Ephemeral Media of Knowledge: Perspectives From Intellectual History and the Digital Humanities

May 22, 2024 - May 23, 2024

Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR)
59 rue Néricault Destouches
37000 Tours


The projected conference is intended to serve as a platform to present and contextualise first, preliminary results of my project "The Afterlife of a Renaissance Genre: A Census of Dissertations  in French Libraries 1500-1800". It will discuss the genre of the dissertation in comparison to other ephemeral genres and modes of scholarly writing (scientific manuscripts, letters) and develop  preliminary assessments of their relevance for pertinent disciplines (medicine, law, theology, philosophy). Besides that, we will begin a conversation between experts in DH and domain experts with regard to two questions: What can DH contribute to the analysis of ephemeral genres from the point of view of traditional intellectual history? And to which extent may digital approaches extend and modify existing research traditions, e. g. through the generation of new questions and research areas?





Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) :
59, rue Néricault Destouches - 37000 TOURS - FR

The conference venue is unique. Located right next to the basilica of St Martin in the old city centre of Tours, the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance) is a teaching and research institution which welcomes students and researchers seeking initial or supplementary instruction in all aspects of the Renaissance. The Centre was initially constituted in 1956 on the basis of a library and a documentary archive, supplemented by a collection of photographs and databases. It is now a venue for multi-disciplinary instruction, which, in association with the various Faculties of the University, has responsibility for teaching and research in History, History of Art, Literature, Languages, Musicology, and Philosophy. It currently leads a large research programme dedicated to the cultural regional heritage (Intelligence des Patrimoines). As a research centre it brings together fifty or so researchers committed to the investigation of the "civilization of the Renaissance" from Petrarch to Descartes. Participants will be welcomed in this exceptional surrounding blending Middle Age and Renaissance cultures and will have the opportunity to discover French cuisine and wines.


Wednesday May 22nd 2024 - Salle Rapin

  • 9:00 Welcome coffee & registration
  • 9:30 Official opening
  • 9:45 Dr Luca Scholz - Digital Methods for the Study of Law Dissertations from the Early Modern German Lands
  • 10:30 Coffee break
  • 10:50 Dr Folgert Karsdorp - Forgotten knights, unseen sailors, and unapprehended criminals: Applying unseen species models to the survival of culture
  • 11:35 Prof. Charles Pence (by Zoom) - When Even Journal Articles Are Ephemeral
  • 12:20  Lunch - Le Mastroquet
  • 14:00 Prof. Elena Pierazzo -  The Codicology of Scientific Manuscripts of Early Modern Italy
  • 14:45 Prof. Sophie Roux - Retracing the Life and Circumstances of an Unknown Cartesian
  • 15:30  Coffee break
  • 16:00 Prof. Ann Blair (by Zoom) - Ephemeral paratexts and their recovery
  • 16:45 Dr Concetta Pennuto  (by Zoom) - Israel Spach and the diseases of the womb: The case-study of a medical dissertation 
  • 17:30 End of the conference day
  • 19:30 Conference dinner - Les Belles Caves

Thursday May 23rd 2024 - Salle Néricault-Destouches

  • 10:00 Dr Stefan Heßbrüggen - A Data Set of Early Modern Dissertations in French Libraries: Some Methodological Reflections
  • 10:45  Prof. Paul Richard Blum 
  • 11:30  Conclusion / general discussion
  • 12:15 Lunch - Le Bistrot 22

 General Information

Congress Venue

 Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR)
59 rue Néricault Destouches  - 37000 Tours, France


Tuesday, 22 May & Wednesday 23 May 2024


The official language of the Congress is English

Welcome pack and Name Badge

 Upon arrival you will receive a welcome pack that includes the printed material of the Conference and your name badge will be given to you at the reception . Please wear your name badge at all times during the Conference and to all official Conference events.

Invitation Letters
Invitation Letters

 An official letter of invitation facilitating the obtention of an entry visa can be sent upon request . In order to receive an invitation letter for visa purposes, send an email to maurine.villiers@lestudium-ias.fr. Please note that : 
- we only issue an official letter once the payment of the registration fee has been validated.
- such letters do not represent a commitment on the part of the Organisers to provide any financial assistance.

Certificate of attendance

 After the conference, in order to receive a certficate of participation, send an email to maurine.villiers@lestudium-ias.fr


By train:

* Tours centre station
 1.5 hour trip from Paris (Montparnasse)

 * Saint Pierre des Corps (4km from Tours town centre)

Bus 5, 20 minutes trip to Tours centre station

> Plan your trip by train: https://www.sncf-connect.com/en-en/


By car:

GPS: 47.3918282,0.6823076
Please note that you can't park in the courtyard in front of the CESR.
Paid car parks nearby : 
Parking Indigo Tours Halles Vieux Tours, 36 Place Gaston Paillhou, 37000 Tours
Parking Gambetta, 8 Rue Gambetta, 37000 Tours
Parking Indigo Tours Nationale, 5 Rue Emile Zola, 37000 Tours


 By plane:

*Arrival at Roissy Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport
Take RER B in direction to Saint Rémy Les Chevreuse, step out at Denfert Rochereau Stop
Metro 6 in direction to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, step out at Montparnasse Bienvenue Stop 

> Then take a train to Tours (see "by train" section above)

*Arrival at Paris-Orly (ORY) airport: 

Take Orlyval Shuttle from Aéroport d’Orly in direction Antony, step out at Antony Stop

Take RER B in direction to Mitry Clave, step out at Denfert Rochereau Stop

Take Metro 6 in direction to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, step out at Montparnasse Bienvenue Stop

> Then take a train to Tours (see "by train" section above)  

Partners of the event