Bernard Lightman et Richard England, “The Metaphysical Society and the End of Metaphysics” (6 mai)

Jeudi 6 mai 2021 à  17 h : Bernard Lightman (York University) et Richard England (Eastern Illinois University), “The Metaphysical Society and the End of Metaphysics”

The Metaphysical Society was a unique London debating club that lasted for eleven years, from 1869 to 1880.  The debaters came from every sphere of intellectual endeavor, from politics and religion, to science and literature. The roster of members included many of the English intellectual superstars of the period, such as the liberal politician William Gladstone, the biologist T. H. Huxley, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Henry Edward Manning, and the Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson. During the period when the Metaphysical Society held its meetings there were questions being raised about the future of the study of metaphysics.  So why did members of the Society decide to name their debating club the Metaphysical Society?  This paper will explore how the concept of metaphysics was understood by the members of the society during the 1870’s.  It became an issue of contention within the society, as Christian intellectuals attempted to defend the validity of metaphysics from the criticisms of fellow members who questioned the existence of such a discipline, and ironically, the raison d’être of the society itself.


Bernard Lightman is Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities Department at York University, and Past President of the History of Science Society.   
Richard England  is Dean of the Pine Honors College and professor of philosophy at Eastern Illinois University. 

– Catherine Marshall, Bernard Lightman & Richard England (eds), The Papers of the Metaphysical Society (1869-1880), Oxford, Oxford, University Press, 2015.
– Catherine Marshall, Bernard Lightman and Richard England (eds), The Metaphysical Society (1869-1880): Intellectual Life in Mid-Victorian England, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019. 

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Barbara Bombi, « Diplomatic communication: how to convey messages at the papal curia between the 13th and 14th century » (15 avril)

Jeudi 15 avril 2021, 17h : Barbara Bombi (Kent), « Diplomatic communication: how to convey messages at the papal curia between the 13th and 14th century »

La communication de Barbara Bombi portera sur les pratiques diplomatiques et administratives de la fin du Moyen Âge et en particulier sur l’acheminement des messages depuis l’Angleterre vers la Curie pontificale au tournant des XIIIe et XIVe siècles. Se fondant sur les résultats de son étude récente des relations entre l’Angleterre et la papauté pendant la première phase de la guerre de Cent ans (1337-1360), Barbara Bombi traitera de la communication écrite, de « l’auralité » pratique, de l’oralité et des procédures cérémonielles. Trois avenues en particulier seront explorées: 1) comment les pratiques administratives furent-elles forgées et utilisées dans le discours diplomatique anglo-papal dans la première moitié du XIVe siècle ? 2) Ces pratiques se développèrent-elles en raison de développements parallèles mais autonomes dans différentes régions, ou à la suite d’influences mutuelles? 3) À qui doit-on l’essor et l’application des pratiques administratives?

Barbara Bombi est professeur d’histoire médiévale à l’Université du Kent. Spécialiste d’histoire ecclésiastique et religieuse, elle est l’auteur de Anglo-Papal Relations in the Early Fourteenth Century: A Study in Medieval Diplomacy (Oxford, 2019), Oliviero di Colonia, I Cristiani e il favoloso Egitto. Scontri e incontri durante la V crociata (Milan, 2009), Il registro di Andrea Sapiti, procuratore fiorentino presso la curia papale nei primi decenni del XIV secolo (Rome, 2007), Novella plantatio fidei. Missione e crociata nel nord europa tra la fine del XII e i primi decenni del XIII secolo (Rome, 2007).


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Gareth Curless, “Labour, Decolonization and Class: Re-Making Colonial Workers at the End of the British Empire” (08/04)

Jeudi 8 avril 2021 à  17 h : Gareth Curless (University of Exeter), “Labour, Decolonization and Class: Re-Making Colonial Workers at the End of the British Empire”

The strikes and labour riots that swept through the empire during the late 1930s are widely regarded as a watershed moment in the history of British imperialism. According to conventional histories, the unrest was a catalyst for a major reorientation of not just colonial labour policy but colonial attitudes towards social and economic development in the empire. Gareth Curless reconsiders this established narrative, using comparative case studies from Singapore, British Guiana and the Gold Coast.

While accepting that colonial states intervened more directly in the social and economic spheres of colonial rule after the late 1930s, Gareth Curless argues that these policies emerged out of pre-existing policies and debates in both London and the colonies, which in some instances can be traced back to the late 19th century; as the civilising mission gave way to the language of modernisation, colonial labour regimes continued to be concerned with the control, regulation and reproduction of African and Asian workers. Curless shows that the power of the colonial state was not absolute, however, considering African and Asian workers who frequently practiced more subterranean or `everyday’ forms of resistance such as absenteeism, industrial sabotage, theft and go-slow protests. He emphasises the role of class and `ordinary’ Africans and Asians, focusing on the emergence of class identity and consciousness as a result of struggles between colonial workers and employers and the state.


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Lien habituel, disponible auprès de Yann Béliard