The panel participants engage this question from within different theoretical agendas and from different research sites. A scholar of modern Russian history, Professor Krylova interrogates the limits of what Gabrielle Spiegel called ‘revisionist accommodations’—the manifold revisionist scholarship of the last two decades that has tried to counteract the apparent depletion of the agency category of its analytical and ethical meaning by rediscovering agency in everyday uses and misuses of culture and in the subversive and transgressive behavior of historical subjects. Krylova argues that this focus on ‘culture in use’ and the subversive subject has not allowed scholars to address the most categorical poststructuralist propositions that render the notion of ‘individual consciousness’ meaningless and that refuse historical subjects a possibility of developing a critical distance from a discursive regime that claims them as subjects. The question of individual and interior consciousness informs Professor Smith’s contribution to the panel. He explores the conceptual utility of the notion by using the experience of Antoine Blanquet, an eighteenth-century roads inspector in the Gévaudan region of southern France, which allows him to probe the processes of individual decision-making. Professor Shaw, in his paper on later medieval English travel and communication networks, discusses the need for a new theory of agency and the actor (that is, of the distinctly human in history) in relation to the very different, post-humanistic use of the two concepts that has come to the fore in the work of Bruno Latour. Professors Manu Goswami (discussant) who has written on colonial internationalisms and anti-systemic movements and Konstantin Dierks (chair) who has investigated the ‘vulnerabilities of personal agency’ in the early anglophone Atlantic World will contribute their own insights to the conceptual and theoretical issues raised by the three panelists.