Call for Essays: Past-Present Connectivities – Can We Identify Recurring Social and/or Environmental Patterns in the Past and Present?

Call for essays

In 1749, the Academy of Dijon organised an essay competition to which one Jean-Jacques Rousseau submitted the now famous winning essay. At a time when received dogmas were coming under increasing pressure, Rousseau wrote in the enlightened spirit of free, reflective, and critical inquiry.

In this spirit, the Reflective Turn Forum of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS at Kiel University, Germany, declares an international open essay competition on the following topic:

» Past-Present Connectivities: Can We Identify Recurring Social and/or Environmental Patterns in the Past and Present? «

Please submit your essay by

New submission date: 31 July 2022 (midnight GMT +1)

by email to
The text of the essay should be in English, anonymised for the purposes of a double-blind peer review, and not exceed 5000 words in length (excluding bibliography).
In your email, please include your name and contact details.
Please submit your essay in the PDF format attached to your email.

The competition is open to contributions from all disciplines, provided they address the competition topic. For more information, see below.

Subject to a peer-review and an editorial process, selected contributions will be published in a joint volume edited by the organisers. In addition, the editors will identify three particularly stimulating contributions whose authors will be invited to contribute to the next International Open Workshop organised in Kiel in March 2023 (travel and accommodation paid by the organisers). The three selected contributors will also receive a prize money of 1000 Euro each.

For questions, contact with “ROOTS Essay Competition” on the subject line.

Find all information here


Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions