"Research Network: Cameralism across the World of Enlightenment: Nature, Order, Diversity, Happiness"
Although the concepts of cameralism and cameral sciences are not well known to the general public, there has lately been a notable growth of interest in cameralism amongst historians (Wakefield, Reinert, Laborier, Cunha, Rössner). Perhaps most thought-provokingly, Dorinda Outram has argued that the body of thought known as cameralism was so important ?that it might even be argued that one of the major divisions within Europe was not so much between Catholic and Protestant states, or large and small states but between states which used cameralist thinking and those which did not?. (Outram 1995, The Enlightenment, p. 102). Yet a holistic account on cameralism is still missing, one that would do full justice to the complexity of the intellectual and political traditions in which cameralist thinking emerged and was used. Unfortunately, few studies to date have either applied comparative methods on cameralism or analysed cameralism in the emerging global framework(s) of the long eighteenth century.
Three workshops are envisioned in the first instance, to be held at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Studies. The first, Cameralism and the Enlightenment World: Transfer and Translations, will take place on 10th and 11th October 2016. The second, Nature and Order: Ideas in Practice, is planned for 24-26 April 2017, and the third, Commercial Society, Population and Family: Diversity and Happiness, will be held during the week of 9-14 October 2017.Our ambition is to make original contributions to historical scholarship on cameralism and Enlightenment.
Our intention is for a major collaborative volume to grow out of the workshops that will:
a.) Analyse cameralism and cameral sciences in a holistic way in its full complexity as a university discipline and system of thought and practice that was widely spread in the eighteenth century. Beyond the German principalities, chairs of cameral sciences were founded for instance in Uppsala (1741), Vienna (1752), Prague (1763), and Milan (1769). The impact of cameralism was not limited to the states that held chairs in the subject, since works of cameral scientists were translated into at least eight different languages (most importantly French, Spanish, Dutch and Russian). In addition, not only the concepts of the cameralists travelled. Cameralists such as Johann von Justi and Johann Christian Fabricius, travelled as well.
b.) Take cameralists? more theoretical writings on nature, human happiness and commercial society simultaneously into account with their more practically-oriented work on topics such as the improvement of agriculture, forestry and mining. It is also essential to analyse the ways in which cameral sciences were put into practice in diverse projects.
We encourage studying together aspects of cameral sciences that have so far been topics of separate accounts. For example, studying the interplay between cameralists? conceptions of human nature, natural order and natural history can provide more insights into all of them.
c.) Instead of falling back to the simple dichotomy between Anglo-Saxon (mercantilism) and Continental (cameralism) traditions of political and economic thought and practice, the emphasis of the volume will be on comparative and transnational approaches to cameralism in order to tease out the similarities and differences between the highly different contexts wherein cameral sciences were taught and practised. This can be done for instance by studying the translations of cameralist literature (from German to French, French to Spanish, Swedish to German and from German to Swedish to mention a few). Comparative approaches to cameralism are motivated also by the fact that cameralists were often convinced comparatists themselves. Cameralists compared the political and economic institutions between different societies in Europe, China and America to uncover models for reform as well as to acquire empirical justification for their demands for social and political reforms
Publication of a selection of the papers is envisioned. The Research Network was initiated by Ere Nokkala, Nicholas Miller, Dominik Hünniger and is supported by the Lichtenberg-Kolleg and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Workshop series 2016/2017
Workshop I: 11th and 12th October 2016: Cameralism and the Enlightenment World: Transfer and Translations
Keith Tribe: Cameralism as a German University Discipline
Adriana Luna-Fabritius: Cameralism and Proto-Cameralism in the Spanish-Speaking World
Alexandra Kattrin Ortolja-Baird: Cesare Beccaria as a Cameralist
Koen Stapelbroek: Wealth and Freedom in the Low Countries: Dutch Cameralists
Alexandre Mendes Cunha: Channels in the dissemination of cameralist ideas in the Iberian world and its importance for the Enlightened reformism
Göran Ryden: Cameralism and the Perception of Historical Change
Dorinda Outram: comments
Workshop II: 25th and 26th April 2017 (tbc): Nature and Order: Ideas in Practice
Marten Seppel: Cameralist solutions to hunger, poverty and disease - a total failure?
Philipp Robinson Rössner: Making the Markets? Cameralism, notions of market order and the modern economy
Mária Hidvégi: Land, People and the Unused Economic Potential of Hungary: Knowledge Transfer in the Context of Cameralism and Statistics
Dominik Hünniger: Turnips and Technology - Teaching oeconomia naturae at 18th century German and Scandinavian universities
Jonas Gerlings: Kant and the End of Cameralism
Richard Hölzl: Towards Ecological Statehood? Natural resources, population, and organisation in cameralism
Andre Wakefield: comments
Workshop III: 10th and 11th October 2017 (tbc): Commercial Society, Population and Family: Diversity and Happiness
Hans Erich Bödeker
Franz Leander Fillafer