New Facebook page – correct link

Apologies: The correct link is below:

There is now an official Facebook page dedicated to Norbert Elias. You can ’like’ here:

or click the ‘Like’ button to the right of this blog post.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology, 2014

The next ISA World Congress of Sociology will be held in Yokohama, Japan, 13–19 July 2014.

The list of sessions organised by Working Group 02, Historical and Comparative, Sociology is now available online at:

Please note that online abstract submission started on 3 June and runs through 30 September. So those who intend to participate in Yokohama need to be formulating the abstract of their papers now.

Many figurationists are also members of Research Committee 20, Comparative Sociology, or of other RCs. The same deadlines apply across the board.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stefanie Ernst’s Inaugural Lecture

Professor Stefanie Ernst will give her inaugural lecture in the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster on Friday 12 July 2013, at 12 noon in Room SCH5, Scharnhorststraße 121, Münster.

Her topic will be: ‘Die Meisterklasse: Vom Werden einer Figuration”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pieter Spierenburg’s Farewell Lecture

On Thursday 27 June 2013, Pieter Spierenburg will give his afscheidsrede, or farewell public lecture, upon his retirement as Professor of Historical Criminology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The title of his lecture will be:

Please, please me’s number one: Social changes since the 1960s and their impact on the image of criminals and victims’

The ceremony will begin at 16.00 exactly in the Senaatszaal (A-Building) of the university, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam.

A reception will follow at around 17.00 in the same building. The Rector Magnificus warmly invites you to attend this ceremony and the reception

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sociology and the Global Economic Crisis

Special issue of Sociology (Journal of the British Sociological Association

Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2013

Editorial Team: Ana C. Dinerstein (University of Bath), Gregory Schwartz (University of Bath) and Graham Taylor (University of the West of England)

We hear it, see it, and read about it everywhere; yet, to what extent are we able to translate the quotidian reality of the global economic crisis into adequate forms of knowledge? Has the crisis highlighted important limits in our sociological imagination linked either to the subdivision of our discipline or, more fundamentally, questioned the contemporary relevance of sociology as a social science?

This Special Issue of Sociology, to be published in October 2014, invites contributions that will:

  • Explore how sociology can contribute to a better understanding of (the lived experience of) the global economic crisis; and/or
  • Reflect on how social processes and movements confronting the crisis can inspire a new sociological imagination.

And aims to bring together contributions that:

  • Bridge disciplines
  • Unsettle conventions
  • Cosmopolitanise epistemologies
  • Renew sociology

The Editors welcome contributions on relevant topics in any field of social science engaging with sociological research, from early career and established academics, and from those outside academia.

Queries: To discuss initial ideas or seek editorial advice, please contact the Special Issue Editors by email on

Full Call for Papers can be viewed at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5th International Forum on Civilities: LIVING SPACES

Xalapa, Mexico, 17–19 April, 2013

During the last four years, once a year, we have been gathering here in Xalapa, capital city of the state of Veracruz, on the Mexican coast of the Gulf of Mexico, to analyse and to discuss the general subject matter of civility. The gathering has been conceived as a small forum, in which a reduced number of scholars present written contributions to the understanding of those forms and ways of living together that give place to the process of civilization, as theorised by Norbert Elias.

Content, length and format of papers 

Papers must be original written contributions, not be published before under any format or means whatsoever. The length must be eight pages minimum and fifteen pages maximum, letter paper size, typed in Time New Romanfont, size 12, and 1.5 of interline space. Papers should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words, and by a maximum five key words.

The first page of the paper must indicate the title of the paper, the name of author(s), the institutional affiliation and institutional address of the author(s), and must also indicate an e-mail address for contact.

Papers should be written according to the format of the e-journal SubjeCivitas:

Abstracts and papers should be sent to:

  • Th e papers presented in the forum will be published in the e-journal SubjeCivitas.
  •  Abstract reception closing date: March 1st, 2013
  •  Full paper reception closing date: April 4th, 2013

Dr. Horacio González





























Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The latest issue of Human Figurations is now online

Human Figurations journal – third issue live online

Human Figurations: Long-term Perspectives on the Human Condition is a new journal supported and sponsored by the Norbert Elias Foundation. The unifying theme of the journal Human Figurations is a broad concern with long-term processes of the development of human society and the human condition.

The third issue is live online, the contents are:

Title Author(s)
Editor’s Introduction Liston, Katie
The Advancement of Humanity Mazlish, Bruce
Water is not (yet) a commodity: Commodification and rationalization revisited Castro, José Esteban
American Civilization Jones, Charles A.
Emotions and Habitus of Officers as Reflected in Great Literature: The Case of the Habsburg Army from 1848 to 1918 Kuzmics, Helmut
Manufacturing Austerity in the Eurozone Clement, Matt
Norbert Elias and the Habits of Good Sociology Hughes, Jason
Book Reviews

More information about the journal is below. If you’d like to submit a paper for consideration please email

