Call for Papers

Money, Power and Print: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium on the Financial Revolution

Siegen, Germany

7-9 June 2018

This colloquium, the eighth in a biennial series and the first to be held in Germany, invites scholars from a variety of disciplines to enrich their mutual understanding of the intersections between public finance, politics, and print during a period some scholars call the ‘financial revolution’ from around 1688 to 1776.

Papers for the colloquium should be grounded in one of the four general areas that address the themes below by considering the following:

• the operations, theoretical and practical, of institutions such as banks, joint-stock companies, public debt, and paper money

• the effect of diverse understandings of emerging financial instruments and theories upon contemporary political debates as demonstrated in the literature and legislative debates of the period

• the influence of the successes and failures of specific legislative and / or financial proposals on the development of political and economic programs throughout this period

• the impact of literature and legislative debates of the period on people’s perceptions of the financial revolution and/or its political consequences.

In all cases, consideration should be given to the degree to which the print material under discussion shaped the implementation of financial policies and influenced political discourse.

‘Money’ is used broadly to cover the core economic components of the financial revolution. ‘Power’ is taken to mean the contest between royalty, aristocracy, gentry, merchants, financiers, and other formal or informal groupings for influence and standing. ‘Print’ refers to how the interplay of money and power were explained, analyzed, explicated, and misrepresented (whether deliberately or not) in newspapers, pamphlets, novels, plays, illustrations, and other printed material intended for circulation.

This colloquium has in the past focused on Britain, referring to all constituent parts of the United Kingdom and also to Ireland and the colonies (including the Americas). In 2018, we would especially like to welcome papers that comparatively explore public finance in Britain alongside the Continent. While this comparative approach might present a challenge, our recommendation is for all participants to read selected excerpts from classic texts on the financial revolution as well as excerpts from more recent works that deal with the “credible commitment” thesis. (Such readings will be assigned and made available in advance of the meeting.) Reading selections from these classic and recent works of scholarship on our topic will help us have a shared basis for dialogue, from which we can then have a comparative discussion.

Papers will be distributed in advance and presented in two-hour sessions at which all colloquium participants are present. Presenters will have five minutes to summarize their paper. The remainder of each session will be given over to questions and discussion, in which the goal is to enrich our mutual understanding by eliciting insights from all of the disciplines represented at the table. Authors are therefore expected to write for a non-specialist audience, avoiding jargon, making concepts from their own discipline readily accessible to all those present, seeking to identify areas of general interest, and focusing on questions on which scholars of various disciplines will have something to contribute.

Graduate students and emerging scholars are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.

Papers should be written in English.

Initial expressions of interest of 250 words or fewer are due no later than 15 April 2017. Submitted abstracts will be used in the proposal to apply for funding to finance this event, and individual stipends are contingent on funding received. Those whose initial proposals seem likely to be a good fit for the colloquium will be asked to get a full draft to the conference organizers by 15 December 2017. The final decision about which papers to include will be made in mid-February 2018, and the program will be published shortly thereafter.

Expressions of interest, questions, or submission should be directed to

Natalie Roxburgh:

Anne Murphy:

Felix Sprang:

PDF versions of this CFP are available below.

Because we would like to encourage submissions from scholars working on public finance in Continental discourses, we have also provided calls in French and German.

Please feel free to circulate widely.