphasis on household comfort change households’ practices, perceptions and mentalities towards energy consumption?
  • What were the material effects of new fuel types and fuel appliances on the practical organisation of the domestic interior?
  • How did energy transitions affect the spatial organisation of the home?

Participation and proposals

Participation in the workshop is free of charge and catering will be provided.

Please send your proposal to This should include your name, affiliation, email address, a title, and an abstract of c. 500 words.

Deadline for proposals: 1 February 2019