News Networks In Early Modern Europe

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Symposium - News and the Shape of Europe, 1500-1750

26-28th July 2013

The culmination of the workshop series was an open symposium, held at Queen Mary, University of London in July 2013, at which the findings of the network were presented. As well as an opportunity to hear the fruits of the latest researches in the field of early modern news history, the symposium provided for the first time a public forum to test and apply the new models and approaches developed by the network over the preceding two years.

You can find a breakdown of the three days through our Storify, aimed at preserving the discussion, recapping the day and pooling useful links; as Cultures of Knowledge (@cofktweets) tweeted: ‘like a conference report, but a real-time, living, collaborative one. And with more cakes’. Email if you’d like to add more links to resources mentioned in the papers, or additional comments.

View 'News and the Shape of Europe, 1500-1750' on Storify

You can also find the conference programme here.

With thanks to the Leverhulme Trust, Queen Mary, University of London, the News Networks members, and all our delegates.

Workshop Series

The main activity of the network consisted of a series of workshops, conducted in cities which were important sites of early modern news production and distribution. Each member of the network is closely affiliated with one of these nodes; the organisation of the network mirrors the phenomena of news transmission which are the subjects of its enquiry. 

The meetings were organised around a series of themes, progressing from general questions about the aims and methods of the project, modes and media of news transmission, and the geopolitical, social, linguistic and cultural factors affecting them, to more particular case studies (of specific routes, places, or news events); a coordinated research agenda, to which other scholars with regional or thematic expertise also contributed at particular meetings. The aim was to expand the membership of the network with associate contributors as the project developed, into a truly international group with multi-disciplinary interests, one more fully adequate to the challenge of framing and undertaking a new and pan-European history of newspapers and applying those approaches at local or continent-wide levels. 

To develop revised national histories of news as well as an integrated European account, the network has aimed to co-ordinate and extend the research of five leading scholars, each bringing local expertise to bear on the conditions, contexts, places and methods of news production and dissemination. 

A series of five research workshops took place over 18 months, in Antwerp, Paris, Frankfurt, Seville and Venice, tackling methodological questions and case studies of news transmission in national and international contexts. The activity of the core network has been complemented and enriched by contributions from experts with special knowledge of the region or themes addressed by each workshop.

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