05 Mai 2023
14:15  - 18:30

Departement Geschichte, Hirschgässlein 21, 4051 Basel

Kolloquium / Seminar

52. Basler Renaissancekolloquium "Renaissance Properties"

The 52nd BRC will consider the European Renaissance as a culture of recognition, seeking to identify new modalities of agency and ownership by inquiring into contemporary practices of attribution and (self-)valorisation.


Commonly associated with transformative shifts in social and ethical norms, creative processes, and political cultures, the European Renaissance also invites historiographical considerations of new modalities of agency and ownership. The gradual development of early privilege systems into codified sets of rights, for example, has emerged as a well- supported narrative of economic and legal history. By the same token, the rising significance of author- and originatorship as (quasi-)statutory parameters is seen as a defining feature of Renaissance intellectual and creative environments.

Yet, there remains a need to illuminate the wider social dynamics (and consequences) of a specific Renaissance culture of recognition beyond formal institutional frameworks. The 52nd Basel Renaissance Colloquium sets out to approach this historical nexus of possession, achievement, and competition by inquiring into the general characteristics of contemporary practices of attribution and (self-)valorisation: how did individuals and groups perceive and claim their contributions to craftsmanship, scientific and scholarly endeavours, and/or artistic production? How did social privileges and barriers induce or impede the acknowledgement of individual merit? To what extent were technical innovations in manufacturing, printing, and the arts driven by personal incentives, or rather by unilateral or mutual dependencies? How did changing notions of (material and immaterial) property alter and shape economic and social realities?

Renaissance properties... proposes to frame the evolution of intellectual proprietorship as a history of social assertion, thus invoking broader contexts of individual and collective action, social networks, shifting balances of economic and political power, and systems of institutional interdependence. The meeting is intended as an interdisciplinary forum open to (and seeking to combine) perspectives from e.g. cultural, social, political, and art history, and/or the history of science and technology. We are particularly interested in thematic contributions relating to the spread of ideas and creative techniques, the development of art and book markets, the (social, political, cultural) ramifications of technological change, and/or the emergence of social spheres and identities, among others.

The colloquium will allow for individual presentations of about 30 minutes in length, followed by questions and a final roundtable discussion.

Organising committee:
Prof. Susanna Burghartz – Prof. Lucas Burkart – Prof. Aden Kumler – Dr. Franz-Julius Morche

Veranstaltung übernehmen als iCal