Call for applications: Datini - ESTER Advanced Seminar 2016 'Prices and Standards of Living'

The Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” and the European School for Training in Economic and Social Historical Research (ESTER) announce their second jointly-organized Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar for economic and social historians on 6-11 May 2016, Prato (Italy). Apply now! 

Deadline for applications: 15 November 2015

Organized by Datini - ESTER, Prato (Italy),

"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 (13th-18th centuries) and the creation of a space for historical culture on this topic, making comparison between different methodologies and schools of research easier and supporting young scholars during their formative years.

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. Organization of the network is provided by N.W. Posthumus Institute which is based at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Theme: Prices and Standards of Living

The focus of the seminar are prices and their influence on standards of living in past economies and societies. Its aim is to investigate the influence of prices on living conditions. Attention will be devoted to the influence of pric-es on incomes, inequality, poverty and then everyday living standards both in the short and long run; without any chronological constraint. The call is, in fact, addressed both to ancient, medieval and modern historians.
Papers devoted to prices and changes in living conditions are welcome.


Description and organization

Description and organization of the Advanced Datini-Ester Seminar

The Datini-Ester Advanced Seminar consists of two complementary parts:
a) a 3-days workshop (May 6th, 7th, morning of the 8th) within the famous Da-tini Archives in Prato.
The workshop will bring together a number of senior researchers from different European countries presently working on prices and living standards. Prior to the workshop, students will be asked to pre-pare a paper. They will have the opportunity of presenting their research projects dealing with one or more core problems of their research and dis-cussing them with both senior researchers and other fellow students. Each paper will be presented by the author and then will be examined and dis-cussed by one of the participating students and by one of the senior re-searchers, after which a general discussion among all participants will take place.

b) the students will also take part in the international Datini congress, devot-ed in 2015, to:


to be held in Prato, from May 8th (afternoon) until 11th (morning) 2016. The students will be guests of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” from Thursday even-ing May 5th until May 10th included. On the 10th May (6 pm) the students will receive diplomas attesting their participation in the Datini-Ester semi-nar and Datini congress. The diplomas will be delivered only to the stu-dents who will take part both in the seminar and the Datini congress. Besides providing a feedback opportunity for ongoing projects on prices and living conditions, and the opportunity to attend the international Datini con-gress, the aim of the workshop is also to foster cooperation between Europe-an economic and social historians.

This Advanced Datini-Ester Seminar is open to 15 PhD-students and Post-Docs (who finished their doctorate from no more than five years).

Applications and admission

Students should apply online, and present a 800 word abstract of the content of their dissertation project dealing with prices and living standards.

A first selection of students (by ESTER and Datini) will take place on the basis of the abstract. 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;
- the paper must be of sufficient academic quality, and the level of the English used in the paper must be sufficient.

The organizers strongly encourage students based on any European university to apply.

The papers, revised on the basis of the comments by the fellow students and senior researchers, will be sent by the students to the Datini Institute ( within one year after the seminar. The papers will be published online in the website of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Eco-nomica “F. Datini”: (

Only the revised papers, on the basis of the written comments by the experts, the discussions during the seminar, and a final positive evaluation by the editors of the papers, will be published on the website.

The language of the papers, such as that of the seminar, will be English. It is possible, however, to include, in the same web-site, together with the English version, another draft written in one of the offi-cial languages of the Datini Institute: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish.

Dates and location

The 2016 Advanced Seminar will take place in Prato, Italy, from May 6th (Fri-day) to May 11th. The course will start on Friday at 9.00 AM, so the day of arri-val will be Thursday, May 5th. Students wishing to participate are requested to send in their application no later than the 15th November 2015. For this purpose the students will use the online form. The selection of students will be com-pleted by the end of October 2015. Deadline for submission of papers by ac-cepted students is February 29th 2016. Following that date, the papers will be made available to all participants on the ESTER-website.

Application forms are available on the ESTER website

Dates: a summary (2015-16):

June 2015 - Call for Applications 
15 November 2015 - Deadline Applications
31st November 2015 - Selection completed, applicants informed
29th February 2016 - Deadline paper submission
15th March 2016 - Papers online for reading
5th May 2016 – afternoon: arrival in Prato followed by a dinner together
6th-8th May 2016 – Advanced Seminar in Prato
8th-11th May 2016 – international Datini congress
11th May 2016 (afternoon) – Departure
30th April 2017 – Revised paper sent to the Datini Institute


Costs for accommodation (5th-10th May 2016) and catering will be covered by the organizers. However, the student's home institution should cover travel costs. Travel arrangements to and from Prato have to be organized by the se-lected participants themselves.

The workshop will be funded by the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Eco-nomica “F. Datini” and by ESTER.


For inquiries concerning this course, please contact the program director of ESTER and the N.W. Posthumus Institute:

dr. Jaco Zuijderduijn
N.W. Posthumus Institute
Institute for History
PO Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

Last Modified: 22-10-2015