Entry is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.
We commonly assume that states can effectively channel the flows of goods and people that cross their borders. How useful is this assumption for understanding the politics of mobility in old-regime societies? Taking the example of the Holy Roman Empire, one of the early modern world’s most fragmented regions, I argue that the relationship of old-regime states with human mobility was less straightforward than often presumed. Because the problem is essentially a spatial one, I employ maps to develop and communicate my argument. Digital mapping applications allow to produce alternatives to conventional historical maps which are primarily concerned with spatial differentiation. The talk explores how and to what extent we can better understand pre-modern spatial orders by representing territorial ambiguity, patterns of mobility, and uneven forms of territorial control.
Luca Scholz holds a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at CESTA and the Stanford Humanities Center and is a lecturer in Stanford's Department of History. He received his PhD from the European University Institute in Florence. Luca is interested in early modern European history, with a focus on the history of mobility, serfdom, and spatial history. Using the example of safe-conduct in the Holy Roman Empire, his current book manuscript retraces the modern state’s controversial grip on flows of goods and people back to the early modern period.