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Biennial meeting European Society for Historical Demography


ESHD 2016 Call for Papers & Sessions


21-24 September 2016, Leuven, Belgium 

Deadline for submissions: 10 January 2016 



With this call, we would like to invite researchers to propose individual papers or complete session proposals (four papers per session) dedicated to describing the features of historical demographic structures, functions and processes; illuminating the mechanisms underpinning these processes with the most appropriate methods for modelling cross-sectional or longitudinal data; and studying individual behavioral change. The second conference of ESHD will be open to all proposals of a good quality which fall within a broad range of themes covering different historical periods, regardless of study disciplines.


To nourish the proposed theme, innovating historical demography: the world and Europe, participants are encouraged to build bridges between theoretical issues, new methodological approaches and empirical results. Inspiring ideas could include:

•Elaboration of the opportunities for and advantages of comparative analysis (e.g. regional, temporal and categorical) based on parallel designs, to study social change;

•Proposals of innovative quantitative and qualitative research methods to promote a better understanding of individual behavior; 

•Development of an agenda for the identification and investigation of the most important substantive questions in the field of historical demography, questions that relate to a number of contemporary issues, such as early life conditions, families and linked lives, kin relations, intergenerational transmission, social mobility, ethnic relations and a global cosmopolitan world. Some important questions and topics are: 

oWhat can historical demography teach us about societal openness, inclusiveness and inequality in opportunities?

oHow do economic and climate dynamics and crises shape life courses?

oMigrants in historical societies: political economy and intercultural encounters?

oReproduction of inequality: a historical tradition or a modern challenge?

oEurope encounters the World: widening perspectives on demographic behavior in the past concerning indigenous and colonial populations; 

oThe relationship between early life conditions and adult outcomes; 

oSolidarity, agency and gender.


We particularly welcome participants who are at the early stages of their research career. We also encourage them to take a full part in the conference, for instance, by chairing parallel sessions.


Instructions for submitting a paper


Submissions are made via the online submission system at All authors are asked to submit both: a short abstract (max. 250 words) and either an extended abstract (2-4 pages, including tables) or a completed paper by 10 January 2016. 


The author making the submission must provide the full names, affiliations, and email addresses of all co-authors for each submission.  At the ESHD 2016 conference only one submission as a first author is allowed; participants may however co-author other papers. Once registration is open, those attending the conference will be able to register individually.


Extended abstracts must be sufficiently detailed to allow the members of the scientific committee to judge the merits of the paper, and include a description of the topic to be studied, the theoretical focus, the data and research methods, and the expected findings. Alternatively, authors may submit complete papers for the members of scientific committee to review. 


If your submission is accepted in a regular session, you must upload the full paper by end of August 2016. All papers will be available in PDF-format at to allow discussion.


Instructions for submitting a session


In order to propose a complete session, an organizer has to gather four speakers who will each present a paper on a related topic, a discussant who will start the discussion with a prepared comment on the papers, and a chair. The roles of session organizer, chair and discussant can be fulfilled by the same or different persons. Each speaker should fill out the pre-registration form found on the website. You should say “yes” to the question "Does your paper belong to a complete session proposal?", and then add the session title in the space provided. The deadline for this submission is 10 January 2016.


Important dates 


10 January 2016Deadline for submitting papers/sessions.

End March 2016Notification for acceptance to authors/session organizer. 

Mid-May 2016Announcement of scientific programme. 

Mid-June 2016Deadline for conference registration. 

End August 2016Deadline for submitting completed papers. 

End August 2016Announcement of the final scientific programme 

21-24 September 20162nd ESHD conference, Leuven, Belgium. 



Scientific committee 


Isabelle Devos, Virginie Barrusse De Luca, Martin Dribe, Georg Fertig, Saskia Hin, Hideko Matsuo

Koen Matthijs, Peter Ori, Alice Reid, Diego Ramiro Fariñas, Lucia Pozzi, Frans van Poppel, Michel Oris, Jan Van Bavel