Social and Labour History News

XVI Nordic Labour History Conference 2025: Labouring lives at the intersection of institutions, structures, and experiences

2 months 3 weeks ago

Tampere University, Finland from 7-10 May 2025


Deadline for session and paper proposals: October 31, 2024

Notification of acceptance: November 29, 2024


The XVI Nordic Labour History Conference, taking place at Tampere University, Finland from 7th to 10th May 2025, continues the trajectory set forth by previous conferences in Copenhagen 2022 and Reykjavík 2016 of broadening the scope of labour history with new approaches. This includes defining what constitutes labour, examining where labour occurs and under what conditions, reconsidering the notions of the working class and ‘the worker,’ and acknowledging diverse forms of labour organising, collective action as well as working-class culture.

Operating under the thematic umbrella of Labouring lives at the intersection of institutions, structures, and experiences, the conference seeks to spotlight different factors that have shaped the lives of workers in the Nordic region and beyond. We will explore the challenges faced by the Nordic welfare state and social democracy, as well as disruptions in the labor market. Additionally, we will address topics such as labour coercion, gender equality, and the evolving perspectives within the histories of colonialism and indigenous peoples that prompt a reexamination of labour history. We are also keen to explore methodologies and embrace new opportunities presented by digital tools in the historical study of labour.

The conference invites contributions from both established and emerging fields within the realm of labour history. It will feature the following recurring tracks (find details on the conference website

• Labour Market in Times of Crisis
• Controlled and Disciplined Workers
• Feminist Labour History
• Idols, Oddballs and Human Beings – Biography in Nordic Labour History
• Digital Labour History
• The Intertwined History of Labour, Colonialism and Indigenous People in the Nordic and Arctic Region
• Oral History and Labour Culture
• Borders and Border Crossings in Labour History
• Working-Class Literary Culture in Nordic Countries and Beyond.

Within or outside these tracks, proposals are invited for 90-minute sessions, including three papers and discussion with possible commentators. Session proposals should include the session title, a brief abstract (maximum 1000 words), and the names of all participants with their contact information. The person submitting the proposal can chair the session or provide the name of a chairperson. The conference also welcomes proposals for individual papers, from which the organizers will form sessions. Each paper proposal should include a title, a 300-word abstract, the name/s of presenter/s, and contact information. All abstracts should introduce the object of the study, aims, and scope, as well as source material.

Paper and session proposals within the thematic tracks will be reviewed by the conference organising team in collaboration with the coordinators responsible for each track. Paper and session proposals outside the tracks will be reviewed by the organizing team.

We encourage researchers proposing sessions within or outside the tracks to collaborate and exchange ideas well in advance to ensure session coherence. Each session should ideally include contributions from three different countries. Accepted individual papers will be grouped into sessions with attention to both topic and cross-Nordic exchange. Please note that each participant can deliver only one presentation at the conference.

The conference’s primary language is English, but we also consider proposals for sessions and papers in Nordic languages.

Please submit your proposal by 31st October 2024 through this form:

For further information, please contact or the organisers of the thematic tracks.

World History Bulletin | Spring 2024: "Water in World History"

2 months 3 weeks ago

The Spring 2024 issue of the World History Bulletin, “Water in World History,” is dedicated to the question of how water has shaped and continues to shape the human world historical experience.

Call for Papers | World History Bulletin | Spring 2024: "Water in World History"

World History Bulletin is seeking quality research essays, experiential learning case studies, and classroom activities for inclusion in its upcoming Spring 2024 issue, “Water in World History.”

Historians and archaeologists have for some time acknowledged the role of water management in the formation and development of civilization. The role of water in shaping human history is not limited to past experience, however. In The American Future: A History, historian Simon Schama argues that “future history” will be determined by competition for water. The Spring 2024 issue of the World History Bulletin, “Water in World History,” is dedicated to the question of how water has shaped and continues to shape the human world historical experience.

The Bulletin is interested in a range of topics related to the theme of water in world history, including:

- The role of water in nation-state formation, from earliest human times to the modern age.
- How access to water (or the lack of it) has influenced social outcomes historically, including the shaping of societies.
- How water has influenced cultural development, from religious practices among the peoples of the Indus Valley to the “water wars” of the American West.
- The role of water in determining economic outcomes, from vital oases facilitating trans-Saharan trade and the rise of the Sahelian kingdoms of West Africa to the impact of piracy in the Red Sea on modern global economies.
- Historical lessons Case studies examining how instructors have used water as a defining feature of course instruction.
- Interdisciplinarity and water in world history.
- Recent trends in water in world history research.
- Historiographies of theories and practice of water in world history.

World History Bulletin therefore invites contributions to a thematic issue on water in world history. We are especially interested in articles that share fresh research or historiographical perspectives which explore the questions of water in world history; present innovative teaching at all levels that employs techniques related to sustainability and resource availability in world history; or explore the connection between student engagement and world history as a result of coursework related to the theme “water in world history.” We also welcome short interviews with designers, artists, writers, and scholars and small roundtables on a book, film, or other work.

Submission Guidelines: Research and pedagogical articles should range between 1,500 and 8,000 words in length, including endnote text. The Bulletin accepts submissions which adhere to the style, format, and documentation requirements as outlined in the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. The Bulletin uses endnote citations, rather than footnote citations. Text of submissions should be spelled according to American English standard usage (e.g., favorite, rather than favourite). Submissions should be written in past tense, rather than the literary present, and passive voice should be avoided.

Submission Deadline: May 15, 2024

Essays and questions should be directed to Joseph M. Snyder, Editor-in-Chief of World History Bulletin, at

Contact (announcement)

Joseph M. Snyder

Confronting Decline – Challenges of Deindustrialization in European Societies since the 1970s

2 months 3 weeks ago

Luxembourg, 25-27 June 2025

Since the 1970s, deindustrialization has fundamentally changed Western societies, their industrial-economic base and their sociostructural composition. Beginning in the United States, the decline in industrial production, closure of plants and the loss of industrial jobs mainly affected the classic industrial sectors and regions of the first industrialization, but also the production of electronic consumer goods. The conference asks in a historical perspective about the supra-regional, economic, global, cultural and gender-specific effects and meanings of deindustrialization.

Confronting Decline – Challenges of Deindustrialization in European Societies since the 1970s

Since the 1970s, deindustrialization has fundamentally changed Western industrial societies. In North America and Europe, thousands of jobs have been lost in traditional industrial regions, in particular in the textile industry, coal mining, the iron and steel industry and shipbuilding. Even in the electronic consumer goods sector and the watch and photography industries, many millions of jobs have been eliminated or relocated to other regions of the world. There is no question that deindustrialization is one of the most far-reaching transformation processes in contemporary history, fundamentally changing landscapes, economic structures and socio-cultural environments.

Starting from this observation, the conference, organized by the CONDE research group, will reflect on the impact and wider historical reverberations of deindustrialization in Europe from the 1970s onwards. While deindustrialization was initially addressed mainly by the social sciences, in recent years historians have increasingly turned their attention to the subject, pointing to the complexity of the historical phenomenon. In contrast to economic concepts such as "restructuring" or "downsizing", which do not adequately capture societal and social change, a historical approach to deindustrialization can offer a broader view, encompassing multiple dimensions: first, the economic development of production, turnover and sales; second, the political shaping of the policy field; third, the cultural ramifications; and fourth, a perspective from below, which takes into account personal memories of workers, the dissolution of traditional social and cultural communities and changes in social spaces.
The conference will focus on the European particularities of deindustrialization since the 1970s – in Western and Eastern Europe, with an East-West comparison over the epochal years 1989/90, and in terms of entanglements among European states and beyond. What distinguished Europe from the US and Canada, from the North American experience of deindustrialization? To what extent did European reactions to deindustrialization differ from one country to the next? Did the Cold War resonate in deindustrialization policies, in the ensuing political mobilization or in personal experiences? In what ways did deindustrialization leave its mark on the co-transformation process after 1989/90, both in the East and in the West? Last but not least: is it possible to conceive of a specifically ‘European’ deindustrialization?

The aim of the conference is to widen our understanding of deindustrialization and its multidimensional impact on European politics and societies in the period of its most recent history. The conference organizers are especially interested in papers addressing the following seven fields of research:

1) International politics: What were the strategies implemented by European states faced with the rapid dismantling of industries on an international stage? Was the realm of international politics used by individual nation states, and if so, how did they address the issue of deindustrialization in this context? In what way was the challenge taken up by supranational and international organizations such as the EC/EU or the OECD or by trade unions, employers’ organizations and NGOs? Were there any joint industrial or economic policy measures to save existing industries or to accelerate the transition to a service society?

2) Welfare state: Although European welfare states played a key part in the integration of large swathes of European society after 1945, they were challenged by the demands and burdens placed on them by deindustrialization. Were they prepared for the loss of traditional industrial enterprises? What social and educational policy measures were adopted to compensate socially for job losses or to retrain workers within a different type of economic system?

3) Gender, migration, race: Men were particularly affected by the loss of hard physical work in mines and steelworks, whereas women were often disproportionately affected by job losses in the textile industry. Migrant workers were an important part of the industrial workforce and were hit hard by the decline of the manufacturing sector. The ensuing distribution battles laid bare the social and cultural inequalities of European societies. What role did gender, migration and race play in deindustrialization? How did European experiences differ from deindustrialization in the United States? How did gender and racial inequalities show during deindustrialization? And what consequences did disparities in treatment have for social cohesion?

4) Religion and culture: What was the significance of religion and other cultural influences in the context of deindustrialization? The task of the workplace chaplaincy was to help employees with problems, conflicts or other emotional challenges in the workplace. Moreover, as a result of migration, separate communities, some of them Islamic organizations, emerged in Western Europe to engage with the concerns of “their” employees. What role did these organizations, networks and influences play in coping with deindustrialization? Deindustrialization also led to cultural manifestations in the form of images, music, visual art, literature, etc. Taking deindustrialization as a distinct lens through which to make sense of the world, the conference welcomes papers that reflect on Europe’s cultural history.

