Political Thought and the Early Modern Environment (RSA, Toronto, 17-19 March 2019)

deadline for submissions: 
August 6, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Renaissance Society of America
contact email: 

Writing in 1651 Thomas Hobbes famously described life in the state of nature as “nasty, brutish, and short.” While much of Hobbes’ work—and the larger field of political thought—has centered on reading the human side of that description, the phrase might also be taken to indicate elements of the lived natural world. Indeed, it is difficult to separate considerations of human life, law, and politics from the ecosystem that helps constitute them.


Paper proposals are thus solicited for a panel at the Renaissance Society of America’s 2019 conference (17-19 March 2019) centering political thought and the early modern environment. Sponsored by the RSA’s “Political and Legal Thought” division, this will be a guaranteed session for the conference. The panel will ideally examine “political thought” from a broad perspective within early modern culture. Submissions that address new places, figures, and approaches to the theme are thus as welcome as those speaking to more recognizable/canonical figures such as Hobbes, Machiavelli, or Bodin.


Potential participants should submit the following to Todd Butler, Washington State University (butlert@wsu.edu) by August 6. Panelists will be informed by August 10.

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum)
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc upload), including PhD completion date (past or expected)
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address


Note that participants are now required to be members of RSA at the time of panel submission (August 10), which again is guaranteed. For information on RSA membership, see https://www.rsa.org/page/JoinRSA?.