Call for Papers: 22nd International Conference on the History of Concepts, July 25-27th 2019, El Colegio de México, Mexico City

The 22nd International Conference on Conceptual History
July 25-27th, 2019
El Colegio de México, Mexico City


Beyond Borders: Conceptualizing Boundaries, Crossings and Disruptions

Borders, physical and conceptual, have long been identified as key forces that shape the ways people understand the world they live in. Discrete groups define themselves and others by establishing boundaries. By drawing lines, groups, territories, societies, languages, cultures, religions become organized. Individuals create differences and maintain, defend or attack identities in ways that become essentialized.  These borders, as historical constructs expressed in ideas and concepts, need to be interrogated.

Borders, boundaries and frontiers are meaningfully created, creatively trespassed, constantly questioned, distorted and reconfigured. The distinctions they establish define theoretical, practical, disciplinary, methodological and conceptual problems about what is common and what is not. In order to think about notions of liminality, permeability, order, disorder, connection, disconnection, belongingness, foreignness, relation and separation, and how they function in both conceptual and non-conceptual dimensions, we need to examine the long history of boundaries.

Latin America, the geographical, cultural and conceptual region where the Twenty-Second International Conference on Conceptual History will take place this year, is a fitting territory in which to discuss languages, concepts, metaphors, representations and epistemologies of borders in all their forms. We invite established scholars, early-career researchers and advanced graduate students to come to Mexico in order to examine a crucial aspect of conceptual history: how we organize, classify and limit ourselves.

The organizers welcome proposals for papers and panels that critically look at boundaries in any form: how they are created, why they come to exist, the ways they are crossed or trespassed and the functions they perform in our world in the past and present.

Proposals can address, but need not be limited to, such topics in the conceptual history of borders as:

•    Borders, boundaries and the construction of identities and identifications
•    Chronological boundaries
•    Gender boundaries
•    Borders and border-crossing in oral and written languages and visual cultures
•    Distinctions and disruptions in/of contexts
•    The circulation of concepts and languages beyond borders
•    The political and its limits
•    Social categories as boundaries
•    Delineations of the public and the private

Proposals for individual papers should be no longer than 400 words; proposals for panels (up to four speakers) should not exceed 800 words. The speaker’s name, institutional affiliation and the details of up to five publications should be provided in the proposal.

Proposals must be submitted in English. Papers presented at the conference may be delivered in either English or Spanish. In the latter case, participants will be asked to forward a one-page abstract in English by July 20th, 2019.

Please send your proposals to by May 12, 2019. Proposers will be notified by May 20th.


Plenary speakers


Professor Annabel Brett, University of Cambridge

Professor Hans Erich Bodeker, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

Professor Claudio Lomnitz, Columbia University

Professor Jorge Myers, CONICET-Center for Intellectual History-University of Quilmes, Buenos Aires

General information


July 25th-27th, 2019


El Colegio de México
Carretera Picacho Ajusco 20, Col. Ampliación Fuentes del Pedregal, C.P. 14110 Tlalpan, Ciudad de México, Mexico


Conference Fee:

135 Euro / 2950 MXN
65 Euro / 1425 MXN (Student Rate)


NOTE: The fee covers HCG membership and a subscription to the journal Contributions to the History of Concepts, published by Berghahn.


The History of Concepts Group
Centro de Estudios Históricos-El Colegio de México

With the support of
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Centro de Historia Intelectual-Universidad Nacional de Quilmes
Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades "Alfonso Vélez Pliego"- Benemérita
Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
Maestría en Historia Conceptual-Cedinhco-Universidad Nacional de San Martín

Universidad del País Vasco


CFP 22nd International Conference on Conceptual History 2019
The 22nd International Conference on Con
Adobe Acrobat Document 67.5 KB