5) Ideas: From the perspective of the history of ideas, the conference will be an opportunity to reflect on the ideas, theories and approaches that circulated in order to prevent, manage or overcome deindustrialization. Where and from whom did these ideas originate – in the political or academic sphere, in companies or in trade unions? What political discourse was used to describe the fundamental change in industries, work and social life? And what ideational transfer processes took place between different nation states or industrial regions?

6) Economic landscapes: What impact did deindustrialization have on the European economic landscape? How did certain regions react in order to develop into successful clusters of future industries? Why did other European regions slip into crisis? What factors favoured or prevented the successful transformation of regions? Were there (supra-)national models – such as Anglo-American liberalism or Rhenish capitalism – whose specific characteristics helped to overcome deindustrialization?

7) Environment: Last but not least, the conference organizers invite participants to consider the effects of deindustrialization on the environment. As early as 1961, Willy Brandt called for the sky over the Ruhr area to become blue again. The book "Silent Spring" (1962) by Rachel Carson is often seen as the starting point of the global environmental movement. Many workers looked wistfully at the loss of their traditional jobs, but there is no doubt that the industrial age was also accompanied by enormous damage to the environment. The limits to growth had become apparent by the 1970s with the Club of Rome study. Particularly in view of current calls for the decarbonization of the economy, i.e. the conversion of the economy to carbon-free production, a historicization of the relationship between deindustrialization and environmental history is essential.

We welcome submissions for 20-minutes papers across these fields of deindustrialization research. Please submit your abstract (around 250 words) and a brief CV in English to Stefan Krebs ( and Christian Marx ( by 30 June 2024.

The conference will take place at the University of Luxembourg in Esch-Belval (Luxembourg) from 25 to 27 June 2025 and will be hosted by the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), which is well known for organizing international academic conferences at the highest level. The conference venue on Esch-Belval campus – a former location for iron and steel production – is the result of an industrial wasteland that has been converted into a new hub for science and education. It is one of the largest urban repurposing projects in Europe and offers a relaxed but exclusive atmosphere for discussion. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered; publication of the lectures in an English-language edited volume is planned.

Deadline: 30 June 2024, at 23:59 (CEST)

Decisions by: end of August

Contact: Stefan Krebs ( and Christian Marx (


Stefan Krebs ( and Christian Marx (

Capitalism and Insecure Positions of Minorities

2 months 3 weeks ago

Gießen (Germany), 4-5 November 2024

We are looking for abstracts for a 15- to 20-minute presentation in the field of social theory. The workshop deals with seeing racism, anti-Semitism, and antigypsyism through the lens of materialist critique.

Theorizations of social marginalization and exclusion place minorities in a position of insecurity in two respects: On the one hand, the actual insecurity of their positions in society is a starting point for research and a phenomenon to be explained. On the other hand, minorities are also insecurely situated within the theories used in social sciences. The workshop will focus on theoretical approaches that analyze racism, anti-Semitism, and antigypsyism against the background of capitalist dynamics. Such approaches are strong in that they explain the insecure positions of minorities in the context of material, social structures rather than attributing them solely to prejudice. They show how the ideological localization of minorities in specific positions within capitalist society, for example as “exploitable blacks”, “backward Muslims”, “money-grubbing Jews” or “begging gypsies”, legitimizes the fact that people are exposed to the pressures of expanding capitalist value on unequal terms. Yet what is striking about current capitalism-critical theorizing on anti-Semitism, racism, and antigypsyism is that the analyses of the different ideologies are largely detached from one another, they become blind to the other ideologies, or even reproduce them. It is all too easy to overlook the fact that members of all minorities can find themselves in precarious and insecure social positions.
The workshop aims at generating a constructive counter-dynamic by providing a forum for discussion on how different theories of marginalization and exclusion of minorities that are critical of capitalism can enrich each other. In order to do justice to anti-Semitism, racism, and antigypsyism as specific forms of domination and ideology, they need to be examined separately. At the same time, however, it is also necessary to look at them together in order to work out their differences and relate them to capitalism. Therefore, the project is complex. All the more reason for the three fields of research to reflect on each other's methodological premises and findings.
However, the epistemological potential of such mutual enrichment has hardly been exploited to date. In most contributions on Racial Capitalism, which focus on concrete social hierarchies and their effects on the material living conditions of racialized people, the topic of anti-Semitism does not appear. In some cases, simplified explanations of Racial Capitalism even make use of anti-Semitic stereotypes. There are also anti-Semitism researchers who, following early critical theory of the Frankfurt School, for example, attempt to understand their subject matter as a ramification of the capitalist form of society, and attribute it to a misguided, personalized critique of capitalism. This often leaves social inequality along racialized lines underexposed. In the shadow of these discussions is the relatively new field of materialist antigypsyism research. In German-speaking research contexts, perspectives from both the subject-theoretical analysis of anti-Semitism and Marx's critique of capitalism have been incorporated here. Such theories of antigypsyism complement anthropological and prejudice-related approaches, but have so far been little developed.
The workshop aims at exploring ways in which capitalist forms of accumulation and subjectivation can be taken into account in order to adequately theorize the particularities of anti-Semitism, racism, and antigypsyism.

We are looking for contributions that address one or more of the following questions or related topics:
1) In what ways can materialist approaches to the critique of racism, antigypsyism, or anti-Semitism enrich each other? Where does a joint approach have its limits?
2) Is the concept of Racial Capitalism suitable for approaching the phenomena of anti-Semitism and antigypsyism? Where are possible points of contact?
3) How is the use of antisemitic stereotypes in theories of Racial Capitalism to be explained?
4) How can we mediate the claim of materialist theory to precise conceptual work and a critique of ideology with other types of theory that are concerned with hierarchies between social groups?
5) How can the strengths of different theoretical strands in research on anti-Semitism and racism be productively combined as part of a materialist analysis of antigypsyism?
6) To what extent does a perspective critical of capitalism allow us to show that the various ideologies directed against social minorities are complementary to one another?

Please send abstracts in German or English with a maximum of 400 words for a 15- to 20-minute presentation by May 30, 2024. We will notify the applicants about the status of their submission by June 30, 2024. The lectures and discussions will be held in German or English. Travel and accommodation costs for speakers can be partially covered.

Ulrike Marz, Lukas Egger, Christine Achinger, Floris Biskamp, Randi Becker, and Tobias Neuburger have already confirmed their participation at the workshop.


Anna-Sophie Schönfelder ( und Dr. Laura Soréna Tittel (

(Un)Freedom in Global Perspective Actors – Perceptions – Agencies

2 months 3 weeks ago

Innsbruck (Austria), 3-4 February 2025

(Un)Freedom in Global Perspective Actors – Perceptions – Agencies

Volume 37 of the "Innsbrucker Historische Studien" and the preliminary workshop in Innsbruck address the perceptions, agency, and strategies of people who in research have been characterized as unfree, especially in connection with slavery, captivity, serfdom, and other forms of oppression. The aim of the workshop is to undertake a critical examination of the historical analysis of (un)freedoms, locating the topics within an open geographical framework (local, regional, global histories) and chronologically with a focus on the modern age (c. 1450–1920). The workshop encourages participants to submit contributions that overcome a dichotomous juxtaposition of freedom and unfreedom and a static idea of these concepts in order to facilitate a more nuanced understanding of different agencies.
The following questions may be helpful to shed light on the various nuances between freedom and unfreedom from a global perspective: What characterizes (un)freedom of individual actors or collectives? How is this (un)freedom perceived? Which strategies are used to render these individuals and collectives (un)free or to portray them as such? What possibilities and strategies do individuals and communities find to revolt against this unfreedom, to break out of it, or to escape it? Which effects does (un)freedom have on personal and collective identities? Can unfreedom in certain situations and contexts also become a resource from which people might obtain personal, social, economic, or political capital? Do slavery and other forms of unfreedom and bondage really mean "social death" for those affected or can the status or attribution of freedom and unfreedom be changed? How, when, and why can transitions from freedom to unfreedom and vice versa be made? Are such transitions temporary or permanent, linear or abrupt, reversible or irreversible? Which forms of interaction and conflicts can be found between free and unfree people and between people under different forms of unfreedom (e.g. enslaved Africans, European indentured servants, and Asian coolie workers on the plantations)? Is (un)freedom a permanent condition or can it be interrupted temporarily? In which forms does dependence persist after the transition from unfreedom to freedom (e.g. in the case of escaped prisoners, ransomed slaves, exchanged hostages)? Which correlations exist between (un)freedom and decisions about the own body and lifestyle?
Topics may include but are not limited to:
- Slaveries (Transatlantic slavery, Mediterranean slavery, Trans-Saharan slave trade, slavery in the Indian Ocean World, Intra-African slavery, slavery in the Ottoman Empire, indigenous slaveries, ...) and human trafficking; agency of enslaved people in different geographical, social, and structural contexts (plantation slavery, domestic slavery, palace slavery, forced sex work, ...)
- Escaping unfreedom: runaways (runaway slaves), freedmen (manumitted and ransomed slaves or former slaves who achieved their freedom through reforms and revolutions), freedom seekers, maroons, cimarrones, escaped prisoners
- Hostage-taking, kidnapping, hijacking, and war captivity (hostage-taking in the context of political, dynastic and religious conflicts, extortion of ransom, exchanging of hostages and prisoners of war, maritime hijacking, piracy, privateering, war captivity, negotiations for the ransom, release and exchange of hostages/prisoners)
- Debt bondage, pawnship, indentured servitude (within Europe; indentured servitude and colonialism; continuities with indigenous forms of labor, e.g. encomienda and mita; blackbirding in the Pacific Ocean)
- Serfdom, servitude, bonded labor, corvée, robot, manorialism (e.g. Habsburg Empire, Russian Empire, Ottoman Empire)
- Imprisonment (reasons for imprisonment, prison conditions, forms of coercion, prisons and penal labor houses as economic enterprises, death sentences)
- Religiously motivated forms of (un)freedom (e.g. hermitage, enclosure, extreme forms of asceticism)
- other forms of (un)freedom …

We invite applicants to submit an abstract (max. 350 words) and a short CV (max. 150 words) to by 20 June 2024. We also encourage PhD students and early career researchers to contribute in the workshop and the volume. The workshop will take place in person at the University of Innsbruck. However, participation in the workshop can also take place online. Accommodation costs will be covered by the University of Innsbruck if possible.


