The Twelfth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop

June 24-28, 2015, University of Notre Dame

The Twelfth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop will be held 24–28 June 2015 at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, including a one-day trip to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. This year’s invited speaker is Michio Yano, professor at Kyoto Sangyo University and chief editor of SCIAMVS, an international journal for the history of exact sciences in antiquity and the Middle Ages. The conference typically attracts about 50 to 60 historians of astronomy and graduate students. Further details about the workshops can be found at

Authority is a perennial and perplexing issue in astronomy. For the Twelfth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop, we invite submissions that explore the theme of astronomy and authority. Who controls the production and dissemination of astronomical information? What are the purposes for which that information is used? What sorts of evidence and influence are exercised in establishing astronomical theory and practice? What roles do instruments and wealth play in matters of astronomical authority? What are the ways in which astronomical investigation reflects philosophical, cultural, or political differences between competing traditions? How is astronomical authority undermined? As in previous years, we expect that the theme can encompass a number of different time periods and geographical locations. Proposals that directly address the theme will receive preferential treatment.


Call for papers

Proposals are now being accepted for both papers and sessions. Single papers will probably have to be 15-20 minutes in length, depending upon the total number of submissions. Organized sessions, with multiple papers addressing a particular question or theme, can contain papers of longer length, but must incorporate significant time for discussion; sessions typically run 1.5 to 2 hours and will have 3 to 5 presenters.

Proposals for papers should include a title and a one-paragraph abstract. Session proposals should identify presenters who have agreed to come as well as titles and one-paragraph abstracts for each presenter. Nontraditional sessions, such as hands-on teaching sessions, are acceptable.

We especially encourage proposals from graduate students and recent PhDs. The collegiality of the history of astronomy community leads to very receptive audiences for young scholars.

Proposals, including a one-page CV for all presenters, should be sent to Liz Hamm at by 1 March 2015. All submissions will be shared with the organizing committee: Stephen Case, Matt Dowd, Jacqueline Feke, and Liz Hamm.

Deadline: March 1, 2015

Posted: February 02, 2015