ON THE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY
GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH
25–27 MAY, 2007
Proposals for papers and panels and
suggestions for a symposium or
workshop should be sent by email to
before 20 May 2006.
Late proposals will not be accepted. All
proposals will be subject to anonymous
peer review. The outcome of the review
of all the proposals will be announced
by 31 July 2006. Receipt of a proposal
will be acknowledged within five
Conference web site:
Conference organiser’s web site
The past 30 years have seen a remarkable
upsurge of scholarly interest in the history of
Freemasonry. Scholars have investigated and
illustrated the many historical connections
of Masonic organisations of all types.
The connections of Freemasonry
to such major historical subjects as the
Enlightenment, the American and French
revolutions, the rise of nationalism and
imperial expansion have been examined.
Scholars have discussed the relationship
of Freemasonry to such themes as gender,
public space and the public sphere, as
well as literature, film, art and music
and its role in anti-Masonic movements
and conspiracy theory.
The Masonic elements in the lives
of historical figures ranging from French
philosophers such as Montesquieu and
Voltaire to pillars of 19th century Britain such
as Sir Walter Scott, Sir Henry Irving and Sir
Arthur Sullivan have been investigated.
Historians of religion have considered
the place of Freemasonry in western
esoteric traditions. The connection between
Freemasonry and cognate organisations
such as friendly societies and fraternal
Orders has been discussed.
Economic historians have considered
the role of Freemasonry in business networks
and consumerism. Social historians have
looked at the role of Freemasonry
in the development of class.
Political historians have discussed its
contribution to the elaboration of identities,
and imperial historians have considered the
way in which it provided a link between
coloniser and colonised.
The International Conference on the
History of Freemasonry will illustrate and
exemplify the wide range of recent scholarly
work on the history of Freemasonry and
will cover all aspects of historical research
in this area.
It will work to advance further scholarly
work in this area by providing an overview of
recent work and by providing an opportunity
for scholars in this subject to make contact
with each other. In this way, it is hoped that
the conference will advance the establishment
of the history of Freemasonry as a distinctive
field of historical research.
Proposals for papers at the conference are
warmly invited. Papers may cover any aspect
of the history of Freemasonry from 1450 (the
approximate date of the Regius and Cooke
manuscripts, the earliest documents relating to
the history of Freemasonry) to the present day.
Papers are welcome from academic
researchers of all disciplines, but should
embody a historical approach. They should
advance rational academic enquiry into the
historical significance of Freemasonry and
be concerned with the academic analysis of
Freemasonry, as opposed to current issues
Papers should embody original research
and should not have been previously
published. Proposals should consist of an
abstract of not more than 300 words, giving
details of the current academic affiliation
of the speaker.
Papers may be delivered in English or
French. Proposals which are accepted will
be assigned to an appropriate session by the
academic committee. Each paper should
be no more than 20 minutes long when
delivered. The use of visual material for
presentations is welcomed. Projectors and
computers will be supplied.
Proposals are also invited for panel
sessions. These should consist of three papers
on a coherent theme or subject by different
speakers intended to form a single 90-minute session.
Panel proposals should contain the name
and academic affiliation of the organiser,
the names and academic affiliations of each
speaker, an abstract of not more than 300
words for each paper, and a short rationale
for the panel of no more than 200 words.
The panel proposal should include the name
of a chair for the panel. A respondent may
also be nominated if appropriate.
Speakers will be expected to pay for
the registration fee themselves and for
other elements of the conference (travel,
accommodation, conference dinner etc).
The anticipated registration fee for the full
conference will be in the region of £175.