AB Amanda Bevan The National Archives
AC Annick Cossic Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
ACA Alain Caubet Université de Rennes 1
AD Aileen Douglas Trinity College, Dublin, The University of Dublin
AG Arlette Gautier Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
AI Allan Ingram Northumbria University
AK Alain Kerhervé Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
AT Alexis Tadié Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4)
BC Brian Cowan McGill University
BCX Benjamin Couilleaux Musée Cognacq-Jay
BCZ Baerbel Czennia McNeese State University
CA Christian Auer Université de Strasbourg
CG Claire Gallien Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3
CL Clark Lawlor Northumbria University
CLB Corinne Le Bitouzé Bibliothèque Nationale de France
CM Clara Manco Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4)
CS Claire Sheridan Greenwich University
DB David Banks Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
DM Dominique Maillet Bibliothèque Nationale de France
DOS David O’Shaughnessy Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin
DS David Stewart Northumbria University
EBS Emilie Beck Saiello Université Paris 13
EDB Elizabeth Durot-Boucé Université du Havre
EF Elisabeth Freyre Bibliothèque Nationale de France
EF Eric Francalanza Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
EJ Emrys Jones Greenwich University
EM Elisabeth Martichou Université Paris 13
FDS Florence D’Souza Université Lille 3
FI Fabrice Issac I-def
GL Géraldine Lepan Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès
GW Geoffrey Williams Université de Bretagne-Sud
HD Hélène Dachez Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès
HW Helen Williams Northumbria University
IB Isabelle Breuil Bibliothèque Nationale de France
IG Ioana Galleron Université de Bretagne-Sud
ILP Isabelle Le Pape Bibliothèque Nationale de France
IN Ian Newman University of Notre Dame (Indiana)
JBV Jean-Baptiste Vaisman Bibliothèque Nationale de France
JFD Jean-François Dunyach Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4)
JN Jessica Nelson The National Archives
JPM Jean-Philippe Moreux Bibliothèque Nationale de France
KA Katherine Aske Independent Researcher
KC Kevin Cope Louisiana State University
KL Kylea Little Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
KM Katy Mair The National Archives
KPJ Kimberley Page-Jones Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
LC Leanne Cane Northumbria University
LCH Laurent Châtel Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4)
LG Lindy Gilliland Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
LK Lawrence Klein University of Cambridge
LM Laurence Machet Université Bordeaux Montaigne
LT Laurent Turcot Université du Québec à Trois Rivières (UQTR)
LW Leighton Wright Northumbria University
LWD Leigh Wetherall-Dickson Northumbria University
MA Marion Ansel Bibliothèque Nationale de France
MC Michele Cohen Richmond University London, Institute of Education UCL
MCV Marianne Charrier-Vozel Université de Rennes 1
ME Markman Ellis Queen Mary University London
MH Mascha Hansen Universität Greifswald
MK Mark Knights University of Warwick
MMM Marie-Madeleine Martinet Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4)
MN Michael North Universität Greifswald
MVT Marja W.A. van Tilburg University of Groningen
NLV Noémie Le Vourch Independent Researcher
PB Pascal Bastien Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
PL Pierre Labrune Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4)
PP Pierrick Pourchasse Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
PYB Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
RD Rémy Duthille Université Bordeaux Montaigne
RMHM Rose-Marie Herda-Mousseaux Musée Cognacq-Jay
RS Roxane Siffer Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)
SD Sebastian Domsch Universität Greifswald
SDU Suzanne Dumouchel IHA
SM Sophie Mesplède Université Rennes 2
TR Thierry Rentet Université Paris 13
VC Valérie Capdeville Université Paris 13
XLS Xavier-Laurent Salvador I-def


