CfP: Forms of trade regulation

Call for papers, deadline 2 November 2020

4th International Workshop
The spatial implications of trade regulations
(Middle Ages and Early Modern Times), 10-12 June 2021

After the three meetings in 2017, 2018, and 2019, the investigation into The forms of trade regulations in medieval and modern Europe continues with a fourth and final international conference on the spatial dimension of professional regulations. While Europe, in a broad sense, has been chosen as a starting point, papers could also consider other cultural areas or colonial experiences. As a reminder, regulations are viewed as a process, from the making of the rules to their implementation, without being restricted either to the written and stabilised forms of the statutes or to organisations of a corporative nature: royal or local orders, judicial precedents, or unwritten customs could also be part of the normative framework of trades, just as non-institutional groups could regulate themselves through the manufacture or sale of a particular product.

The diffusion and spatial concentration of these different types of regulations in medieval and early modern societies can thus be investigated on various scales: from the much discussed area of influence of local trade associations to the norms that apply to larger territories or networks, such as the legislations on prices and wages adopted by several kingdoms after the end of the 13th century, the Hanseatic Leagues, the inspection of factories, journeymen’s associations, and so on.

1/- How were legal spaces established: through a polarisation around a text or a stakeholder who applied unwritten rules, through the delimitation of spatial borders, or in other ways? How far were these spaces linked to those of jurisdictions, brotherhoods, firms (mines and quarries, building sites, factories, arsenals, trading firms, …), market areas, or economic networks? Reflections would be welcomed on spaces seen as “marginal” from a geographical point of view (forests, marshes, mountains, coastlines, the sea, …) or from a socio-legal perspective (colleges, hospitals, convents, privileged neighbourhoods), where recent research has highlighted the regulation of trades.

2/- In what ways were craft rules disseminated or concentrated within those spaces (advertising, updating, preservation, questioning, enforcement)? How did centres of regulation such as fairs, markets, or factories interact with places that were not as evenly overseen, such as shops, outworkers’ “rooms”, suburbs, villages, or the abovementioned “marginal” spaces? Attention could also be paid to the tangible vectors of spreading craft rules through geographic spaces. Which stakeholders were involved? Which means of communication were applied? While the sources available are sometimes overly scarce, it is still important to try to place the establishment of those regulated spaces in the broad context of the patterns of circulation and communication at work in the medieval and early modern world.

3/- How were professional norms circulated between local or national jurisdictions? To what extent did models exist that were imitated by other regulations, more or less explicitly, as suggested by a dated historiography concerning Paris and Barcelona? Were the rules of some trades borrowed or locally imitated by other activities? Did networks of similar texts tend to bring together similar activities even when they were spatially distant?

4/- Lastly, how might the spatial turn, already broached in other fields of history, contribute to the study of the regulation of trades? Should a space be seen as the producer of a given regulation? To what extent could a town or village provide the support for the labelling of products or goods, instead of the individuals who make and sell them? Could a space be self-created through possession or a claim to regulation as much as a human community?

These spatial processes are all dynamic, which implies that the conflicts or cooperation, dominations or agreements, innovations or restorations associated with them should be taken into account.

This meeting will also be an opportunity to assess the project that has been underway since 2017 on forms of trade regulation.

The conference will take place from 10 to 12 June 2021, at Université Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines. As a precaution, a visio-conference system will be put in place in the event that travel restrictions are still in place due to Covid-19.

The languages used during the conference will be French and English. Papers should last 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. If you wish to submit a paper for this conference, please send an abstract of approximately 2,500 characters, including spaces (or 400 words) in French or English, as well as a short biography containing your institutional affiliation, before 2 November 2020:

Organising Committee of this 4th workshop:

Robert Carvais (CTAD-Université Paris Nanterre); Catherine Rideau-Kikuchi (UVSQ-DYPAC); Mathieu Marraud (CRH); Arnaldo Sousa Melo (Universidade do Minho- Lab2Pt); and François Rivière (Université d’Évry-Val d’Essonne-LaMOP-IDHES)

Scientific Committee of all four workshops:

Philippe Bernardi (Paris 1-Lamop); Caroline Bourlet (IRHT); Robert Carvais (CTAD-Université Paris Nanterre); Maxime L’Héritier (Paris 8-ArScAn); Corine Maitte (Université Gustave Eiffel-ACP) ; Mathieu Marraud (EHESS-CRH); Judicaël Petrowiste (Université de Paris-ICT); François Rivière (Université d’Évry-Val d’Essonne-LaMOP-IDHES); Arnaldo Sousa Melo (Universidade do Minho - Lab2Pt); Catherine Rideau-Kikuchi (UVSQ-DYPAC); and Jean-Louis Roch (Université de Rouen-GRHIS)