Conceptual Change in History

Thursday, September 22, 2016 to Saturday, September 24, 2016

Helsinki 2016

Registration for the conference

The conference is open to the public and there is no registration fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in the travel arrangements or accommodation of participants. If you wish to attend, please send an e-mail to by September 14th, 2016.


Programme of the “Conceptual Change in History” conference at University of Helsinki, September 22-24, 2016

Thursday 22.9. 13:00-19:00
University main building, Small hall (4050). Fabianinkatu 33, 00170 Helsinki.

13.00 Opening of the conference

13.10-14.10 Keynote lecture
Theodore Arabatzis (University of Athens): Conceptual Change and Philosophical History of Science
Chair: Yafeng Shan

14.10-15.40 Session 1
Chair: Magdalena Kmak
Gennaro Imbriano: Crisis as a concept of movement
Timo Pankakoski: Hans Freyer and Conceptual History
Friedrich von Petersdorff: Conceptual Change in History and in Historiography

16.05-17.35 Session 2
Chair: Ilkka Lähteenmäki
Kevin Matthew Jones: Conceptualisations of mental health
Katariina Parhi: The Necessary Illusion: Criminal responsibility and conceptual change
Antu Sorainen: The relationship between inheritance and queer kinship related concepts, and normative orders such as law and legal culture

18.00-19.00 Keynote lecture
Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo): Conceptual Change in the Brain Revolution
Chair: Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen

Friday 23.9. 9:00-17:45
House of Science and Letters, room 505. Kirkkokatu 6, 00170 Helsinki.

9.00-10.00 Keynote lecture
Benjamin Straumann (New York University): A Novel Concept: Normative Constitutionalism in the History of Political Thought
Chair: Kaius Tuori

10.15-11.45 Session 3
Chair: Magdalena Kmak
Alina Bothe: Survivor – the Emergence and Shifts of a Transnational Concept after 1945
Martin Clark: Conceptual change and international law
Rotem Giladi: Moments of Resilience: Race in International Law

12.45-13.45 Keynote lecture
Jaakko Husa: Rule of Law – an Empty Conceptual Vessel?
Chair: Ville Erkkilä

13.45-15.15 Session 4
Chair: Katariina Parhi
Thibault Racovski & Philippe Huneman: A phylomemetic approach to conceptual change: the case of scientific research on evolutionary novelty between 1965 and 2015
Corinne Bloch-Mullins: Concepts as Forward-looking: Rethinking the Question of Referential Stability
Yafeng Shan: Conceptual Change and the Nature of Scientific Concept

16.00-17.30 Session 5
Chair: Georg Gangl
Kaius Tuori: Imperial Concepts: Legal heritage and imposition in the European settler states
David M. Kretz: Translational Action at the End of a World
Carlos Amunátegui Perelló: Race and Nation. On ius sanguinis and the origins of a racist national perspective

Saturday 24.9. 9:00-15:45
House of Science and Letters, room 505. Kirkkokatu 6, 00170 Helsinki.

9.00-10.00 Keynote lecture
Sinai Rusinek (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute): Concepts, co-texts, contexts and the Digital Humanities
Chair: Irene Goudarouli

10.15-11.45 Session 6
Chair: Kaius Tuori
Petri Koikkalainen: On the historically changing significance of ‘polity’ to ‘political science’
Kari Väyrynen: ‘Living experience’ (Erlebnis) – from a philosophical to commercial concept
Ville Erkkilä: Rechtsgewissen – The conceptual change of conscience

12.45-14.15 Session 7
Chair: Ville Erkkilä
Jari Kaukua and Vili Lähteenmäki: Standards of Conceptual Change
Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen: Continuity in Discontinuity: The Concept of Element in History
Irene Goudarouli: Historicizing Scientific Concepts: Conceptual History meets History & Philosophy of Science

14.45-15.45 Session 8
Chair: Kaius Tuori
Charles W. Romney: A Computational Cambridge School: Identifying Conceptual Change and Legal Languages with Vector Space Models
Mikko Kainulainen and Natan Elgabsi: Concepts of history and historians’ responsibilities


Some practical information about the “Conceptual Change in History” conference at University of Helsinki, September 22-24, 2016

Event location
The sessions of the conference are held at the University main building (Small hall (4050), Fabianinkatu 33, 00170 Helsinki) and the House of Science and Letters (room 505, Kirkkokatu 6, 00170 Helsinki).

Possible accommodation nearby
* Glo Hotel Kluuvi, Hotel Haven, Hotel Lilla Roberts, Hotel Fabian (upscale)
* Cumulus Kaisaniemi, Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre, Hotel Seurahuone Helsinki, Hotel Arthur, Sokos Hotel Helsinki (midpriced)
* Omenahotelli Helsinki Yrjönkatu / Lönnrotinkatu / Eerikinkatu, Eurohostel (budget)

* You can get from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to Helsinki City Centre either by taxi (the fare is approximately 40-50 euros), by train, or by bus.
* You can find the timetable of the airport train here.
* The buses take you to the Central Railway station. You can either take the city bus number 615, which costs 5,50 € (cash (the driver doesn’t have to accept bills larger than 20 euros) or Travel Card only), or the Finnair bus, which costs 6,30 € (cash (bills larger than 20 euros not necessarily accepted), credit cards).
* The metro station nearest to the event location is called Helsingin yliopisto.

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Last updated: 9.9.2016