Soup Kitchens and Social Assistance in the 19th and 20th Centuries

2 months 3 weeks ago

This issue of Cadernos do Arquivo Municipal seeks to analyse in an interdisciplinary way both the food assistance structures of this era and their human, territorial, and social framing, studied from various perspectives, from history to architecture, from the specific site to the social landscape and territory.


The call for articles for the thematic dossier of issue 23 of Cadernos do Arquivo Municipal, “Soup Kitchens and social assistance in the 19th and 20th centuries: Spaces and foodscapes of the working world” is open until July 31, 2024.

At the end of the 19th century, the vigorous advancement of industrialization and urban growth brought to the cities a time of profound transformations, whether on an economic, social, spatial, or environmental level, among others. This scenario was characterized by the emergence and expansion of a significant urban working class, which settled in densely populated neighbourhoods, facing challenging, precarious, and unhealthy living conditions. In response to this reality, a new approach to food assistance emerged, essential to meet the basic needs of a growing population, often deprived of adequate food resources.

This movement is part of the broader framework of philanthropy and social assistance, which has been a continuous topic of debate and reform in many Western countries. It is within the framework of philanthropy that numerous support institutions were created, both secular and religious, which at the end of the 19th century acquired a more structured and complex approach to meet social needs. These ideas took shape in the form of kitchens and food assistance points, strategically located near working-class neighbourhoods and industrial areas.

However, the role of these institutions transcended mere food provision. They were also vital elements in shaping the social and urban landscape, reflecting, and responding to the socioeconomic complexities of that era. In addition to fulfilling a practical function of assistance in critical periods, these places also served as a tangible reminder of the existence of individuals in need. The reading and study of these spaces, particularly in terms of operation, aesthetics, and location, highlights the multidimensionality of the soup kitchens and food assistance centres, not only as entities that mitigated an immediate need but also as spaces that reflected and influenced the social and urban fabric of the time.

This issue of Cadernos do Arquivo Municipal seeks to analyse in an interdisciplinary way both the food assistance structures of this era and their human, territorial, and social framing, studied from various perspectives, from history to architecture, from the specific site to the social landscape and territory, namely:

  1. Historical analysis of soup kitchens and other food assistance places as social assistance institutions.
  2. The role of food assistance structures in the social and urban fabric of industrial cities.
  3. The impact of industrial transformations on food supply and access to products.
  4. The architecture, design, and functioning of food assistance structures and how they reflect the needs and values of the time.
  5. Case studies and comparative perspectives between different regions or countries.
Submission guidelines

The call for articles for the thematic dossier “Soup Kitchens and social assistance in the 19th and 20th centuries: Spaces and foodscapes of the working world” is open until July 31, 2024.

More info.

  • Original and unpublished works are accepted, based on research supported by a strong theoretical-methodological component, within the scope of the journal and relevant to a national and international audience.
  • The journal accepts submissions in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
  • All proposals for articles should be sent to
  • Cadernos do Arquivo Municipaldoes not charge any fees for the submission process, peer review, publication and availability of texts.
Conditions for submission

As part of the process, authors are required to check that the submission complies with all the items listed below. Submissions that do not comply with these standards will be returned to the authors.

  • The paper is original, unpublished and the parts that come from other works are duly referenced. It is not under review or for publication in another journal. Otherwise, the author(s) should inform the journal editors.
  • Authorship is subject to a grace period of four issues.
  • Only one proposal per author and/or co-author will be accepted for a single issue and must be submitted using the submission template.
  • The section for which the text is intended must be indicated: Thematic Dossier, Articles or Book Reviews.
  • Authors' names, ORCIDs, affiliations (R&D centres, faculties and universities) and email addresses.
  • Language of the text: Portuguese (according to the new spelling agreement), Spanish, French or English. Title, abstract and keywords in the language of the text, in English and in Portuguese.
  • Limit of 10,000 words for articles and 2,000 for book reviews, including footnotes and bibliographical references.

Follow the Publication Guidelines.

About this journal

Scientific coordination
  • Leonor A. Plácido de Medeiros (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal)
  • Philip Carstairs (Independent researcher, United Kingdom)


Here We Stand: The Art of International Solidarity

3 months ago

Runs: From 9th May 2024 to 31st Aug 2024

Exhibition Opening takes place on Thursday 9th May from 4-7PM 

Here We Stand: The Art of International Solidarity

An exhibition of international solidarity campaign posters at Working Class Movement Library

This exhibition celebrates the tradition of working class communities standing in solidarity with people all around the world. The exhibition includes posters from campaigns such as the campaign against the war in Vietnam, The Spanish Civil War, Palestinian Solidarity, The Peace Movement and many more. The togetherness and mutual support of these campaigns resonates throughout history with some of the greatest sacrifices and political victories.

Throughout this history, artists have played an important role in bringing people together and communicating the ideas and demands of these struggles. The exhibition features the work of some of the most renowned artists of the last century including Miro, Keith Haring and Peter Kennard.

The exhibition includes posters campaigning for causes in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and the Middle East. These posters are a window to the incredible archive at the library that documents some of the most extraordinary stories from these campaigns through letters, pamphlets, photographs, clothing, banners, and flags. These are also complemented by a rich collection of books that together complete an amazing resource for anyone wishing to learn more about both these campaigns and how working class people have engaged in them.



The Role of Public History Within and Outside the United States: Critical Reflections

3 months ago

Since its establishment as an academic research field in the U.S. in the late 1970s, public history has grown significantly, serving as a vital tool for examining contemporary issues, community memories, and conflicts at both scholarly and practical levels. In the 21st century, the field has become a prominent platform for “making history with the public(s)”, moving beyond the confines of academia. Despite its popularity, comprehensively defining public history without oversimplification remains challenging. Indeed, in addition to the audience’s centrality and its dual identity as both a scholarly research field and a practice, public history encompasses a variety of methodologies to (co-)investigate peoples’ cultures, memories, and histories. Furthermore, there is a multiplicity of media and organizations through which public history projects can be shared, ranging from participatory initiatives to studies addressing complex topics of public interest. Moreover, recent internationalization processes have added another layer to the epistemological framework of public history. As James B. Gardener and Paula Hamilton noted in the introduction to the Oxford Handbook of Public History in 2017, “Given that both the state and the nation have been central to the development of public history, we ask what we can learn if we engage with the local context within a wider international frame”.

With this call, we aim to investigate the discipline of public history from our unique perspective as a journal focused on American Studies from outside North America. USAbroad seeks to engage with studies and practices of public history concerning US history and politics, whether originating in the United States or elsewhere. As each public history project is influenced by its location, we are interested in comparing studies and practices regarding US politics and history across different countries. For this reason, the call also welcomes contributions that explore the challenges and possibilities of engaging with US history outside the US, as well as articles that question the methodological and epistemological foundation of public history as a discipline per se vis-à-vis US history.  

USAbroad invites public history or public history-related contributions investigating US compelling past(s), heritage, memories and socio-economic fractures. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the field, which benefits from the integration of various research areas and communication methods, contributions may draw from, but are not limited to, the following research areas related to American history:

- Foreign relations (e.g. soft diplomacy actions);

- Postcolonial studies;

- Intellectual history (e.g. international circulation of ideas);

- Global history;

- Cultural studies (e.g. culture wars, Lost Cause);

- Ethnic studies; (e.g. migrant communities, transnational connections)

- Economic politics;

- Media and game studies (e.g. the impact of American products over communities at home and abroad);

- Military history (e.g. historical reenactments, war cemeteries)

- Urban studies;

- Heritage interpretation in museums, libraries, parks, rural or urban settings, etc.;

- Teaching and education (e.g. historical anniversary);

- Memory studies (e.g. analysis and practices over monuments; memories of trauma in communities or families)

Please submit your abstract (500 words max) and your CV (2 pages max) to by May 5, 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by May 15, 2024, at the latest.

The selection of abstracts will be based on a range of criteria including scientific originality, clarity of the proposal submitted, use of primary sources and adherence to the themes of the call for papers. Please highlight in the abstract whether your contribution will offer a scholarly analysis of public history, explore a specific case study/practice of public history, or it will do both. Abstracts that do not clearly address these criteria will not be considered for publication.

Please note that, if your application is successful, you will need to submit a full 7000-word article by August 31, 2024.

More info can be found at  

" Le Travail forcé des républicains espagnols pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale " (French)

3 months ago

Après l’exode massif du début de l’année 1939 qui mène vers la France plusieurs centaines de milliers de républicains espagnols, ces derniers connaissent tout au long de la Seconde Guerre mondiale des itinéraires marqués par le travail – souvent forcé –, par des engagements militaires et par diverses formes de résistances contre l’occupant de leur pays d’exil. Ils sont prestataires de l’armée française ou soldats incorporés dans des unités étrangères de celle-ci. Et, ce qui est encore relativement méconnu, ils contribuent massivement à l’économie de guerre tout au long de la période en France mais aussi en Allemagne et en Espagne.

