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Published on Monday, July 01, 2013 by Luigia Parlati


Rural History 2013 is the first conference held under the auspices of the European Rural History Organisation (EURHO). It is organised by the Swiss Rural History Society (SRHS) and the Archives of Rural History (ARH) in Bern and takes place at the University of Bern from 19-22 August 2013. The main aim of the conference is to provide an overview of the state of the art of rural history today. Another goal is to strengthen the existing networks and co-operation of rural historians and their institutions. The conference will be an excellent occasion for historians to discuss the basic question of what exactly rural history is, how it can be narrated and, crucial for the future development of rural history, how the attractions of rural history in an era of worldwide urbanization can be communicated to the younger generation.


Preliminary programme

Monday 19.8.2013

  • Registration 08h00-11h00
  • Management Committee EURHO: Meeting 08h00-11h00
  • Panel session 1: 11h00-13h00
  • Lunch 13h00-14h00
  • Panel session 2: 14h00-15h30
  • Welcome & Apéro: 16h00-16h45
  • Keynote Session I: 17h00-19h30:

Lost in translations?

In rural history, as in many other sciences, English becomes more and more the dominant language. The European Rural History Organisation (EURHO), for example, declares in its constitution unreservedly: “The working language of the Organization and of its website and other publications shall be English”. No doubt, the process towards English as the lingua franca facilitates the communication and comprehension among rural historians from a variety of territorial backgrounds and linguistic and cultural orientations. It helps to overcome national science cultures and linguistic barriers which have in the past restrained, if not altogether prevented, the exchange of ideas and debates. This process of standardisation, however, also creates new problems. It weakens the perception of linguistic differences and meanings – aspects of particular relevance to cultural historians. On a more general level, the application of English as the sole language creates the danger that a discursive variety (today a hallmark of the cultural and social sciences) is diminishing if not disappearing altogether. In other words: A homogenisation of the scientific discourses which have been created within the discipline of rural history in the last two decades could, therefore, destroy the potential of the new rural history once again.

Plenary Lecture

  • Michael Cronin, Dublin City University: Expanding Worlds? Translation and the Challenge of Microspection
  • Comments: Claire Strom; Martin Schaffner
  • Roundtable: Zsuzsanna Varga; Leen van Molle; Martin Schaffner; Claire Strom
  • Michael Cronin, Prof. Dublin City University • Martin Schaffner, Prof. em. University of Basel
  • Claire Strom, Prof. Rollins College, Florida • Leen van Molle, Prof. University of Leuven
  • Zsuzsanna Varga, Prof. Lorand Eötvös University Budapest

Tuesday 20.8.2013

  • Panel session 3: 08h00-10h00  
  • Tea: 10h00-10h30         
  • Panel session 4: 10h30-12h00  
  • Lunch: 12h00-13h00     
  • Panel session 5: 13h00-15h00  
  • Panel session 6: 15h15-16h45  

Excursion & conference dinner: Open Air Museum Ballenberg

Wednesday 21.8.2013

  • Panel session 7: 09h00-10h30
  • Tea: 10h30-11h00
  • Panel session 8: 11h00-13h00
  • Lunch: 13h00-14h00
  • Panel session 9: 14h00-16h00
  • Tea: 16h00-16h30;

Keynote Session II: 16h30-18h30

Rural History in Europe – Rural History in Switzerland

The aim of this Keynote-Session is to reflect on the development of rural history in Europe in the last two decades and to look more closely at one of its specific results: the 12-volume Rural History in Europe series published by Brepols.

Rural History in Europe and Switzerland: Development and Perspectives

  • Gérard Béaur: Rural history in Europe in the last two decades – an overview and analysis
  • Sacha Zala: Rural History in Switzerland: from the fringe to the centre?

Rural History in Europe – a 12 volume series published by Brepols

  • Jürgen Schlumbohm: Twelve workshops, twelve books – achievements, shortcomings and perspectives
  • Comments: Sandra Swart; Juan Pan-Montojo; Nigel Swain
  • Gérard Béaur, Prof. EHESS Paris, Chairman of the Management Committee PROGRESSORE
  • Juan Pan-Montojo, Prof. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Jürgen Schlumbohm, Prof. em., Göttingen, Vice-Chairman of the Management Committee PROGRESSORE
  • Nigel Swain, Prof. University of Liverpool
  • Sandra Swart, Prof. Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Sacha Zala, Dr., Director Diplomatic

Thursday, 22.8.2013

Keynote Session III: 08h00-09h45

Films - a new Source in Rural History

The agricultural sector was one of the pioneers when it came to producing moving pictures in the early 20th century. These films were used by agricultural organisations for educational purposes as well as for advertising products. At a time when films were rare, moving pictures provoked a great interest in the countryside and farm women began to make use of the new technique as early as scientists. That film was an important medium in political propaganda is well known – but what is much less appreciated is that films were widely used by scientists and state institutions to popularize their discoveries and to communicate with the wider public. The Archives of Rural History (ARH) has unearthed, safeguarded and digitised a substantial number of agricultural films from the time period of the 1920’s to the 1970’s. In this lecture we will present extracts from a variety of films and discuss the potential of this new source for rural (and other) historians.

  • Panel session 10: 10h00-12h00       
  • Lunch: 12h00-13h00          
  • EURHO: 13h00-14h15: General Meeting and  MC-Meeting
  • Panel session 11: 14h30-16h30


  • UniS - Schanzeneckstrasse 1
    Berne, Switzerland


  • Monday, August 19, 2013
  • Tuesday, August 20, 2013
  • Wednesday, August 21, 2013
  • Thursday, August 22, 2013


  • rural history, archives, Switzerland, translation


  • Peter Moser
    courriel : peter [dot] moser [at] agrararchiv [dot] ch

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Peter Moser
    courriel : peter [dot] moser [at] agrararchiv [dot] ch

To cite this announcement

« Rural History 2013 », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, July 01, 2013, https://calenda.org/253879

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