Specialised Studies
Biographical Studies BCX, RD
British art and aesthetics EM, LM, ILP, SM
Commonwealth studies AT, BCZ, CG, FDS, ME, NLV
Comparative studies EF, LT, RS
Early-Modern studies BC, KM, MK, TR
Eighteenth-century studies AB, AD, BC, EF, EJ, IN, JFD, LK, LT, MC, MN, NLV, PB, PYB, RD, RS, SM, VC
Gender studies MC, MVT
Irish studies AD, DOS
Mediterranean Studies CG, PYB
Nineteenth-century studies EF, IN, LCH, LM, NLV
Postcolonial studies AT, CA, FDS, NLV
Romanticism and Romantic studies CS, DS, KPJ, LW, LWD, SD
Scottish studies CA, JFD
Urban studies AC, LT, VC
Visual culture CLB, MMM, LCH
British literature and culture (eighteenth-century)


British poetry DS, KPJ, LW
British theatre CM
French literature EF, IG, MCV
French theatre IG, MCV
Literary genre and theory AK, EDB, HD
Literary translation BCZ, EDB
Orientalism AT, CG, LCH
Romantic Literature DS, KPJ, MH, SD
Women’s letter-writing AK, KM, MH, MCV
Art history EBS, EM, LCH, SM
Book history HW
British history BC, JFD, LK, MK, RS, VC
Cultural history CG, JFD, LK, LM, MC, ME, MK, MVT, VC
Dutch history MVT, PP
Economic history MN, PP
European history BC, JFD, LT, MVT, PB, PP, PYB
Food history BC, RMHM
French history ACA, LT, PB, RS
History of education MC, MCV, LC
History of fashion AC, KA
History of gardens and landscapes EBS, EM, LCH
History of India CG, FDS
History of language MC, DB
History of medicine AC, ACA, AI, CL, KA
History of Northern and Eastern Europe MN, MVT, PP
History of science BCZ, DB, HD
Intellectual history / History of ideas JFD, KC, RD
Legal history JN, PB
Maritime history AB, PP
Media history SDU
Military history RS
Political history BC, MK, PL, RD
Religious history PL
Social history BC, LK, LM, MC, MK, MVT, VC, AC
Sport and leisure history AT, LT
Linguistics DB
Corpus Linguistics FI, GW, XLS
Philosophy GL
Art Philosophy IB
Moral and political philosophy GL
Sociology AG, GB
Archaeology RMHM
National Archives and Heritage
Art heritage BCX, KL, LG, RMHM
Legal archives JN
Maps JN
Prints and Drawings collections CLB
Computer Sciences
Digital humanities DM, FI, GW, IG, JBV, MMM, SDU, XLS,
OCR and Data Mining JPM
Knowledge management / European cooperation EFR, MA, KL, LG

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CFP – GIS Sociability/Sociabilités Conference 23-24 MAY 2019






GIS Sociability/Sociabilités Conference 23-24 MAY 2019
University of Western Brittany, BREST

Sociable Spaces in the Long Eighteenth Century (1650-1850)
from Present-day Perspectives: Europe and its Imperial Worlds