Comment la IIIe République puis l’État français dirigé depuis Vichy ont-ils conçu, géré, l’utilisation de la main-d’œuvre abondante que représentaient ces « étrangers indésirables », d’abord dans les Compagnies puis dans les Groupements de travailleurs étrangers (CTE et GTE) ? Comment les autorités nazies ont-elles puisé dans le vivier des GTE pour leurs besoins industriels en Allemagne et en France occupée, notamment pour la construction du Mur de l’Atlantique ? Et aussi, comment la dictature franquiste a-t-elle fait du travail esclave effectué par ses opposants un pilier économique du régime ?

Les études historiques sont suivies d’articles sur le travail accompli par des associations mémorielles œuvrant pour rappeler l’histoire des travailleurs forcés des bases sous-marines allemandes et honorer leur mémoire. Deux exemples particulièrement éclairants reflètent la vie des « Espagnols rouges » – Rotspanier – ayant travaillé pour la construction des bases sous-marines de Bordeaux et de Brest.

Ce numéro double comprend également la rubrique « La fabrique des archives », un aperçu sur de nouvelles recherches – femmes galiciennes émigrant seules en Catalogne sous le franquisme – et des notices de livres – sur des GTE dans le Sud-est français et sur la guérilla antifranquiste dans le León et en Galice.

14th Genealogies of Memory: Gentry, Nobility, Aristocracy: the Post-feudal Perspectives

3 months ago
The conference will take place in Warsaw at the Faculty of Modern Languages ​​at the University of Warsaw
(ul. Dobra 55) on 25-27 September 2024 in a hybrid format with possible online participation.    The vital and complex role of the landowning elites in the political, economic, and cultural history of Europe has been extensively researched, resulting in a wealth of literature. However, the question of how this role has been remembered since the dissolution of these elites as a social class, and what the implications of this memory and legacy are for contemporary European societies, has only recently been addressed by sociologists, historians, and anthropologists.

The opening hypothesis of the conference is that post-feudal social structures, which were a consequence of the power dynamics between the landowners and peasants, can be examined through a perspective of the longue durée. The existence of landowners as a class was brought to an end by political decisions and revolutionary movements, or gradually transitioned into social and political systems based on more democratic principles. This led to various legacies from the past, modes of remembrance, and finally, legal and economic circumstances. These diverse trajectories serve as a reminder of the East-West dichotomy in Europe, as in part of Central and Eastern Europe the end of the landowners' domination came with bloodshed and violence, as part of the making of the ‘Bloodlands’. However, our aim is to go beyond this dichotomy and see whether schemes other than East-West can be employed to understand the diversity of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy history in Europe.

An illustration of this diversity is also the multitude of terms used to describe the phenomena we discuss and its internal stratification. While we use the ahistorical terms "landowners" or the „landowning elites” as the overarching terms for the purpose of this call for papers, we acknowledge that in different regional contexts, more specific categories such as gentry, nobility, and aristocracy are relevant. We also welcome discussion on the terms used in the papers.

Individual and collective memory of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy, and in a broader sense, of the post-feudal period with all its complexities, will, however, vary depending not only on how the landowners' era concluded, but also on its characteristics in different regions of Central and Eastern Europe. The landowning elites might have shared the same ethnicity and religion as the subordinate classes, or they could have been of different backgrounds, such as in Eastern Galicia, where Poles owned vast swathes of land populated by ethnic Ukrainians. They could have also belonged to the titular nation of the nation-state, as in interwar Poland, or been ethnically connected to another nation, as was the case with the German aristocracy in interwar Czechoslovakia. Its social and political standing, as well as its proportion within the general population, could range from significant, as seen in Hungary, to marginal, as observed in Romania. Moreover, the gentry, nobility and aristocracy could either be the sole elite in the country or blend, compete with, or even give rise to other influential groups, as exemplified by the Polish intelligentsia. Lastly, the current status of the landowning elites and their (former) property varies greatly across Europe: from regions where its status was never formally challenged, such as in Great Britain, to countries where extensive (re)privatization laws were enacted after the collapse of communism, like in the Czech Republic and Lithuania, and to the post-Soviet states of Ukraine and Belarus, where the issue of reprivatization was never politicized and remains largely absent from public discourse.

With this complex agenda in mind, we want to approach the topic of this conference in a comparative and contextualised perspective. We wish to pose questions about memory of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy as inscribed in the official narrative, vernacular beliefs, cultural practices and art. We will have a close look at the approach to the their material heritage, the role its history and legacy plays in maintaining collective identities on the local and national levels, as well as the complexity of the legal constraints involved. We will be interested in broadening our approach to the dynamics of the social relations between various actors and seeing among them not only the landowning elites and peasantry, but also Jews in their traditional and less conventional roles, city dwellers as a counter-community, rich bourgeoisie as the competing and/or aspiring class, and intelligentsia with its multifaceted role. Thus, we will include the internal and external perspective of various memory actors and keepers. Additionally, our key focus will be the material heritage: objects, buildings and spaces as spheres of interference, contested property battleground and non-sites of difficult memories.
The proposed papers might address, but not be limited, to the following issues:

• How did the memory of the landowning elites, their role and status change over the time? What were the dividing lines or the turning points? 
• What is the group memory dynamics among the descendants of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy themselves, among people with peasant origins, and in local village communities where once the gentry resided?
• What are the main determinants of this memory – how are violence, power relations and class dependencies remembered?
• How can the longue durée of the post-feudal social mechanisms and structures be discovered in the cultural memory, values and elements of the identity of different social groups?
• How are various aspects of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy ethos perceived in contemporary social life, art and culture?
• Who endeavours to uphold this ethos as the ethos of their own group – in other words, who currently belongs to the group that regards the landowning elites’ legacy as its own?

• How the ways the post-feudal system was dissolved in different countries influenced the memory of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy?
• How the categories of guilt, victimhood and historical justice have been employed in the narratives about the end of these groups’ domination on various levels (local, group, national)?
• How is the violence against the gentry, nobility and aristocracy that accompanied their dissolution as a social strata – physical, political and symbolic – remembered today?
• In which form, if any, is the past social order reactivated if an estate is bought by a new owner?  How does such new ownership, be it by descendants of a historical landowning family, or by new people,  resonate with the legacy of the past?
• How did the memory and survival strategies of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy families form and evolve during the communist and post-communist period?

• What is the status of the material heritage of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy – manors, parks and palaces? To what extent is it considered common heritage – by local communities, by the national community, and by authorities on various levels?
• What does the memoryscape of such places look like?
• What are the commemorative practices connected with such spaces?
• Does the issue of the post-1989 (re)privatisation influence attitudes towards the landowning elites’ material heritage?
• What is the specificity of memory related to the gentry, nobility and aristocracy in various European countries? Is the East-West division the main important one?
• Is the memory of the aristocracy different from the memory of the lower nobility, or landowners without noble titles? How does the social and political diversification of the landowning elites in the past influence its memory today?
• Which historical factors influence the collective and individual memory, as well as memorial practices?
• Is the overlapping of class, ethnicity and religion in the past decisive for the contemporary memory of the landowning elites and post-feudality?
• Is there any specific memory of the Jewish landed gentry?
• Can any parallels be found outside Europe? What is the postcolonial aspect of the landowning elites’ historical presence in these countries?

We welcome submissions from memory studies, heritage studies, and other related disciplines. The comparative approach will be particularly welcome.

Organisational information
The conference will take place in Warsaw on 25-27 September 2024 in a hybrid format with possible online participation.
The conference language is English. The organisers provide accommodation for the participants. There is no conference fee.

Call for Papers To apply please send the following documents to:

The deadline for the submission is 19th of May 2024:
o          Abstract (maximum 300 words)
o          Brief biographical note (up to 200 words)
o          Scan/photo of the signed Consent Clause

Applicants will be notified of the results in mid-June 2024. Written draft papers (2,000–2,500 words) should be submitted by 25th of August 2024. Papers should aim to be 20 minutes, to be delivered in English.

Selected authors will be invited to submit their paper to an edited volume to be published with a leading academic publisher, most likely in the European Remembrance and Solidarity book series developed by ENRS and Routledge.

The Social History Archive

3 months ago

Social History Archive to provide access to world’s largest digital archive of UK historical source material

  • New academic resource - Social History Archive - launches to UK and US universities and academic institutions
  • Powered by the latest technology, the platform offers access to the largest collection of British & Irish historical resources online
  • Major partnerships with the British Library and the National Archives provide a growing collection of exclusive and unique source material
  • Powerful AI and search technology delivers accurate results in an instant, while Single Sign-On (SSO) ensures security
  • The Social History Archive will be exhibiting at UKSG conference at stand 83

The Social History Archive, a brand-new resource for academics and researchers has launched, offering access to the largest collection of British and Irish historical resources online.

Catering to a range of academic interests, the digital archive contains over 14 billion records which offer centuries of data and insights. Through access to a diverse range of source material, including newspapers, census returns, crime reports and emigration records, researchers can delve into the people, places and events that have shaped the world.

This is thanks to partnerships with some of the world’s most prestigious cultural organisations and archives, including the National Archives and the British Library. A continuous comprehensive digitisation process enables the Social History Archive to deliver exclusive source material on an ongoing basis.

The archive is fully searchable through a powerful search function, with advanced and simple options, using keywords, names, dates, and even phrases to pinpoint accurate results faster. Students and researchers can also discover every detail of the original documents and newspapers on their screen, and a simple citation export function allows users to swiftly add references to working documents.

Institutions will benefit from the seamless integration of the Social History Archive into their single sign-on, for secure on and off campus access. The platform also complies with accessibility standards and offers COUNTER reporting with SUSHI support.

The Social History Archive is launching with four packages catering to a range of departmental requirements:

  • Records – the entry level subscription gives users easy access to the complete repository of records, excluding the 1921 Census of England & Wales
  • Records+ – in addition to everything included in the ‘Records’ subscription, researchers will be able to access the unique and invaluable 1921 Census – the last to be published until 2051.
  • Newspapers – user-friendly, online access to The British Newspaper Archive, the largest collection of historical British and Irish newspapers online, with 30m pages covering over 300 years of history.
  • Access all areas – unrestricted, unlimited access to everything
    The Social History Archive has to offer.

