Colloque – Imagining the Future of Pre-Modern Intellectual History

Innovation and change have marked philological and intellectual historical scholarship throughout the centuries. Whether in the past, the present or the future, the advent of new technologies, the discovery of new sources, or the attraction of novel methods of interpretation have urged scholars to adapt the investigation of ancient, medieval and modern texts, ideas and images to new circumstances. At this very moment, scholarship in pre-modern intellectual history is being revolutionized by new methodologies and tools stemming from Digital Humanities and Artificial Intelligence. Even if traditional skills remain indispensable, the potential of technological innovations can no longer be ignored. They are the harbinger of paradigm shifts that recall similar events in the past, such as the invention of the printing press, the empirical study of the human body or the Copernican revolution. Moreover, the time is long past when intellectual historians could ignore insights from neighboring disciplines. On the contrary, interdisciplinary collaboration now goes beyond the field of the humanities in the strict sense to include partnerships with social scientists, linguists and IT specialists. So what are the threats and opportunities of these evolutions? What impact do they have on the working habits of art historians, philologists, philosophers, theologians, jurists or, for that matter, medical doctors and mathematicians fascinated by the history of their disciplines? What does inter-disciplinary scholarship really mean in the fields of the history of ideas and text editing?

On the occasion of LECTIO’s 10th anniversary, this symposium will bring together leading scholars in the field to reflect on those challenges. Building on the illustrious tradition of Louvain’s Collegium Trilingue (°1517), LECTIO fosters cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the field of pre-modern intellectual history and the science of text editing. Since April 2020, LECTIO has been recognized as a KU Leuven Institute – an initiative that provides an extra stimulus to excellent research based on a strong tradition that remains important in the long term. One of its missions is to foster the dialogue on the smooth integration of new and traditional methodologies in intellectual historical scholarship.

Programme :

1 June 2021 | Conference day 1 | Online
13.30 – 14.00Opening of the Conference Welcome & Presentation of LECTIO – Wim Decock (Director of LECTIO)
14.00 – 14.30 14.30 – 15.00 15.00 – 15:30Session 1 | Digital Humanities and Digital Text Editing Chair – Peter Van Deun (KU Leuven)
Mikko Tolonen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Claire Clivaz (Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Switzerland) Discussions
15.30 – 15.50Break
16.00 – 16.30 16.30 – 17.00 17.00 – 17.30Session 2 | Inter-disciplinarity
Chair – Tim Van de Cruys (KU Leuven)
Rens Bod (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Bettina Berendt (TU Berlin, Weizenbaum Institute, Germany & KU Leuven) Discussions
2 June 2021 | Conference day 2 | Online
10.30 – 11.00 11.00 – 11.30 11.30 – 12.00Session 3 | Linguistics and Machine Learning
Chair – Frank Van Eynde (KU Leuven)
Marco Passarotti (Catholic University of Milan, Italy)
Barbara McGillivray (Alan Turing Institute & University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) Discussions
12.00 – 13.30Lunch
13.30 – 14.00 14.00 – 14.30 14.30 – 15.00Session 4 | Ideas, Texts and Images Chair – Andrea Robiglio (KU Leuven) Barbara Baert (KU Leuven)
Johan Östling (University of Lund, Sweden) Discussions
15.00 – 15.20Break
15.20 – 15.50 15.50 – 16.20 16.20 – 16.50Session 5 | Global Perspectives
Chair – Nicolas Standaert (KU Leuven)
Suzanne Akbari (IAS Princeton, USA)
Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer (University of Chicago, USA) Discussions
16.50 – 17.00Break
17.00Plenary session – Discussions & Conclusions

Informations pratiques :

1-2 June 2021


Participation is free, but registration is required before 25 May 2021 by filling in this form.
Please specify which activities you will attend: the round-table as a whole, the keynote lecture(s), or the practical sessions.

Venue online via Teams

The link will be sent to you in advance.

Organizing committee

KU Leuven Institute LECTIO
Wim Decock, Mark Depauw, Margherita Fantoli, Marleen Reynders, Stefan Schorn, Violet Soen

More information

For more information, please contact

Source : LECTIO – KULeuven

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