The GIS (an interdisciplinary Research Interest Group) Sociability/Sociabilités in the long eighteenth century (1650-1850) aims at exploring the different models of sociability that emerged and circulated in Europe and its imperial worlds. In addition to understanding European sociability, we wish to understand how those modes of sociability were imitated, adapted, transformed and exported to European colonial empires through a process of hybridization.
This international conference will be sponsored by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (H2020-MSCA-RISE 2018) DIGITENS and will interrogate the evolution of the long eighteenth-century’s sociable spaces and their persistence in time. Analysing the interaction of sociability and space and the modes of construction of sociable spaces from the modern period to the present day will shed new light on the history of European and imperial societies.
The eighteenth century in Europe saw the emergence of new forms of sociability and the creation of new places devoted to sociable practices. By deeply transforming urban centres and by structuring people’s social relationships, those sociable practices became increasingly identified with their spatial features. They were naturally imitated in the colonies and adapted to their diverse local contexts.
The connection between space and society was theorised by the Chicago interactionist school in the 1920s (Park & Burgess, The City, 1925) and contemporary researchers have been equally keen to show how spatial theories apply to the production of urban social space (H. Lefebvre, La production de l’espace, 1974; E. Soja & Allen J. Scott. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, 1989; Michel de Certeau. L’invention du quotidien. 1980) and how space can shape social identity (P. Grandjean, Construction identitaire et espace, 2009), favour inclusion or, conversely, exclusion.
The long eighteenth century in particular played an important part in the formulation of social theories of space and society, particularly in the works of Habermas (L’Espace public: archéologie de la publicité comme dimension constitutive de la société bourgeoise, 1978), Richard Sennett (The Fall of Public Man, 2003), and Neil Postman (Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century, 2000). What is the relevance of eighteenth-century sociability for understanding the relationship between space and society in the 21st century? For instance, are the coffeehouses, clubs and social networks of today akin to those of the age of enlightenment?
The objective of this conference is to assess the role of the long eighteenth century’s
sociable spaces in the shaping of European and postcolonial societies. This approach will
provide an original and long-range lens through which to understand their legacy, as
sociability contributed to frame modern social interactions and to redefine space organization for the next centuries. Have those sociable spaces survived into the 21st century? How far have they been reconfigured in terms of social, cultural and political significance? To what extent have those spaces, devoted to human interaction, been transformed or redesigned by contemporary architects or urban planners for example?
The divisions established by Jürgen Habermas between the state, an intermediary
public, and the private spheres will be further questioned, as suggested by recent criticism
which has already led to various post-Habermasian re-assessments. Papers should consider the relation between sociable spaces and class, gender, sexuality, race, etc., with social space being understood as “a system of differences” (P. Bourdieu, La distinction), a structuring and identifying factor for social organization.
Sociable spaces are first geographical spaces (the built environment as well as the
natural world), but they can also be dematerialized, abstract spaces, as happens in
correspondences both virtual and interpersonal, or even in the “salon”, which has come to
refer to a set of social practices, values and norms more than to an actual physical space.
Whether space is understood as geographical territory or imaginary landscape, the very
notion implies a relationship between the individual and society, be it harmonious or
conflictual. If sociability is linked to the idea of freely conceived interaction (G. Simmel,
Sociologie et épistémologie, 1981) the building of sociable spaces may appear as utopian in essence. Moreover, space can be literary (see M. Blanchot, L’espace littéraire, 1955; P.
Casanova, La république mondiale des lettres, 1999) and cross temporal boundaries through the creation of a space-time concept. This conference also seeks to examine the gap between the conception or representation of sociable spaces and the reality of their construction in Europe and its imperial worlds over more than three centuries.
We welcome submissions in English or French from researchers in different fields
(history, history of art, geography, sociology, anthropology, ethnology, literature,
architecture, cultural studies, urban studies, post-colonial studies) and different periods of
history in order to compare their findings and participate in the writing of a comparative
history of sociability in Europe and the post-colonial world in the eighteenth century onwards to the present day.
Proposals for 25-minute papers or panels of three speakers are welcome from a wide
chronological and geographical reach. Sociable spaces should be considered both in their
historical dimension and through a contemporary reassessment of their past legacy. We also encourage innovative methodologies and findings as well as digital technologies and
techniques for the collection, storage, analysis and presentation of data.

For example, papers might consider:
The conceptual interaction of sociability and space
– The contribution of sociology
– The philosophical dimension
– Historiographical approaches
The public/private spheres dialectics
– Habermas and beyond: continuities and contradictions
– The emergence of a ‘social sphere’ or a ‘third space’
Sociable spaces as institutions of sociability from the 18C to the present
– Characteristic features and variations (geography, scale, time)
– Comparative case studies, then and now (coffeehouses, clubs, spas…)
Sociability and spatial differentiation
– Urban/rural sociable spaces
– Inclusive/exclusive spaces
– Center/periphery; metropolitan/colonial dimensions
The materiality/immateriality of sociable spaces
– Mapping sociable territory: methodology and new technological challenges
– Material space (architecture, interior design, furniture and objects)
– Abstract space or virtual communication (periodical press, literature, correspondences…)
Sociable spaces and identities
– Gendered spaces
– Sociable spaces and class distinction
– Sociable spaces and national character
Sociable spaces: connecting people
– Sociable spaces and the role of friendship
– Sociable spaces and power relations
– Social networks: an eighteenth-century invention?
The cultural dimension of sociable spaces
– The cultural values underpinning sociable spaces (community, mutual improvement,
– Sociable spaces and the revolution of leisure
– Sociable spaces through travel experience
Sociable spaces and representation
– Social spaces and the performance of the self
– The artistic representations of sociable spaces
Sociable spaces and transgression