Sarah Bush, Managing Director, said:

We’re delighted to launch the Social History Archive to the academic community, offering a goldmine of historical primary source material to benefit a huge range of specialisms and faculties. Whether you’re researching UK history, geography, sociology, journalism, politics and economics, or even data science, this growing collection provides a vast and varied record of life over the centuries.

“In collaboration with our partners and users, we’re constantly working to develop our offering. We’re committed to delivering a product powered by the latest technology and a growing repository of records, which together provide a world-class experience for researchers.”

The Social History Archive will be exhibiting at the upcoming UKSG event in Glasgow on 8-10 April 2024, at stand 83, where they with be demonstrating the platform.



For more information, to request images or to discuss feature opportunities, please contact:

Madeleine Gilbert, Senior PR Manager, Findmypast:


About Findmypast

Findmypast is a fast-growing, technology-driven, subscription service. With a bank of more than 14 billion digitised records, and exclusive access to some of the world’s most renowned historical databases, Findmypast’s technology allows customers to connect to people, both past and present, and visualise their family story in more detail than ever before. 

With a global community of over 13 million registered users, this innovative and agile British technology company has strong network effects and is trusted by some of the world’s largest archives, museums, and governments. Findmypast is building a team of world-class technology professionals where people from every background come together to help millions of others understand theirs.

Apathy and Activation: Rethinking Political Passivity in Authoritarian and Hybrid Regimes

3 months ago

Workshop at the Center for Modern East Asian Studies (CeMEAS) at Göttingen University, November 15-16, 2024

In Western political science literature, political passivity is generally regarded either as a symptom of weakening democratic institutions or, if it is observed in an illiberal regime, as an expression of citizens’ acquiescence with authoritarian rule. This binary view in which civic engagement is situated on the democratic end of the spectrum of political systems, while “passive obedience” is associated with non-democratic rule, assumes that individual agency in the public sphere is preconditioned by a clear division of state and civil society as is characteristic of liberal democracies. On the contrary, autocratic systems are believed to offer little to no space for political activism beyond the ruling party or government. There is, however, also the possibility of constituting an alternative dichotomy in which the opposite of political passivity is not civic engagement but mobilization. Indeed, the history of the twentieth century has provided us with ample evidence that totalitarian governments share a tendency to seek to arouse, enlist, awaken, or revive the people under their rule. Following this logic, passivity can be a form of resistance to creating a new man, nation, or culture. Even though Linz (1975) argues that passivity is a core feature of authoritarian rule in contrast to the mobilizational character of totalitarianism, the end of the Cold War and the waning influence of Communist ideology did not ring in the end of mass mobilization. Populist movements and dominant parties worldwide revived or reinvented the political tools of mobilization via mass campaigns, assisted by the possibilities of social media and artificial intelligence. Simultaneously, we see trends of a conscious retreat from society in youth phenomena popularized in China and beyond under the slogans of “lying flat,” “involution,” or “quiet quitting.” As we argue, political passivity has to be studied as a form of Eigensinn that transcends notions of compliance or resistance in authoritarian and hybrid regimes.

This workshop sets out to investigate 1) how contemporary governments in authoritarian and hybrid regimes discuss and problematize political passivity and social disengagement, 2) how passivity is sanctioned under dominant ideological, cultural, social, or religious norms, 3) which practical measures are taken to counter signs of disengagement, and 4) how citizens react to pressures to engage in political and social life.

Possible topics of workshop contributions include, but are not limited to:
- Strategies, aims, and (unintended) consequences of political campaigns addressing citizens’ passivity
- Discourses on civic virtues and the initiation and impact of moralizing campaigns
- State-led attempts to create opportunities for the nationalistic, ideological, or cultural re-engagement of citizens
- Questions of methodology and source access in the study of political passivity
- Comparative approaches to passivity as a political problem in different countries and cultures
- Differentiated analysis of reasons for political passivity among citizens in non-democratic states
- Political passivity as an expression of youth subculture, especially among urban youths
- The reception of Western (academic) discourses on passivity and civic engagement in non-democratic states
The workshop will take a hybrid format to accommodate participants from outside Europe.

Limited funding is available to cover travel costs and accommodation for participants who cannot get reimbursement from their home institutions. Preference will be given to junior researchers.

Please submit an abstract of about 250 words to and by April 30, 2024. Please also include information on whether you would like to attend in person or online and if you require financial support to cover travel and accommodation.

- Call for papers: April 30, 2024
- Decision on submissions by early May
- Submission of position papers (about 3-5 pages): November 1, 2024
- Workshop: November 15-16, 2024


Dr. Henrike Rudolph (, Dr. Bertram Lang (

Migration and Urban Activism in 20th Century Europe

3 months ago

Rome, 17-19 April 2024

This conference at the German Historical Institute in Rome is designed to illuminate the historical relations between two factors in urban history: migration and urban activism.

Migration and Urban Activism in 20th Century Europe

Cities are made by people who inhabit them. European cities over the 20th century have been strongly shaped by domestic and international migration as well as urban social movements, civil society action, and political protest of various forms. This conference at the German Historical Institute in Rome is designed to illuminate the historical relations between these two factors in urban history: migration and urban activism. It brings together scholars discussing the history of urban developments subject to activism by migrants, against migrants, and for migrants. These three perspectives shall contribute to more systematic understanding of important processes in our cities to which European historiography hitherto has paid relatively little attention.


Wednesday, 17 April

14.30 Reception

15.00 Opening: Migration, Urban Space and Forms of Activism
Martin Baumeister (Rome), Bruno Bonomo (Rome), Olga Sparschuh (Vienna), David Templin (Osnabrück) and Christian Wicke (Utrecht)

15.30 Part 1: Migrant Activism
Chair: Bruno Bonomo (Rome)

1. Markian Prokopovych (Durham): Locating Transmigrants in Vienna and Budapest around 1900: Spaces, Institutions, Informal networks

2. Michael Goebel (Berlin): Local Struggles over Global Order: Migration and Anticolonialism in Interwar Paris

16.40 - 17.00 Coffee Break

3. Sarah Jacobson (Berlin): Organizing from the Neighborhood: Southern Italian Migrants and Housing Occupations in 1970s Italy and West Germany

4. Simon Goeke (Munich): Solidarity, Gastronomy, and Exile Politics: Leftist Anti-Junta Resistance and the Alternative Lifestyle in Munich during the 1960s and 1970s

5. Grazia Prontera (Salzburg): Navigating Political Spaces: The Role of Migrant Activism in Munich’s Local Consultative Body during the 1970s and 1980s

19.00 Keynote: Panikos Panayi (Leicester): Racists, Revolutionaries and Representatives in London: From Hostile Environment to Multiculturalism

Thursday, 18 April

09.30 Reception

10.00 Part 2: Urban Activism against Migration
Chair: Christian Wicke (Utrecht)

1. Stefano Gallo (Naples): Internal urban-oriented Migration in 20th century Italy: Exploring the Social Consequences of Administrative Discrimination

2. Andreas Weigl (Vienna): From the Referendum “Austria First” to the “Sea of Lights” (Lichtermeer): Urban Activism on Immigration after the Fall of the Iron Curtain in Vienna

11.20 - 11.40 Coffee Break

3. Malte Borgmann (Berlin): “We want to live peacefully again.” Anti-migrant Protest and its Influence on the Accommodation of Asylum Seekers in West Berlin

4. Carsta Langner (Jena): “A Danger to Upscale Living” – Local Engagement against the Accommodation of Migrants in the Postsocialist Society of East Germany in the 1990s

13.00 Lunch Break

15.30 Excursion: Migration and Activism in Contemporary Rome: from the Pantanella Factory to Spin Time Labs

Friday, 19 April

9.00 Reception

9.30 Part 3: Urban Activism for Migrants
Chair: David Templin (Osnabrück)

1. Daniel Renshaw (Reading): The Church Army and Jewish Communities in Urban Britain, 1900-1914: Poverty, Proselytization and Prejudice

2. Brian Shaev (Leiden): Civil Society Activism for Migrants in Dortmund, 1945-1968

10.40 - 11.00 Coffee Break

3. Giulia Zitelli Conti (Rome): Firstly Lumpenproletarians, then Immigrants: The Migration Issue in the Struggle for Housing in Rome in the Post-War Period

4. Luca Provenzano (Paris): Taking Back the City: Revolutionary Leftists, Migrants, and Urban Struggle in France and Italy, 1969-1975

5. Tahire Erman (Ankara): Contested Spaces in the Turkish Urban Periphery: Leftist Interventions in Informal Neighborhoods of Rural Migrants

12.45 Lunch Break

13.30 Final Discussion: Urban Activism and Migration
Chair: Olga Sparschuh (Vienna)

Commentaries: Alexander Sedlmaier (Bangor) and Alessandra Gissi (Naples)

14.30 End of the Conference


Christian Wicke (Utrecht University)

David Templin (Universität Osnabrück)

Archives in/of Transit: Historical Perspectives from the 1930s to the Present

3 months ago

Los Angeles, 28-29 June 2024

This workshop will explore new ways of thinking about archives, archival records, and other artifacts historians might use as primary sources to gain deeper insight into the history of migrants in transit and the knowledge they possessed, produced, transmitted, or lost. With a starting point in the history of Jewish migration from National Socialist-occupied areas, the workshop broadens out to investigate the experiences of refugees and migrants fleeing genocide, armed conflict, and persecution throughout the twentieth century.

Archives in/of Transit: Historical Perspectives from the 1930s to the Present

The workshop is focused on migrants in the situation of transit: How do their letters, photographs, and other artifacts communicate their experiences both to their contemporary and future generations? How can we reframe personal documentation, visual (re)sources, artifacts, and other material culture of migrants as sites of knowledge production? What role do archives play in allowing us to ask and address these questions? And what happens to the “archive” in contexts of transoceanic forced migration, such as the Holocaust? How does migration challenge concepts of archival materiality and fixity and, further, how have the “material turn” and the new interest in soundscapes and the digital age not only complicated but also enhanced our research?


