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Panel report: Security in the Early Modern Period

On the 9th conference of the AG Frühe Neuzeit Prof. Cornel Zwierlein presented the Panel “An early modern success-model: Security by Insurance”. At first Magnus Ressel spoke about the emergence of the Early Modern Sklavenkassen in Northern Europe. He explained the installation of these obligatory proto-social-insurances with the duty to liberate the North-European sailors caught by the Barbary-Corsairs with a specifically Northern-European interpretation of ancient Roman law. Geoffrey Clark followed with an analysis of a sample of a few dozen insurance-polices for slave-transportation of 15th century Barcelona. With these, he was able to give profound insights into the social complexity of the Early slave trade and its inherent logic as a system. Afterwards Eve Rosenhaft spoke about the German widow-insurances during the Early Modern epoch. She focused on the implicitly “gendered” aspects of this form of insurance which had been widespread as a form of governmentally administered insurance-scheme in 18th century Germany. As last speaker Cornel Zwierlein presented the earliest known project of a public fire-insurance from Strasburg of 1606. Building upon this, he developed a systematic approach for the research into the history of insurances. He highlighted four aspects, namely “Statehood”, “Individual/Society”, “Economization” and “Perception of time and space”. Wolfgang Behringer commented the panel, which he saw as very fitting to the conference. In his commentary he recurred specifically on the process of “cultural learning” of the concept of coincidence during the Early Modern epoch, which had been the first and foremost fundament for the development of insurances.

New Publication

Cornel Zwierlein: Der gezähmte Prometheus. Feuer und Sicherheit zwischen Früher Neuzeit und Moderne, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (=Umwelt und Gesellschaft Bd.3) 2011, 464 p.

In der Vormoderne stellen Stadtbrände eine der größt-möglichen Katastrophen überhaupt dar: Sie vernichteten alles Hab und Gut, brannten Städte bis auf den Grund nieder und markierten zugleich die Grenzen der Beherrschbarkeit der Natur. Feuerversicherungen waren seit dem 17. Jahrhundert als Vorläufer heutiger Versicherungsgiganten die frühesten Formen institutioneller serieller Katastrophenbeobachtung. Cornel Zwierlein verfolgt Umfang, Charakter und Wahrnehmung großer Brandkatastrophen der Vormoderne, die Entwicklung des Versicherungsprinzips und der Feuerversicherung in Deutschland und England von der Frühzeit im 15. bis in die Hochzeit der Globalisierung im 19. Jahrhundert, von Istanbul über Kalkutta/Bombay bis in die USA. Die Studie liefert damit einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Katastrophen- und Scherheitsgeschichte.

All Publications


Soutenance / Defense of Dr. des. Magnus Ressel

The oral exam (soutenance/defense) of the PhD-thesis „Between Sklavenkassen and Turkish passports. Northern Europe and the Barbary corsairs in the Early Modern Period“ took place the 6.7.2011 between 8 and 11am. The thesis had been co-directed as a german-french „cotutelle“, for which reason a german-french jury was invited to participate in the examination. Many thanks go to the exam chairperson Lucian Hölscher (RUB) as well as to the jurors Cornel Zwierlein (RUB), Wolfgang Kaiser (Paris I – Sorbonne), Nikolas Jaspert (RUB), Mark Häberlein (Universität Bamberg), Silvia Marzagalli (Université de Nice) and Burghart Schmidt (Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III). The jury appraised the PhD-thesis with "Très honorable avec les félicitations à l'unanimité / summa cum laude".


Conference: Sicherheit in der Frühen Neuzeit (Security in Early Modern History)

The Conference about Security in Early Modern History, convened by the "AG Frühe Neuzeit" will take place at the Pilipps-University Marburg, 15th to 17th September. Within this event Professor Cornel Zwierlein participates as head of the section III: Ein frühneuzeitliches Erfolgsmodell: Sicherheit durch Versicherung (September 15th, 8:30 till 10:30).
The sektion program is as follows:

Magnus Ressel (Bochum): Der Ursprung der nordeuropäischen Sklavenkassen und Sklavereiversicherungen im 17. Jahrhundert

Geoffrey Clark (Potsdam, NY): Insuring Slaves in Early Modern Europe

Eve Rosenhaft (Liverpool): Geschlecht und Sicherheit: Paradoxien bürgerlicher Familienfinanzen im 18. Jahrhundert

Cornel Zwierlein (Bochum): Schiffe, Witwen, Sklaven, Feuer, Hagel...: Zur Universalisierung des Versicherungsprinzips seit dem 17. Jahrhundert

Wolfgang Behringer (Saarbrücken) will comment.

More about the "AG Frühe Neuzeit"


Workshop in Paris

Within the framework of the DFG/ANR-project 'eurolab' Prof. Zwierlein arranges the workshop about specialized languages which will take place at the 9th and 10th of september in the premises of the University of Chicago in Paris.

read more about the project


Study Trip to France

From 13th to 18th june Professor Zwierlein and Professor Lemmes offered a study trip to France (Metz-Verdun-Reims-Paris-Tours). Thirty students of various advanced seminars about French History participated.


Students of the 'Intensive Track' gained first Expiriences in Archives


Environmental History in school laboratory


Awarding of the Max-Weber prize by the Bavarian Academie of Science to Prof. Cornel Zwierlein

Historikertag 2010 in Berlin, Conference Proceedings

Within the 48th Historikertag in Berlin "Über Grenzen" (28.09.10-01.10.10) Prof. Cornel Zwierlein had a section about "Grenzen der Sicherheit – Grenzen der (Spät-)Moderne?". In this section the speakers were Cornel Zwierlein, Steffen Patzold, Stefanie Rüther, Stig Förster and Eckart Conze, commentator was Christopher Daase.

publication

Historical Social Research/ Historische Sozialforschung
HSR Vol. 35 (2010) No. 4 – Special Issue: Human Security

Special Issue:
Cornel Zwierlein, Rüdiger Graf & Magnus Ressel (Eds.):
The Production of Human Security in Premodern and Contemporary History / Die Produktion von Human Security in Vormoderne und Zeitgeschichte
376 pages.


'Intensive Track' in Environmental History

Within the 'Intensive Track' program, Prof. Zwierlein is offering the course ‘Forschen in der Umweltgeschichte’.
Contact: Prof. Zwierlein: cornel.zwierlein@rub.de
Marco Heckhoff (M.A): marco.heckhoff@rub.de