18 June 2010

NOTICE: 2011 Symposium on Comparative Early Modern Legal History - 'The Struggle for Land: Property, Territory, and Jurisdiction in Early Modern Europe and the Americas'

The 2011 Symposium on Comparative Early Modern Legal History at Chicago's Newberry Library will focus on 'The Struggle for Land: Property, Territory, and Jurisdiction in Early Modern Europe and the Americas'. It will take place from 9-5 on Friday, 8 April, 2011. The Symposium is organised by Tamar Herzog (Stanford) and Richard J. Ross (Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).


The description reads:

The struggle to possess and control land, both as property and as jurisdictional territory, was central to the formation of early modern European societies as well as their colonial domains. This conference will look at how Europeans defined the right to land both at home and overseas. We will examine how so-called European expansion influenced the conceptualization of property and territorial jurisdiction and the relationship between them. Conference participants may explore how notions of property and territoriality changed over time; and how colonial needs and the encounter with new cultures reshaped these notions. In what ways did “international competition” and the emergence of an “international law” (to use an anachronism) modify property and jurisdiction? How did economic, social, and political developments influence new ideas and experiences regarding the land? In what ways did these ideas and experiences shape practical strategies for claiming land and asserting rights to govern it and profit from it? We are particularly eager to know whether these encounters encouraged, consciously or not, borrowing between different European legal systems as well as between settlers and indigenous peoples. How was the movement and refashioning of legal knowledge bound up with the movement of peoples and refashioning of modes of control over land? We would like to encourage an interdisciplinary conversation among lawyers, historians, sociologists, geographers, and literary scholars.

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