June 28, 2024
Location: USC Shoah Foundation Offices

8:30 am – 9:15 am Registration / Coffee and pastries

9:15 am Welcome
Jennifer Rodgers (USC Shoah Foundation)
Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington)

9:30 -11.30am Panel 1: Silence and Experience

Phi Nguyen (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne): Where Did the Boats Go? Silenced Tales of Vietnamese Repatriated Refugees from Hong Kong
Atina Grossmann (Cooper Union, New York): What Remains of the “In-Between”: Tracing Experience and Afterlife of Refuge in the Orient

Chair: Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington)

11.30-12.30pm Lunch

12.30-1.30pm Archives session (Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, University of Southern California, Los Angeles)

1.30-3pm Panel 2: Knowledge and Networks

Eliyana Adler (Penn State University): Networks of Knowledge: Polish Jewish Holocaust Memorial Books as Archives in/of Transit
William Pimlott (Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London): YIVO’s Foreign Sections: Building Transnational Immigrant History Before, During and After the Holocaust

Chair: Swen Steinberg (Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario)

3-3.30 pm Break

3.30-5.00 Panel 3: Music and Fashion

Svenja Bethke (University of Leicester): Making Clothes, Designing Fashion: Jewish Migrant Knowledge between Nazi-Occupied Europe and the British Mandate for Palestine
Andrea Orzoff (New Mexico State University, Las Cruces): Music as Migrant Archive: European Musical Refugees in Latin America, 1935-1945

Chair: Dan Stone (Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London)

7pm Reception at the Thomas Mann House, Discussion with Julia Frank (Thomas Mann Fellow) and Andrea Orzoff

June 29, 2024
Location: Villa Aurora

10:00-10:30 Coffee and pastries

10.30-12.30am Panel 4: Solidarity, Gender, and Activism

Christopher Neumaier (Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam): Gender Roles in Transit: Impact of Immigrant Background on Work and Housekeeping in West Germany, 1970s–1990s
Tori Martinez (Linköpings Universitet): Lost Knowledge in a Hidden Archive: Ludwika Broel-Plater’s Agency and Activism as a Forced Migrant in Sweden
Robert Andrejczyk (Józef Piłsudski Museum, Sulejówek): Refugees in Need – Museum in Action. Case Study of Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek

Chair: Jane Freeland (Queen Mary, University of London)

12.30-1.30pm Lunch

1.30-2.30pm Tour of the Villa Aurora

2.30-4pm Panel 5: Collections and Agency

Charlotte Lerg (Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich): When Libraries Take Flight. Migrating and Re-assembling Destructed Archives of Cultural Knowledge in Times of War
Miriam Chorley-Schulz (University of Oregon, Eugene): The Making of the We Refugees Archive

Chair: Jennifer Rodgers (USC Shoah Foundation)

4-4.15pm Break

4.15-5.45pm Panel 6: War and Violence

Elissa Mailänder (Science Po, Paris): The Archives in our Attics: Material Hermeneutics of Vernacular Wehrmacht Photography
Jadzia Biskupska (Sam Houston State University, Huntsville): Settlers, Partisans, and Expellees: Framing the Consequences of the SS Colony in Zamość

Chair: Christine Schmidt (Wiener Holocaust Library, London)

5.45-6pm Final discussion

Chairs: Jennifer Rodgers, Simone Lässig and Swen Steinberg

Protect Our Rights To Protect Our Patients: Celebrating 50 Years of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), AFT, 1974 – 2024 exhibit at The American Labor Museum

3 months 2 weeks ago

Haledon, New Jersey The American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark proudly opens the exhibit Protect Our Rights To Protect Our Patients:  Celebrating 50 Years of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), AFT, 1974 – 2024 on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024. 

The Health Professionals & Allied Employees, AFT is the largest union of registered nurses and health care professionals in New Jersey.  HPAE began through the efforts of the nursing staff at Englewood Hospital in 1974 over issues such as shift rotation, floating, low wages and a general lack of respect from management.  Nurses at other area hospitals later joined the HPAE, which now includes 13,000 members.

Protect Our Rights To Protect Our Patients:  Celebrating 50 Years of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), AFT, 1974 – 2024 exhibit features labor union memorabilia, union contracts, historic photographs and union publications, strike placards, and more from the collection of the HPAE and union members.  The exhibit highlights the benefits of collective bargaining for these union members and the effectiveness of the HPAE as a union of democratically-run local unions made up of members and leaders who strive together to win safe working conditions, respect for member professions, safe and effective patient care, and sound healthcare policies. 

This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Passaic County Cultural and Heritage Council from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

The Botto House National Landmark, headquarters of the American Labor Museum, is located at 83 Norwood Street in Haledon, NJ.  The Museum's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9AM-5PM.  Visitors are welcome Wednesday through Saturday from 1PM-4PM and at other times by appointment.  For further information about the Museum, call 973-595-7953 and visit

"Storia del lavoro nell'Italia contemporanea", di S. Gallo e F. Loreto (Italian)

3 months 2 weeks ago

Il lavoro come fatica individuale e possibile strumento di sfruttamento, ma anche il lavoro come leva di riscatto collettivo e di emancipazione: questo intreccio complesso e apparentemente contraddittorio costituisce il filo rosso che attraversa il volume Storia del lavoro nell'Italia contemporanea, scritto da Stefano Gallo e Fabrizio Loreto. 

Gli autori propongono una storia d’Italia dall’Unità a oggi affrontata dallo specifico angolo di visuale del lavoro - inteso nella sua accezione più ampia - ricostruendo le trasformazioni del mercato del lavoro, l’evoluzione delle relazioni industriali e delle tecniche produttive, le forme dell’associazionismo e della partecipazione politica, le rappresentazioni culturali, i mutamenti del quadro giuridico e della legislazione sociale.

Per consultare l’indice del volume clicca su questo link.

CfP: « Sound studies et histoire sociale : univers sonores des contestations (XIXe- XXIe siècles) », Dossier pour la revue Le Mouvement Social (French)

3 months 2 weeks ago

Depuis la fin des années 1970, les études sonores (sound studies) fleurissent dans de nombreux domaines des sciences humaines et sociales (Sterne, 2012). L’histoire n’est pas restée insensible à ce tournant sonore. Le domaine d’études des sound studies présente en effet de nouveaux enjeux pour la recherche historique, en permettant notamment d’interroger les liens qui unissent les individus à leurs environnements sonores, mais aussi et surtout la capacité des phénomènes sonores (voix, sons, bruits, musiques, silences) à accompagner, renforcer ou symboliser les pratiques et les expériences individuelles ou collectives. En France, des travaux issus de courants historiographiques variés, comme l’histoire politique et l’histoire culturelle – par le bais notamment de l’histoire des sensibilités – ont permis d’ouvrir de nouvelles thématiques de recherche telles que : l’évolution des paysages sonores et des modalités d’écoute ; les rapports d’attachement, d’indifférence ou d’aversion qu’entretiennent les individus à l’égard de leurs environnements sonores ; les usages politiques des phénomènes sonores ; ou encore les enjeux de pouvoir associés aux sons, aux voix ou aux silences (Revue de la BNF, n° 55 (2017), « Le mur du son » ; Sociétés & Représentations, n°49 (2020), « Sons et cultures sonores »).

Malgré l’abondance et la diversité de ces travaux, les publications de revues francophones consacrées au croisement entre histoire sociale et études sonores sont peu nombreuses. Or, il nous semble que les questionnements, thématiques et approches propres à l’histoire sociale gagneraient elles aussi à dialoguer davantage avec les renouvellements historiographiques et méthodologiques permis par le développement des études sonores.

C’est pourquoi nous souhaitons constituer un numéro thématique consacré aux liens entre sound studies et histoire sociale et plus particulièrement aux univers sonores des contestations survenues en France et ailleurs aux XIXe et XXe siècles. La revue Le Mouvement Social a manifesté son intérêt pour la publication d’un tel dossier. 

Il s’agirait dans ce numéro de poursuivre et d’enrichir le champ des recherches menées ces dernières années, en particulier par les médiévistes et les modernistes, sur la dimension sonore, vocale et gestuelle des contestations (Lett et Offenstadt, 2003; Bender et al., 2015; Hermant et Challet, 2019) en ouvrant l’étude à la période contemporaine et à de nouveaux espaces afin de mettre en lumière les phénomènes de rupture ou de continuité dans les usages du son en contexte de lutte.

Thèmes et axes de recherche

Ainsi, plusieurs axes de recherche sont envisageables dans le cadre de ce numéro, parmi lesquels :

- La place et le rôle des phénomènes sonores, vocaux et musicaux dans les pratiques contestataires (grèves, manifestations, occupations de lieux de travail ou de lieux publics)

- Spécificités des voix et des gestes sonores en regard d’autres modes d’expression (le visuel par exemple)

- L’idée des pratiques sonores comme « répertoire d’action » (charivaris, sérénades, détournements de musique ou de slogans, phénomènes de question-réponse dans les manifestations…)

- Usages ou contre-usage des technologies de captation et de diffusion sonore dans les mouvements sociaux (micro, haut-parleurs...)

- Oppositions ou contrastes entre les sonorités du travail et les sonorités de la contestation

 - Spécificités et comparaisons de la « vie verbale au travail » (Boutet, 2008) et de la vie verbale en situation contestation (paroles, voix, manières de communiquer et de dire le travail ou le conflit)

- Le silence, les murmures, les rumeurs et autres camouflés sonores comme expressions d’une contestation « dans le dos du pouvoir » (Chantraine et Ruchet, 2008)

- Sonorités, voix et paroles du maintien de l’ordre (sommations, négociations, signaux sonores pour incarner une forme de « pouvoir » face aux contestations)

- Les outils et méthodes de restitution et d’analyse historique des sons en situation de contestation

Outre ces thèmes, l’objectif de ce numéro serait de favoriser un espace de discussion entre chercheurs et chercheuses sur les sources, les questionnements et les méthodes d’enquête et d’écriture d’une histoire sonore des contestations. 

