Elias Conference in Mexico: 3–8th November, 2014




MEXICO. 2014


Conference Details

1)      Location: Department of Political and Social Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

2)     Dates: : November 03 to 08, 2014

3)     Languages: Papers can be presented in English, Spanish or Portuguese.

4)     Reception of abstracts. Participants must send an abstract to the organizers of the event, who will send this on to the Academic Committee and/or the presidents of each thematic table for their evaluation. Proposals should be sent to neliasunam@gmail.com. Please send copies or CC to the following two email: ginaza@unam.mx and ginazk@gmail.com

5) Once a proposal is accepted, and in order to secure participation, speakers should send their completed unpublished texts in order for these be accessible to all the attendees.



a)   Deadline for abstracts and resumes: April 25th.  (Specifics of abstract format can be found below).

b)     Accepted proposals will be announced on June 15th, 2014.

c)    Last day to send completed papers. September 15th, 2014


Specifications on the abstract and resumés to be submitted

1. The abstract must be between 300 and 600 words, and should have the following requirements:

1)  Title

2) 5 to 10 key words

3) Name of the author

4) Objective(s)

5)  Statement of Problem

6) Details on how Norbert Elias will be relevant to dealing with the topic

7) Methodology and relevant bibliography

8) Possible conclusions


2. The resumé should not be more than one page long and should include academic trajectory, institutional affiliation, areas of research and teaching, publication and other relevant information.



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Johan Heilbron awarded Sarton Medal

On 24 April, the University of Ghent will present the 2014 Sarton Medal for the History of Sciernce to Johan Heilbron. The citation from the Ghent website reads:

Sarton medal awarded to Prof. dr. Johan Heilbron

(24-02-2009) We would like to invite you to the lecture of Professor Johan Heilbron
Date & Place

Date: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 4 p.m.
Place: Korte Meer 5 (John Vincke Room), Ghent.

After the lecture, the Sarton medal of Ghent University will be presented to Johan Heilbron. This ceremony will be followed by a reception.


Johan Heilbron is one of the most distinguished researchers in the field of the social and intellectual history of the social sciences. He is Director of Research at the Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique de la Sorbonne (France) and Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

He is the author of Het ontstaan van de sociologie, which first appeared in 1990, while an English translation appeared as The Rise of Social Theory in 1995 and a French edition as Naissance de la Sociologie in 2006. He is currently completing a new monograph, provisionally titled French Sociology.

He is also co-editor of The Rise of Social Sciences and the Formation of Modernity: Conceptual Change in Context, 1750-1850 (1998), as well as Pour une histoire des sciences sociales. Hommage à Pierre Bourdieu (2004). In addition, he is co-editor of the Complete Works of Norbert Elias (Suhrkamp Verlag).

In his work, Johan Heilbron has always kept an eye out for the social and historical conditions of social theory. He always draws attention to the ways in which social science is conceived in particular social and historical settings. As few others, he is able to clarify the historicity of the social sciences.

See http://www.ugent.be/ps/sociologie/nl/onderzoek/onderzoeksgroepen/cst/news/sarton-johan-heilbron.htm

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Norbert Elias et l’histoire: Journée d’étude, 4 avril 2014

A study day on the topic of ‘Norbert Elias and History’ will be held on Friday 4 April 2014, from 09.00 to 17.30 in the Salle Julien Gracq, Lycée Henri IV, 23 rue Clovis, 75005 Paris.

Speakers are: Marc Joly, Pierre-Henri Castel, Quentin Deluermoz, Florence Delmotte, Stéphane Dufoix, Florence Hulak, and Arnaut Skornicki. The study day is organised by Claire Pagès.

Further details: email collectif@ciph.org

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Conference Update

Two significant pieces of news regarding the Elias Conference in Leicester in June. The first is that we are delighted to announce that Professor Liz Stanley will be opening the event on Friday 20th June!

The other piece of news is that, after much last minute adjustment, the Elias Conference Website is now live, complete with links to the online booking. The pricing is a follows:

The full conference WITH accommodation, all meals, refreshments, registration fees - £300.
The full Conference WITHOUT accommodation. Includes all meals (not breakfast), refreshments and registration fees - £200.
One day of the Elias Conference WITH accommodation. Includes all meals, refreshments, registration fees for one day - £150 per day.
One day of the Elias Conference WITHOUT accommodation. Includes all meals (not breakfast), refreshments, and registration for one day - £80 per day.

Please book before the 25th April to obtain these prices, which will increase thereafter by approximately 10%.

Link: http://www2.le.ac.uk/conference/elias

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Five classic essays by Richard Kilminster

Five essays by Richjard Kilminster have been added to the ‘Classic Essays’ page of the Norbert Elias Foundation website. See: http://www.norberteliasfoundation.nl/network/essays.php

We use this page to make available essays that are not so easily found elsewhere. One of Richard’s papers, on the phenomenon of naked ‘streaking’ at public events, has never been published at all, but was known to exist through the grapevine.

