Bert De Munck, born in Sint Niklaas, Belgium, in 1967. Ph.D. from Free University of Brussels. Professor of History at the University of Antwerp.
Theme Group Coordinator (April – June 2016)
Imagining the City in Economic and Political Discourses, 16th-18th centuries
The way a city is imagined, experienced, and governed is predicated upon the intellectual and epistemological categories of thinking. In this project, these categories will be analyzed by looking at the political philosophies invoked by policy maker and administrators.
It will be examined how the city was represented and imagined in theories of political economists and in discourses of political administrators involved in economic regulation and governance. What metaphors were used when referring to the city? Was a city seen as a polis or as a walled territory for economic production? Was it imagined as a corporative body politic or as an abstract space open to circulation? I will shed light on this by looking at the writings of, on one hand, philosophers or theologians who also wrote about political economy (like Leonardus Lessius) and, on the other, economic and political actors the actions of which were often guided and justified by the writings of philosophers and political economists (e.g., Vilain XIIII).
– Karel Davids and Bert De Munck (eds), Innovation and Creativity in Late Medieval and Early Modern European Cities (Aldershot, 2014).
– Bert De Munck & Anne Winter (eds), Gated communities? Regulating migration in early modern cities (Aldershot, 2012).
– ‘Artisans, Products and Gifts: Rethinking the History of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe, Past & Present, 224 (August 2014), pp. 39-74.