Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Using the past: Romanists, totalitarianism and its legacy
Rome, 22-23 October, 2015.
Villa Lante al Gianicolo, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae

Deadline: May 2, 2015.

The purpose of the project “Reinventing the foundations of European
Legal Culture 1934-1964” ( is to trace the genealogy of the
idea of a common European legal past, its creation, influence and
implications of the theory as an ideological project.

After the two previous events, the first one in Helsinki, in May 2014,
and the second one in Frankfurt am Main, in June 2015, the research
group is organizing a workshop in Rome on the problematic relationship
between history of law and, in particular, Roman law scholars, and the
dictatorial or totalitarian regimes, especially with regard to the
Italian and German ones. We therefore invite papers that explore the
approach of Romanists towards the regime and the influence it had on
their studies. If and to what extent the works of scholars may be
considered as a reaction against the dictatorial power, or means to
support it. The papers may analyze the repercussions that the study of
Roman Law under the regimes had on the Law in force at the time and the
influence it exercised on the later scholars, also with regard to the
foundation of a new idea of European common legal culture.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Lorena Atzeri (Università Statale,
Milano), Cosimo Cascione (Università Federico II, Napoli), Mario Varvaro
(Università di Palermo).

Potential themes include, but are not limited to:
– idealization of Rome and its history and its implications;
– the influence of political circumstances and the experiences in Roman
law scholarship;
– the different narratives of ancient Roman law proposed by the Italian
Romanists, in order either to support, or to criticize Fascism;
– Roman Law in Italy between the regime and the new “Codice civile” of 1942;
– the roots of the new European legal history as a reaction to the
totalitarian past;
– differences between German and Italian Roman law doctrine in
perceiving the role of Roman law and their approach towards the regimes;
– different interpretations of Roman law as a foundation of a new idea
of Europe.

The conference is organized by the FoundLaw project, funded by the
European Research Council.

Please submit your abstract (300 words), in English, as a (word/pdf)
file to Heta Björklund at foundlaw(a) Please include your
name, academic affiliation and address in your email. The deadline for
submission of abstracts is May 2, 2015. We will inform of the selections
by the end of May.

The language of the meeting is English. There is no registration fee.
The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in the travel
arrangements or accommodation of participants.