A New History of the Holy Roman Empire

 (Falk Bretschneider with Christophe Duhamelle, EHESS/CRH ; Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, University of Münster ; Matthias Schnettger, University of Mayence ; Guillaume Garner, ENS-LSH Lyon)

The renewed impetus for research on imperial institutions, initiated in Germany more than thirty years ago, has begun to emerge from a disciplinary isolation marked in particular by its confinement to institutional history. The objective is now to cross different modes of historical inquiry by bring into questioning our paradigms of statehood and nationhood from the 16th to the 18th centuries and by wedding wider, innovative thematic orientations (concerning the history of communication, for example, or of political rituals). French historians have played a limited yet active role in these evolutions, obtaining only limited acknowledgement in Germany and above all, paradoxically, in France. A hybridized review of the historiography of the Holy Roman Empire is therefore today required in order to bring out incipient tendencies and to strive to make of this ‘new’ object a thematic which is all the more shared across the Rhine.

This general objective will be pursued across three lines of interrogation simultaneously for the duration of the program : Space, borders, territories and communication/the anthropology of politics and law, the scales of the political/an economic and social history of the Empire? The project will involve a seminar (around six sessions a year, each of three hours) which will ideally bring together a speaker from France and Germany for each session along with doctoral students, young researchers and interested colleagues. It will also involve two scientific meetings (an initial day workshop and a concluding conference) and a Franco-German doctoral workshop on the Holy Roman Empire between the first and second year.

Link : http://www.saint-empire.fr (website of the project)

With the support of CIERA.