While Elias is best known for his theory of civilizing processes, he wrote on an astonishing range of topics, including violence, war, sport, ageing and dying, time, work, art, music, poetry, utopias and the relations between the sexes. Fundamentally, he advanced what have been called both a ‘post-philosophical’ theory of knowledge and the sciences, and an ‘historical social psychology’. His conception of the discipline of sociology was far broader than that which has now become institutionalized in the rather narrow departments of sociology in contemporary universities. In consequence, he inspires researchers from many disciplines, especially people working in the interstices between conventional disciplines: history (especially world historians and social historians), criminology, international relations, anthropology and political science. Human Figurations will attract contributions from across these fields, the unifying theme being a broad concern with long-term processes of the development of human society and the human condition.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Session on Popular Culture and Civilisation, Graz, 25–27 April

Call for Papers for a Session on Popular Culture and Civilisation, Graz, 25–27 April 2013

This session will take place within the conference on Habitus, War and Civilisation, Department of Sociology, University of Graz, in honour of Helmut Kuzmics upon his retirement from his chair in Graz. Besides his work in recent years on war, Helmut has written extensively on literature and popular culture.

Email 300-word abstract plus bio to Jason Hughes at Deadline for abstracts: 24 February 2013

Elias had excellent sociological reasons for selecting the term ‘civilisation’ to bear the conceptual weight of his theoretical approach. As he discusses in the opening to On the Process of Civilisation, the term ‘Kultur’, particularly in its German usage, has retained certain connotations from its specific sociogenesis – stressing introspection, difference, uniqueness. ‘Civilisation’, on the other hand, has sociological value because of its emphasis on development: for its application as a term which invites comparison, contrast, and which is always attuned to processes of becoming. Culture, particularly in the anthropological usage, has largely emerged unchallenged as a technical term. The distinction between culture in the technical and normative sense of the world is by now so deeply ingrained in Western academic traditions that it hardly needs to be stated. Civilisation, by contrast, remains highly contested, seemingly unable to shake off the hangovers of the normative usage as a watchword for colonising groups, particularly its mobilisation in the name of Western superiority, progress, and the domination of ‘others’. Yet, arguably, civilisation, or more specifically (to use Elias’s technical term) ‘civilising processes’, with its structure and process connotations, remains sociologically useful and encompasses much that is normally considered in relation to studies and analyses of ‘culture’. This presents an enduring problem for ‘figurational’ scholars: how does ‘culture’, particularly ‘popular culture’, ‘fit’ within the conceptual scheme and the approach to research developed by Elias? What is the ontological and epistemological status of ‘cultural artefacts’? Might popular culture constitute a vehicle for standards of socially acceptable behaviour, one that follows in a line of succession from previous modes of arbitration, such as manners texts, aristocratic edicts, and spoken (and eventually unspoken) codes of etiquette? Where do studies of popular culture stand in relation to analyses of civilising processes? How might a contemporary researcher locate research into say film, television, new media, in the context of longer-term processes of development? How might one reconcile Elias’ (and others’) work with ‘media studies’ and other analyses of popular culture? We invite papers that explore the relationship between popular culture and civilisation, exploring these questions amongst others. We would particularly welcome papers which are research-based, and which grapple with the problems of combining an engagement with long-term processes with a contemporary empirical focus.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fifth Annual Workshop on Comparative Historical Approaches to Fiscal Sociology, Chicago, 20 Nov 2013

In recent years, scholars from a variety of disciplines have embarked on an innovative wave of multidisciplinary research on the social and historical sources and consequences of taxation. We invite interested graduate students from history, law, and the social sciences to participate in a one-day workshop on this “new fiscal sociology.” In addition to brief lectures introducing students to the basics of taxation and the comparative history of taxation, the workshop will consist of discussion of classic and contemporary texts.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 20th, in Chicago, IL in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Social Science History Association (SSHA). Interested students will also have a chance to present their own work on Thursday, November 21st, as part of the SSHA conference.

Space is limited. Small housing and travel stipends will be provided for a limited number of applicants under a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Applicants should submit a CV and a paragraph explaining their interest in this workshop, and (if applicable) a draft of a research paper that they would be willing to present at the SSHA. Preference will be given to students who also submit conference papers, but we encourage applications from all students interested in the workshop, including those at early stages of their graduate career.

Submit materials via e-mail to:

no later than February 22, 2013.

Posted in Conferences | Leave a comment

Call for expressions of interest, encyclopedia entries

Dear all,
The editorial team for the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social Theory is looking for contributors for a number of entries in the Social History section. The length required is indicated, and sadly there’s no fee involved.

If you think you’d like to write one of these entries, please get in touch with me at and let me know.

Warmest regards (from Sydney, literally!)

Annales School-B 3,500-4,000
Bendix, Reinhard-D 1,000-1,500
Braudel ,Fernand –D 1,000-1,500
British Marxist Historians (Cambridge Historians)-D 1,000-1,500
Dumezil, G. –D 1,000-1,500
Elias, Norbert
(including Civilizing Process, Figurational Sociology, Process Sociology)- 3,500-4,000
Empires, rise, decline and fall – B 3,500-4,000
Evolutionary Theory-B 3,500-4,000
Historical sociology-D 1,000-1,500
Laslett, Peter-D 1,000-1,500
Nelson, Benjamin –D 1,000-1,500
Gibbon, Edward –D 1,000-1,500
Spengler, O –D 1,000-1,500
Toynbee, A.J. –D 1,000-1,500
Turner, F. (frontier) –D 1,000-1,500


Posted in Publications | Leave a comment