The GIS (an interdisciplinary Research Interest Group) Sociability/Sociabilités in the long eighteenth century (1650-1850) aims at exploring the different models of sociability that emerged and circulated in Europe and its imperial worlds. In addition to understanding European sociability, we wish to understand how those modes of sociability were imitated, adapted, transformed and exported to European colonial empires through a process of hybridization.
This international conference will be sponsored by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (H2020-MSCA-RISE 2018) DIGITENS and will interrogate the evolution of the long eighteenth-century’s sociable spaces and their persistence in time. Analysing the interaction of sociability and space and the modes of construction of sociable spaces from the modern period to the present day will shed new light on the history of European and imperial societies.
The eighteenth century in Europe saw the emergence of new forms of sociability and the creation of new places devoted to sociable practices. By deeply transforming urban centres and by structuring people’s social relationships, those sociable practices became increasingly identified with their spatial features. They were naturally imitated in the colonies and adapted to their diverse local contexts.
The connection between space and society was theorised by the Chicago interactionist school in the 1920s (Park & Burgess, The City, 1925) and contemporary researchers have been equally keen to show how spatial theories apply to the production of urban social space (H. Lefebvre, La production de l’espace, 1974; E. Soja & Allen J. Scott. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, 1989; Michel de Certeau. L’invention du quotidien, 1980) and how space can shape social identity (P. Grandjean, Construction identitaire et espace, 2009), favour inclusion or, conversely, exclusion. The long eighteenth.