Envoi des propositions

Si l’appel s’adresse avant tout aux historiens et historiennes du contemporain, l’ouverture des contributions aux approches d’autres disciplines des sciences humaines et sociales est bienvenue. 

Les propositions d’articles (titre, résumé de 2000 signes maximum et courte biographie) sont à envoyer à Marion Henry ( et Adrien Quièvre ( avant le 1er avril 2024. Une réponse sera donnée courant mai 2024. Si la proposition de dossier est acceptée par la revue, les articles seront à envoyer à l’automne 2024.


Marion Henry

Maîtresse de conférences en histoire contemporaine

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'histoire sociale des mondes contemporains (CHS)

Chercheuse associée au Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po (CHSP)

CfP: Why Socialism Matters? Approaches to Research of the Political Idea and the Historical Period

3 months 2 weeks ago

University of Pula (Croatia), 28 - 30 August 2024

At the end of August 2024, at the University of Pula, Croatia, we are organizing the 10th Doctoral Workshop, this year with the theme "Why Socialism Matters? Approaches to Research of the Political Idea and the Historical Period". PhD students in history and related fields are welcome to apply.

Why Socialism Matters? Approaches to Research of the Political Idea and the Historical Period

Our tenth annual summer workshop for doctoral students aims to intertwine the themes of previous workshops and possibly raise them to a different level, thereby enabling discussion on the relevance of socialism in historical and contemporary social contexts, as well as in the research practises and epistemology of social sciences and humanities. Beginning with the nineteenth century, socialist thought and actions have profoundly influenced politics, economics, culture and other domains, fighting against inequality, exploitation and poverty, while also reducing old social tensions and sometimes instigating new ones. These processes are evident in the political activities of governments, socialist, social-democratic and communist parties, trade unions, workers’ associations, groups and revolutionary movements; in the economic policies that built the welfare state and socialist state; as well as in the intellectual and cultural realm shaped by socialist thought, and the dissemination of socialist ideas across Europe and globally. Through the decades, insights to these issues have evolved, introducing new approaches and sources. When presenting their topics, applicants are expected to highlight the connection between socialist thought and historical experiences, to explain why socialism matters for the particular topic and why the research of their topic matters, how it shaped the past through possible successes and failures, and how such legacies are shaping the present and possibly the future.

The expected four keynote speakers are historians, philosophers and theoreticians: ANKICA ČAKARDIĆ (University of Zagreb), HANNES GRANDITS (Humboldt University of Berlin), BRANIMIR JANKOVIĆ (University of Zagreb) and KATARINA PEOVIĆ (University of Rijeka).

So far, the Workshop has focused on various topics in contemporary history, the history of socialist Yugoslavia and wider European context: The History of Everyday Life in Socialist Yugoslavia (2015); Yugoslav Socialism: Similarities and Exceptionalities (2016); A New Man for the Socialist Society (2017); Yugoslavia and the Global 1968: Contexts, Perspectives, Echoes (2018); Industrial Societies of Late Socialism: European Comparisons (2019); Cooperation, Exchange and Solidarity in Europe 1945-1990 (2020); Microhistories of Socialism (2021); Microhistories of Socialism and Postsocialism (2022); What Was Europe? Perception, Division and Integration, 1940s-2010s (2023). The themes were often connected to the research projects at CKPIS or with the cooperation network around the Chair for South-East European History at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Over the past years, the Workshop has received an excellent response, with PhD students and lecturers coming from various universities and other institutions (Belgrade, Berlin, Bielefeld, Birmingham, Bochum, Bologna, Budapest, Cologne, Cork, Durham, Florence, Ghent, Giessen, Glasgow, Graz, Hamburg, Iaşi, Konstanz, Koper, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Montreal, Munich, North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Nottingham, Oxford, Paris, Potsdam, Prague, Princeton, Regensburg, San Diego, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Split, Tübingen, Turku, Vienna, Warsaw, Warwick, Zagreb and Pula). Information on past workshops is available on our website.

We hope the workshop will again attract PhD students in the field of history, as well as in other fields of humanities and social sciences. Our objective is to enable the exchange of knowledge and ideas, as well as participation in motivating discussions. We would like to enhance networking and exchange among young researchers and map new research trends, especially at the level of PhD studies.

Please, submit the online application form by May 15, 2024. The form includes the abstract (max. 200 words) and a short biographical note (max. 200 words). Acceptance notification will follow by the end of May. By July 10 the elected applicants are expected to send a short paper (max. 1,800 words), based on their dissertation or another research. The workshop language is English. Based on the paper, each presentation should last up to 15 minutes and will be followed by an immediate discussion. A certificate will be issued to PhD students confirming their participation and the value of 2 ECTS credits.

Participants are expected to arrive by late afternoon of Wednesday, August 28, when the workshop starts. The programme ends by noon on Saturday. The workshop venue is the Student Dorm (Preradović Street).

The participation fee is 125€. Payment information will follow after the selection process. As organisers, we will be able to cover accommodation (three nights, single rooms) at the new student dorm in the city centre, a meal per day and coffee breaks. The participants should organise their travel to Pula and cover its cost, hopefully with the support of their universities or other sources.

The online application form and all information are available on the website:

For any questions, please contact Tina at

We are looking forward to your applications!

Prof. Igor Duda, PhD, University of Pula
Anita Buhin, PhD, Nova University Lisbon
Tina Filipović, EUI Florence / University of Zagreb
Sara Žerić, IOS Regensburg


A detailed workshop programme will be available in June 2024, after the application and selection process. The workshop will start on Wednesday, August 28, late afternoon and end on Saturday, August 31, noon. Keynote speakers are listed in the call. Every participant who is a PhD student will have 15 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for discussion. Programmes of past workshops are available online.


Igor Duda,
Tina Filipovic,

CfP: Refugees in Global Transit: Encounters, Knowledge, and Coping Strategies in a Disrupted World, 1930s–50s

3 months 2 weeks ago

Conference in Mumbai, 13 - 14 February 2025

Between the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s and decolonization after World War II, a range of non-Western, in many cases colonial, regions became hubs for people in transit. A growing body of new research on refugees “In Global Transit” ( many of them Jews in flight from Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe, has highlighted this forced migration to, and in, the Global South. Scholars are documenting refugee encounters with local populations and colonial authorities, their search for more permanent new homes, as well as their attempts to maintain contact with, and facilitate the escape of, those left behind.

Refugees in Global Transit: Encounters, Knowledge, and Coping Strategies in a Disrupted World, 1930s–50s

This conference builds on the emerging scholarship on cultural, social, and political encounters – connections and disconnects – among diverse groups of European and non-European refugees and with highly stratified host populations, including existing Jewish communities, colonial officials and settlers, and other migrants. While much of this research has relied on sources produced by state or colonial officials or the refugees themselves, this conference aims to explore new approaches and sources that require knowledge of local and national languages, archives, and histories.

“Transit” refers to individual and collective experiences of living in-between – that is, in spaces people did not envision remaining in permanently. However, it also refers to regions and countries like Turkey, Palestine, and India, where refugees from Nazi Europe found a safe haven while these regions were themselves undergoing turbulent transitions.

Examining this volatile historical moment raises further questions applicable to other refugee and migrant experiences in crisis: What kinds of knowledge transfer can we observe, and what kinds of boundaries and prejudices obstructed such transfers? What were the differential impacts of class, gender, and age on notions of ethnic, national, “racial,” and religious differences? And how can we uncover the long-term memories of this global diaspora of WWII refugees after most of them moved beyond their transit spaces in the decades following independence, state building, and – in some cases – new forms of forced migration?

We welcome paper proposals for an international conference that brings together scholars with an interdisciplinary and cross-epochal approach and are especially interested in exchange with and among scholars in and/or from the Global South. This conference aims to focus specifically on:

- hospitality, friendship, and enmity
- peaceful and violent encounters, connections, disconnects, and separations
- processes of and obstacles to knowledge transfer and cultural translation
- the formation and perception of diasporas
- memories in and of transit.

The conference will be held in English. Individual paper presentations are limited to 20 minutes. Proposals for entire panels (up to three papers) are welcome. Proposals, which should include a title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, a CV, and contact information (address, phone, email) must be submitted ONLINE ( in one pdf by April 30, 2024. Applicants will be informed about the acceptance of their paper by the end of June 2024.

Accommodation will be arranged and paid for by the conference organizers. Participants will make their own travel arrangements; funding subsidies for travel are available upon request for selected scholars, especially those who might not otherwise be able to attend the workshop, including junior scholars and scholars from universities with limited resources. Please inform us if you can utilize funds from your home institution to participate in the conference. There is no registration fee.

CfP: Enfants et enfances dans l’histoire de l’Afrique (French)

3 months 2 weeks ago

Le huitième numéro de Revue d’Histoire Contemporaine de l’Afrique (RHCA), à paraître en juin 2025, sera consacré au thème « Enfants et Enfances dans l'histoire de l'Afrique », sous la direction de Kelly Duke Bryant (Rowan University, États-Unis) et Kalala Ngalamulume (Bryn Mawr College, États-Unis).

