Archives de catégorie : Billets

Publication: Nature, Enlightenment, and University Reforms in the Iberian Peninsula (Madrid, Dykinson, 2024)

Carlos Fernando Teixeira Alves, Nature, Enlightenment, and University Reforms in the Iberian Peninsula: A Comparative Analysis of the Universities of Salamanca and Coimbra (1766-1820), Madrid, Dykinson, 2024 

Abstract: The university reforms that took place in Europe throughout the 18th century were an important moment of change in the history of these institutions. In the Iberian Peninsula, this wave of reforms left its mark in Coimbra and Salamanca (later reaching the other Spanish universities). Portugal and Spain were no strangers to the motivations and even to the general lines of this wave of reforms. Inseparable from the ideas of the Enlightenment, and with a clear will to combat the backwardness and decadence of these institutions, rather ambitious projects emerged, albeit in different degrees. Coimbra faced a rather disruptive initial situation while in Salamanca later plans (1807, for example) proved to be quite ambitious as well. All having a mandatory nature, it would not be correct to say that these Universities did not participate in these processes of reform. Individually or on behalf of collective bodies, several initiatives and proposals emerged during this period in both Universities. In addition, the participation of professors in the statutes and plans that were launched since 1771 is recurrent. Beyond this aspect, it will not be forced to state that the curricular aspect was the most significant mark of these reforms. Thus, we chose to study in a comparative way subjects that sought to explain the concept of nature and its products. With the clear objective of preparing a body of technicians capable of providing a rational and effective exploitation of the various natural products, the faculties of mathematics and philosophy emerged. In the case of medicine, natural products were essential to produce medicines and in this sense the reform of this knowledge brought, among other changes, matters linked to pharmaceutical studies. In the area of law, a relevant introduction was natural law. The perception of natural law was not similar in both countries, and an evident consequence was the greater instability of this chair in Salamanca. Inseparable from the curricular aspects was the adoption of foreign compendia and the encouragement given to the teachers to write their own textbooks. The adoption of textbooks was quite similar, and clearly shows us the lines that reformers sought to follow to modernize these university institutions.

More info on the website of Dykinson Publisher.

CfP: XIIIth Heloise Workshop, 26-27th September 2024, Warsaw

From East to West and back. Circulations of knowledge in pre-modern and modern Europe: actors, institutions and spaces.

Location: Centre for the History of Renaissance Knowledge, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences – Warsaw, Poland

Organizer: Prof. Valentina Lepri, Principal Investigator – ERC CoG n. 864542, KnowStudents; Head of the Centre for the History of Renaissance Knowledge.

Deadline: 5th April 2024


Studies of knowledge production have traditionally focused on academic teaching. Although the cosmopolitan nature of universities is well known, the impact of different cultures, minor figures, and peripheral centers and milieus on knowledge production has been less explored.

The aim of this workshop is to look at the production and transmission of academic knowledge from a broader perspective. This perspective would include intellectual phenomena and individuals that orbit the university system but are rarely directly connected to the production of knowledge in the various disciplinary fields.

Likewise, the temporal perspective aims to transcend conventional epochal boundaries in order to examine the universality of phenomena, patterns, and developments in the circulation of 2

knowledge. In this context, even contributions from the perspective of the 19th or 20th century would be conceivable, thus providing important reflective and comparative insights for the questions of the workshop.

Special attention should be given to the key relationship between European space/geography and knowledge production and/or between migration and education.

Within the framework of the workshop, we would like to address a number of questions, such as:

– Who were the actors other than academics in the production and dissemination of knowledge?

– What were the ways and criteria by which academic and student migration influenced university teaching?

– How did institutionalized arenas of higher education dialogue interact with non-institutionalized, private, and even forbidden ones?

The workshop will explore these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, including approaches from a (digital) history of universities and knowledge as well as from the history of philosophy and the history of science, and set them in a European context. Contributions may include curricula, didactic programs, dissertations, and public speeches. They may also include private manuscript texts, such as letters, notebooks, and other documentary sources.


Atelier Heloise workshop 2024_CFP (PDF)

Publication: Examens, grades et diplômes (Paris, Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2023)

Examens, grades et diplômes. La validation des compétences par les universités du XIIe siècle à nos jours, edited by Thierry Kouamé, Bruno Belhoste, Boris Noguès, Emmanuelle Picard, Paris, Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2023 (Homme et société, 76), 448 p.

Ce livre réunit trente études qui abordent la question des examens, grades et diplômes universitaires dans la très longue durée, du XIIe au XXIe siècle, et replacent la validation des compétences par les universités dans ses différents contextes politiques, sociaux et culturels.

Présentation sur le site des Éditions de la Sorbonne.

The book brings together thirty studies that address the issue of university examinations, degrees and diplomas over the very long term, from the twelfth to the twenty-first century, and place the validation of skills by universities in its various political, social and cultural contexts.

More info on the website of the Éditions de la Sorbonne.

Authors: Sari Aalto, Robert Anderson, Claire Angotti, Bruno Belhoste, Marion Bernard-Schweitzer, Luís Miguel Carolino, Christophe Charle, Jean-François Condette, Hilde De Ridder-Symoens, Leen Dorsman, Willem Frijhoff, Massimo Galtarossa, Kaspar Gubler, Maria Teresa Guerrini, Damigela Hoxha, Lotte Kosthorst, Thierry Kouamé, Regina Lupi, Ilaria Maggiulli, Manuel Martínez Neira, Simona Negruzzo, Boris Noguès, Armando Norte, Emmanuelle Picard, Berardo Pio, Leonidas Rados, Rafael Ramis Barceló, Cornelia M. Ridderikhoff, Giovanni Rossi, Francisco Javier Rubio Muñoz, Aleksandr V. Rusanov, Rainer Christoph Schwinges, Pauline Spychala, Thomas Sullivan, Jacques Verger, Pierre Verschueren, Stefania Zucchini.