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Call for papers (scadenza 15/10/24): Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar for economic and social historians 11-17 maggio 2025, Prato: “Finance in history”


The Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” and the European School for Training in Economic and Social Historical Research (ESTER) announce their tenth jointly organized Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar for economic and social historians on 11th-17th May 2025, in Prato (Italy). The topic of the seminar is:

“Finance in history”

ESTER, established in 1991, is an international postgraduate network incorporating more than 60 European Universities. ESTER organizes research training in the form of both the annual Research Design Course for starting PhD-students and a series of Advanced Seminars on special themes within economic and social history.

“F. Datini” International Institute of Economic History was founded in 1967 by Federigo Melis and Fernand Braudel. The aim of the Institute is the study of pre-industrial economic history (thirteenth-eighteenth centuries) and the creation on the topic of a space for historical culture, making comparison between different methodologies and schools of research easier and supporting young scholars during their formative years.

The topic of the Datini-Ester seminar is closely related to the theme of the congress yearly organized by the “F. Datini” International Institute of Economic History and devoted in 2025 to Risk Management, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy in the Pre-Modern World (13th-18th Centuries). The 2025 Datini-Ester seminar will deal with Finance. We particularly welcome papers on the development of financial institutions, risk and control of risk, financial practises and financial behaviour in different historical contexts. Papers may cover topics such as sovereign and public debt, money lending, banking, and insurance, relations between private creditors and debtors, exchange(s) and capital market(s), etc.

We welcome scholars working on both the macro and micro level. Papers can cover any relevant aspect and any period, from Antiquity until today, but must have an economic-historical or historical character.

Participants in the Datini-ESTER advanced seminar can receive 4 ECTS credits.

Description and organization of the Advanced Datini-ESTER Seminar

The seminar is jointly organized by the members of the board of the Datini-Ester Seminar: Guido Alfani (Fondazione “F. Datini”), Ben Gales (ESTER), Jaco Zuijderduijn (ESTER), Francesco Ammannati (Fondazione “F. Datini”). The members of the board, together with other colleagues, specialist in the field, will participate in the seminar as instructors.

The Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar consists of two complementary parts:

  1. the participation in the international Datini congress (LVI Settimana di Studi), devoted in 2025 to “Gestione del rischio, insolvenza e bancarotta nel mondo premoderno (secc. XIII-XVIII) • Risk Management, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy in the Pre-Modern World (13th-18th Centuries)”. The congress will be held in Prato, from May 11 (opening 18.00 [exact time to be confirmed] with the inaugural speech in the municipal building) until May 15 (afternoon) 2025. For information on the congress:


  1. a two-day workshop from May 16 (morning) until May 17 (late afternoon) 2025, in a re­served room of the Datini Palace in Prato [place to be confirmed]. The workshop will bring together a number of senior researchers from different countries. Prior to the workshop, students will be asked to prepare a paper. They will have the opportunity of presenting their research project dealing with one or more core problems of their research field and discussing them with both senior researchers and other fellow students. Each paper will be presented by the author during the seminar and then examined and discussed by one of the participating students and by one of the instructors, after which a general discussion among all participants will take place. The students will be guests of the Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” from Sunday May 11 (IN) until Sunday May 18 morning (OUT). On May 17, at the end of the seminar, the students will receive diplomas attesting their participation in the Datini congress and Datini-ESTER. The diplomas will be delivered only to the students who will take part BOTH in the Datini congress AND the semi­nar.

Besides providing a feedback opportunity for ongoing project on Finance in history, the seminar will provide the opportunity to attend the international Datini congress, and foster cooperation between economic and social historians coming from different countries.

This Advanced Datini-Ester Seminar is open to 15 PhD-students and Post-Docs (who finished their doctorate less than five years prior to the seminar).

Applications and admission:

Students should apply online, and present a 800 words abstract of the content of their paper dealing with economic exchanges.

A first selection of students (by ESTER and Datini) will take place on the basis of the abstracts. After this stage, students who are accepted will be asked to draft their research paper.

The final admission to the course depends upon the following points:

  • the student must meet the deadline for submission of his/her paper (whose deadline is the 15th of March 2025);
  • the paper must be of sufficient academic quality and the level of the English used in the paper must be sufficient.

The language of the papers, such as that of the seminar, will be English.

Dates and location

The Advanced 2025 Seminar will take place in Prato, Italy, from May 11 (Sunday with the inauguration of the congress) to May 17 (Saturday), so the day of arrival will be Sunday May 11 and the departure Sunday morning May 18. Both the students and instructors will meet on Sunday evening (11th of May) at 7 pm o’clock for a dinner together (the place to be defined). The seminar will start on Friday 16 at 8.30 am. Students wishing to participate are requested to send their application no later than the 15th October 2024. To this purpose the students will use the online form. The selection of students will be completed by the end of October 2024. Deadline for submission of papers by accepted students is March 15th 2025. Following that date, the papers will be made available to all participants.

Application forms are available on the ESTER website https://posthumusinstitute.org/

Dates: a summary (2024-25):

June 2024 – Call for Applications

15th October 2024 – Deadline for Applications

31st October 2024 – Selection completed, applicants informed

15th March 2025 – Deadline paper submission

31st March 2025 – Papers online for reading

11th May 2025 (morning or afternoon): arrival in Prato

11th May 2025 (18.00 inaugural speech in the municipal building)

11th-15th May (afternoon) 2025 – International Datini Congress

16th-17th May 2025 (late afternoon) – Advanced Seminar
17th May 2025 (end of the seminar) delivery of diplomas
18th May 2025 (morning) departure


Costs for accommodation and catering will be covered by the organizers. The organizers will not cover travel costs (possibly covered by students’ home institutions). Travel arrangements to and from Prato have to be organized by the selected participants themselves.

The workshop will be funded by the Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” and by the ESTER Graduate School.


For inquiries concerning this course, please contact ESTER:

ESTER/N.W. Posthumus Institute

Faculty of Arts

The Netherlands

E-mail: posthumus@uu.nl

For inquiries concerning the hospitality in Prato, the students have to contact the secretary of the Datini Institute on the dates of their arrival and departure:

Letizia Finocchiaro – Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” di Prato E-mail: letizia@istitutodatini.it