Administrative accountability in the later Middle Ages
Records, procedures, and their societal impact
Bucharest, 16-17 November 2018
The emergence of new types of financial records, the creation of institutional procedures, and the birth of a bureaucratic corps in a society in which accountability had been largely social and moral represent key developments in the history of the later Middle Ages. The colloquium will explore the multifaceted reality of administrative accountability in Western Europe, c. 1200-1450. Because the renewed interest in the subject makes methodological exchanges all the more timely, the colloquium will provide a venue for testing new approaches to the sources. Special attention will be given to underexplored archival documents, such as the castellany accounts (computi) of late-medieval Savoy, and to topics that have hitherto received less attention, such as the social impact of institutional consolidation. Comparisons with better-known texts, such as the English pipe rolls, are also encouraged.
The colloquium is organised in the frame of the European Research Council Starting Grant no. 638436, ‘Record-keeping, fiscal reform, and the rise of institutional accountability in late-medieval Savoy: a source-oriented approach’ (University of Bucharest)
Proposals for 30-minute papers are invited on topics including:
the institutional dialogue between the central and local administration
the impact of administrative and fiscal reform on local communities
accounting practices and the auditing of financial records
the cultural underpinnings of medieval accountability
prosopography: background and career of administrators, from auditing clerks to castellans
methodological advances, from manuscript studies to sociological frameworks
the transfer of administrative models across medieval Europe
The colloquium papers, which will collected in an edited volume published with an international academic press, should reflect original, unpublished research. The authors will be given the opportunity to revise their contributions for publication.
Papers can be presented in English or French; if delivered in French, it is the author’s responsibility to have the paper translated into English for publication.
For inquiries, contact Ionuț Epurescu-Pascovici (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Roberto Biolzi (email@example.com).
Proposals of circa 300 words, outlining the source material, methodology, and anticipated findings, should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 March 2018.
The organisers will provide three nights hotel accommodation and help defray travel expenses.