The full list is:

Richard Kilminster, ‘The debate about utopias from a sociological perspective’ (1982)

This paper was a product of Richard Kilminster’s participation in 1981 in the Utopieforschuungsgruppe at the Zentrum für interdisciplinäre Forschung at the University of Bielefeld. It was translated into German as ‘Zur Utopiediskussion aus soziologischer Sicht’, in Wilhelm Voßkamp (ed.) Utopieforschung: Interdisziplinäre Studien zur neuzeitlichen Utopia, Band 1 (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler Verlag, 1982). The original English text is published here for the first time. Elias’s contribution to the research of the group, ‘Thomas More’s critique of the state: with some thoughts on a definition of the concept of utopia’, translated by Edmund Jephcott, is to be found in Richard Kilminster and Stephen Mennell (eds), Essays I: On the Sociology of Knowledge and the Sciences, (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2009 [Collected Works of Norbert Elias, vol. 14]), pp. 212—57.

Richard Kilminster, ‘Streaking: the naked truth’ (1988)

Richard Kilminster’s essay on streaking has had an almost mythical status since it was written in 1988. Its existence has been known among some members of the figurational research network for a long time, but few if any of them had actually read it – because the typescript remained unpublished. It is published here for the first time. It originated in an interview with Kilminster on the topic by Tim Dower on Radio Leeds on 3 June 1988. It was also broadcast on Radio York. The text was written as a light-hearted piece for publication in the New Statesman and Society, but never appeared. It has not been revised or updated, but some more recent references and explanatory notes have been provided; they are enclosed in square brackets.

Richard Kilminster, ‘Image and Conviction in Sociology’ (1988)

This wry assessment of the plight of academic sociology was written for Footnotes, the newsletter of the American Sociological Association. It was written in the wake of economic retrenchment and the institutional contraction of sociology in Britain in the 1980s during the Thatcher governments. Drawing on his Leeds experience, Kilminster takes a longer, comparative view of the problem of promoting the importance sociology in the face of the historically recurring attacks on the field from Left, Right and Centre of the political spectrum. He also raises the awkward question of the hesitant allegiance to the discipline of many sociologists themselves.

Richard Kilminster, ‘Theory’ (1992)

Originally published in one of the long out-of-print annual updates of the main specialisms in sociology in the UK edited by Mike Haralambos, which appeared in a ring-binder format. They were intended for teachers of ‘A’-level Sociology and their more advanced students – that is, for use in secondary or high schools. The Eliasian inspiration is evident in the unadorned language, the developmental approach and the stress on intellectual tendencies as paradigm-communities. The three-phase model was elaborated further with additional evidence in Richard Kilminster’s book Sociological Revolution: From the Enlightenment to the Global Age (London: Routledge 1998 [paperback 2002]), chapter 8.

Richard Kilminster, ‘Elias and the neo-Kantians: an alternative view’ (1994)

This article, written jointly by Richard Kilminster and Cas Wouters, appeared in the January1994 issue of the now discontinued journal Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift. It was a robust response to an article in Dutch in the previous issue by Benjo Maso entitled ‘Elias and the neo-Kantians’, which was highly critical of Elias’s allegedly unacknowledged intellectual debts to Ernst Cassirer and Elias’s latent ‘substantialism’. The exchange was reprised in a slightly revised form in Theory, Culture and Society, 12: 3 (1995). There, the revised version of this piece appeared under the title, ‘From Philosophy to Sociology: Elias and the neo-Kantians’.

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Elias Twitter Feed

To all of you who are in the Twittersphere(!), you may or may not already have Followed an account dedicated to the work of Norbert Elias @neliasresearch  If not, now is the time to do so. This account will be centrally used to Tweet about the forthcoming Elias conference in Leicester, before, during and also after the event.

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Sponsor a Chair…

Our friend and colleague, Gordon Fyfe (Keele University, UK), has recently brought to our attention an initiative at the University of Leicester library which allows for the sponsoring of chairs. For the price of £115 per chair (approx €140) it is possible to ensure a chair in the library will carry the inscribed name of Norbert Elias. The library has also indicated that should ten or more chairs be sponsored in this way, it would be possible to create an entire reading room devoted to Norbert Elias. This would be a wonderful and fitting tribute to Elias, who spend a considerable amount of time in the library when he was employed at Leicester. If you are interested in sponsorship, please read the attached information. And should you be generous enough to want to go ahead, please let me know (jason.hughes@le.ac.uk).


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New edition of Human Figurations journal

The latest issue of the Human Figurations has now been published online.  You can view the papers here:


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A Civilized Evening with Norbert Elias. University of Edinburgh, 20th February 2014



Liz Stanley, Emilia Sereva and Jacques Human are organising a ‘Civilized Evening with Norbert Elias’ at the University of Edinburgh on 20th February from 16.00–18.00. Full details of the event are here.

The provisional programme is as follows:


Elias talking 1: ‘The Task of Sociology’ ‘Wishful Thinking’

Readings: What is Sociology?

Elias talking 2: ‘Hegel, Marx, above all Marx’

Reading: Reflections on a Life

Elias talking 3: ‘Excitement, Boredom, Violence’

Readings: The Civilizing Process, and The Germans

Elias talking 4: ‘The Problem of Time’

Reading: The Loneliness of the Dying

Elias talking 5: ‘How To Become Human’

Readings: Involvement and Detachment

Eliasian Moments: Collegial Discussion & Convivial Talk

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PhD in Cultural Sociology at the University of Amsterdam

The post is fully funded for three years. Full details here: http://www.uva.nl/en/about-the-uva/working-at-the-uva/vacancies/item/14-032.html

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