Deadline for submission of proposals: October 1st 2018

For individual paper proposals, please submit a title and 200-word abstract, along with a short biography. For panel proposals, please also include a title and 200-word abstract and a short biography for each speaker and contact details for one speaker on the panel.

Please send submissions to:,,,

GIS Sociabilités website:

A selection of papers will be published.

Blanchot, Maurice. L’espace littéraire. Gallimard. 1955.
Capdeville, Valérie & Eric Francalanza, « Les espaces de sociabilité » (Tome 3), La Sociabilité en France et en Grande-Bretagne au siècle des Lumières: L’émergence d’un nouveau modèle de société. Paris : Le Manuscrit, coll. « Transversales ». 2014.
Casanova, Pascale, La république mondiale des lettres. Editions du Seuil.1999.
Castells, Manuel. La société en réseaux. Fayard. 1996. 2001.
Certeau, Michel (de). L’invention du quotidien. Volume 1. Arts de faire, Paris. 1980. Gallimard. 1998.
Cohen, Michele. Fashioning Masculinity: National Identity and Language in the Eighteenth
Century. Routledge. 1996.
Deleuze, Gilles & Félix Guattari. Mille Plateaux. Les éditions de minuit. 1980.
Di Meo, Guy & Pascal Buleon. L’espace social. Lecture géographique des sociétés. Armand Colin. 2005.
Elias, Norbert. The Civilizing Process. 1939. 1969.
Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class: and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. Basic Books. 2002.
Fraser, Nancy. “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually
Existing Democracy” Social Text No. 25/26. Duke University Press (1990). pp. 56-80.
Grandjean, Philippe. Construction identitaire et espace. L’Harmattan. 2009.
Habermas, Jürgen. L’archéologie de la publicité comme dimension constitutive de la société bourgeoise. Payot. 1978.
Ingold, Tim. Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. Routledge. 2013.
/Faire. Anthropologie, Archéologie, Art et Architecture. Edition Dehors. 2017.
Ingold, Tim & Monica Janowski (eds). Imagining Landscapes: Past, Present and Future.
Routledge. 2016.
Joseph, Isaac & Yves Grafmeyer. L’école de Chicago: naissance de l’écologie urbaine. 2009.
Lefebvre, Henri. La production de l’espace. 1974. (4e ed. 2000).
Lussault, M. De la lutte des classes à la lutte des places. Grasset. 2009.
Park, Robert E. & Ernest W. Burgess. The City: Suggestions for Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Environment. University of Chicago Press. 1925. 1967.
Pinçon-Charlot, Michel & Monique. Sociologie de la bourgeoisie. La découverte. 2016.
Postman, Neil. Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future. Vintage. 2000.
Sennett, Richard. The Fall of Public Man. Penguin. 2003.
Simmel, Georg. Sociologie et épistémologie. Paris. PUF. 1981.
Soja, Edward & Allen J. Scott. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London. Verso Press. 1989.
Squires, Catherine. “Rethinking the Black Public Sphere: An Alternative Vocabulary for
Multiple Public Spheres.” Communication Theory. Vol. 12, n° 4 (2002). pp. 446-468.
Vickery, Amanda. The Gentleman’s Daughter. Women’s Lives in Georgian England. Yale UP. 2003.