Rural History 2015

Panel 61

Organizers: Thoen, Erik (1); Van Molle, Leen (2); Segers, Yves (2); Lambrecht, Thijs (1); Vanhaute, Eric (1); Devos, Isabelle (1); Soens, Tim (3); van Bavel, Bas (4)

Affiliation: 1: Ghent University, Belgium; 2: University of Leuven; 3: University of Antwerp; 4: University of Utrecht

Title: Comparative rural history of the North Sea area: how meaningful are syntheses?

A comparative synthesis project on rural history in North-West Europe has recently been finished by the CORN research group: the 4 volumes of "Rural Economy and Society in North-Western Europe, 500-2000" (Brepols Publishers). This original synthesis of rural history in four volumes -written more than half a century after the last comparative synthesis made by B.H. Slicher Van Bath- , has been published by Bas J.P. van Bavel and Richard W. Hoyle (Volume on Social Relations, Property and Power), Leen Van Molle and Yves Segers (Volume on the Agro-Food Market), Eric Vanhaute, Isabelle Devos and Thijs Lambrecht (Volume on Family, Income and Labour), Erik Thoen and Tim Soens (Volume on Land Use and Productivity) in collaboration with many others and it contains contributions of more than 50 different authors.
This instrument will allow new insights in comparative rural history. In this panel, we will present some of the most remarkable comparative results of this project. At the same time this synthesis revealed some of the most important lacunae of history writing in the field of rural history and can therefore open new horizons for future research. These lacunae and future tracks will also be discussed. The experience by the authors also allows to suggest new tracks for other comparative initiatives in the future.



Chair: Erik Thoen, Ghent University, Belgium

Paper 1: Richard Hoyle (University of London, UK) will present the first book published in 2010 on ‘Property and Power’, edited by Bas van Bavel and Richard Hoyle et al.

Paper 2: Thijs Lambrecht (Ghent University, Belgium) will present the book edited in 2011 by Eric Vanhaute, Isabelle Devos, Thijs Lambrecht et al., on ‘Family, Income and Labour’.

Paper 3: Leen van Molle (University of Leuven, Belgium) will talk about the book on the Agro-food market (2013), which was directed by Leen Van Molle and Yves Segers in association with others from different countries.

Paper 4: Tim Soens (University of Antwerp) will present the most recent book Land Use and Productivity (2013-14), which is directed by Erik Thoen and Tim Soens in association with others.

Paper 5: Bruce M. S. Campbell (Emeritus Professor of Medieval Economic History, The Queen’s University of Belfast) will present a paper illuminating an aspect for future research: “Agriculture’s contribution to national incomes and economic growth in the North Sea Region since the Middle Ages: an agenda for future research”.

6: General discussion: How meaningful are syntheses? (Chairs: Erik Thoen, University of Gent, Belgium; and Leen Van Molle, University of Leuven, Belgium)


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015