Date limite de l'envoi des résumés: 15 avril 2024

Enfants et enfances dans l’histoire de l’Afrique

Avec plus de 60 pour cent de la population âgée de moins de 25 ans, l’Afrique est reconnue comme le continent le plus jeune du monde. Il est évident que les vies des enfants de l’Afrique sont façonnées par de nombreuses forces et institutions, au-delà de leur seule famille ou leur communauté locale, tels que l’État, les ONG, les organisations religieuses, les institutions scolaires ou la société civile. En même temps, les éléments locaux, comme la socialisation de l’enfant, la taille de la famille et ses moyens financiers, la santé et l’accès aux soins médicaux, les liens sociaux hors du foyer, etc., influencent la vie quotidienne des enfants africains. Pour mieux comprendre ces enfants d’aujourd’hui, qui font face à tant de défis à surmonter, mais qui auront aussi de nouvelles opportunités, il faut connaître leurs histoires: histoires récentes autant que lointaines, histoires de leurs expériences vis-à-vis des organisations et des influences locales mentionnées ci-dessus. Il faut aussi s'interroger sur ce que le mot « enfant » a signifié et signifie toujours en pratique dans différentes sociétés africaines et à des époques différentes, en se concentrant sur le 19e siècle à nos jours. Nous avons utilisé l’expression « enfants et enfances » dans le titre de ce numéro thématique pour indiquer que nous nous intéressons à la fois à l’histoire de l’enfance du point de vue des institutions et des adultes qui la règlent et la surveillent, et à l’histoire des enfants eux-mêmes: leurs expériences, leurs perspectives, leurs actions. Deuxièmement, notre utilisation du pluriel, « enfants et enfances » sert à rappeler qu’il n’existe ni une enfance africaine seule et unique, ni un « type » d’enfant africain. Il faut noter aussi qu’il est difficile de délimiter les âges de la vie, et de faire une distinction entre enfance et jeunesse, en raison des variations de culture, de période, de régime juridique ou politique. Les principaux objectifs du numéro, donc, consistent à réfléchir à ces termes, à explorer comment les enfants ont façonné et ont été façonnés par les sociétés dans lesquelles ils vivaient, et à retracer les développements significatifs de l’historiographie récente (Goerg 2012 ; George 2014 ; Razy et Rodet 2016 ; Walters 2016 ; Chapdelaine 2021 ; Duff 2022).

Considéré par les historien·nes comme le texte fondateur de l’histoire de l’enfance (même s’il a fait l’objet de nombreux débats et critiques), L’Enfant et la vie familiale sous l’Ancien Régime de Philippe Ariès paraît en 1960 et contribue de façon cruciale à faire de l’enfance un objet d’histoire à part entière. En effet, avant Ariès, l’enfance attirait plutôt l’attention de chercheurs formés dans d’autres disciplines, telles que l’anthropologie, la médecine, la sociologie ou la psychologie. Bien que ses conclusions aient été vivement débattues voire rejetées, la publication de cet ouvrage, et sa traduction en anglais qui paraît en 1962, a amené de nombreux autres spécialistes à écrire sur l’histoire de l’enfance, notamment en Europe et en Amérique du Nord (Alexandre-Bidon et Lett 1997). D’après Heidi Morrison (2012) et Peter Stearns (2008), les spécialistes d’autres régions, notamment d’Afrique, ont commencé à étudier la question de l’histoire de l’enfance vers la fin du 20e siècle. Les africanistes, spécialistes de l’Afrique subsaharienne autant que spécialistes du Maghreb, ont examiné ce sujet en s’appuyant sur les recherches des anthropologues, qui s'intéressent depuis longtemps aux questions de la famille, des rites de passage, du mariage, des relations sociales entre les générations, ou des étapes de la vie.

Durant les dernières décennies, les travaux sur l’histoire des enfants se sont focalisés sur trois questions ou thèmes principaux: les différences et liaisons entre l’histoire des enfants et l’histoire de l’enfance ; les effets et les limites de la capacité d’action des enfants (et à l’inverse, les questions autour de l’enfant comme victime, ou l’enfant marginalisé) ; et le problème des sources primaires qui nous permettent de mieux comprendre et écrire ces histoires. Ce problème des sources est particulièrement important quand il s’agit de l’histoire des enfants eux-mêmes, étant donné les limites de l’alphabétisation en Afrique, et du passé et des types de documents créés et conservés qui, d’habitude, privilégient les voix des adultes. Les africanistes se sont penchés sur chacune de ces questions.

Concernant la première piste, certaines études se focalisent sur l’histoire des organisations ou des institutions qui s’occupaient des enfants (comme les écoles, les orphelinats, les tribunaux) ou bien sur les lois ou politiques gouvernementales concernant les enfants, tandis que d’autres s’occupent des expériences et des perspectives des enfants eux-mêmes. Souvent, les sources primaires posent des limites sur ce qu’on peut savoir, étant donné que la plupart des documents ont été écrits et conservés par et pour des adultes. Chez les africanistes, on peut voir cette séparation nettement. De plus, la plupart des études examinent l’histoire des organisations (souvent coloniales) créées pour les enfants. Par conséquent, nous comprenons mieux l’évolution de l’école coloniale, par exemple, ou des orphelinats liés aux missions catholiques que les vies des enfants qui y vivaient (Bouche 1974; Barthélémy 2003). Ce n’est qu’assez récemment, dans les années 2000, que les chercheur·ses ont commencé à écrire l’histoire des expériences des enfants africains, comme élèves, travailleurs, délinquants, orphelins, réfugiés, ou membres d’une famille et communauté. Pourtant, il est fondamental de comprendre les perspectives des enfants et non pas seulement l’histoire du monde des adultes car, contrairement à la position avancée dans l'article controversé de Sarah Maza (2020), les enfants ont eu des impacts sur leurs familles, leurs communautés, et même la politique.

Quant au questionnement portant sur la capacité d’action des enfants, de nombreuses études qui s’y rapportent concluent simplement que les enfants ont eu une certaine capacité d’action dans tel ou tel milieu et période, au lieu d’examiner l’impact de leur action sur la famille, l’école, la communauté, etc. Dans son article sur l’histoire des écoliers à distance au Canada, Mona Gleason (2016) utilise le terme d’« agency trap » pour décrire cette tendance, qu’elle nous encourage à éviter. Jusqu’à récemment, les africanistes se sont souvent concentrés sur les enfants marginalisés ou sur les enfants en tant que victimes (Robertson et Klein 1983 ; Thioub 1993 ; Grier 2006). Or, nous devons aussi souligner que certains enfants pouvaient agir et avoir un impact sur leur propre vie ou sur celle des autres, même s’ils étaient limités par les conditions dans lesquelles ils vivaient. Plusieurs études l’ont établi et il est désormais temps de mieux comprendre les effets des actions des enfants africains sur l’histoire africaine (Lord 2011; George 2014; Razy et Rodet 2016; Duff 2022). En même temps, les expériences vécues par les enfants africains eux-mêmes font partie de l’histoire du continent, et nous devons les étudier pour mieux comprendre cette histoire.

Chez les historien·nes de l’enfance, la question des sources primaires (notre troisième thème) est souvent difficile. La plupart des sources primaires ont été produites par des adultes (et surtout par des hommes, des personnes alphabétisées, des personnes ayant du pouvoir). C’est un défi pour ceux et celles qui effectuent des recherches sur l’histoire de l’enfance dans n’importe quelle région, mais surtout pour l’Afrique, où la scolarisation massive n’a été atteinte qu’assez récemment. Il faut alors souvent lire les archives « against the grain », ou entre les lignes, pour découvrir l’histoire de l’enfance et surtout l’histoire des enfants. Aussi, comme Christopher Lee (2010) l’a noté, les archives traitant les enfants sont souvent fragmentées, dispersées à travers plusieurs dossiers ou séries, voire ne sont que des fragments. Les historien·nes de l’Afrique contemporaine, pourtant, sont habitués à travailler sur des sources coloniales, et dans la recherche sur l’histoire des enfants et de l’enfance, on peut bénéficier d’autres méthodes: lire entre les lignes, s'appuyer sur d'autres disciplines, et utiliser des sources orales. L’histoire orale peut offrir des points de vue africains, mais ce genre de source pose également des problèmes, tels que l’inégalité de pouvoir entre le·la chercheur·se et l'interviewé·e, l’oubli, la durée de vie humaine, etc. Par conséquent, nous sommes particulièrement intéressés par des contributions qui sont fondées sur des sources inédites et/ou lisent et analysent les sources existantes en mettant l’accent sur les « voix » ou les actions des enfants.

Même si les chercheur·ses continuent à approfondir nos connaissances de cette histoire riche, dans les faits, le savoir de l’histoire de l’enfance et de la jeunesse en Afrique reste très incomplet. Et si les historien·nes anglophones ont publié plusieurs études en anglais sur ce thème, elles restent peu nombreuses en français (voir Goerg et al 1992; Ginio 2002; Ndao 2015). C’est pourquoi ce numéro thématique peine à définir et à mettre à jour le profil de « l’enfant » africain d’aujourd’hui et du passé, tout en admettant que cette définition était (est) toujours en constante évolution, et qu’il y a, de fait, de nombreuses définitions de l’enfant à travers le continent. Ce numéro thématique demande comment, d’un côté, les agent·es de l’État, les missionnaires et les chefs religieux, les travailleur·ses humanitaires, les instituteurs·trices, les parents et les autres personnes qui se sont intéressés aux enfants africains, et de l’autre, les enfants eux-mêmes, ont produit, ensemble, l’histoire de l’enfance en Afrique depuis le XIXe siècle. Ce numéro thématique aborde aussi les effets de la capacité d’action des enfants et ses limites, ainsi que celle des sources primaires qui peuvent révéler les « voix » des enfants.

Nous invitons des contributions d’environ 50 000 signes sur l’histoire des enfants ou des enfances, africaines dans n’importe quel pays africain, par rapport à l’un des sous-thèmes que nous décrivons ci-dessus. Chaque article doit être situé dans un contexte détaillé, et peut analyser soit une étude de cas, soit une source primaire (ou un ensemble de sources primaires). Nous invitons les auteur·e·s à faire attention à l’historiographie de l’Afrique, mais aussi à analyser des études qui traitent des thèmes pareils dans d’autres lieux. En plus des articles basés sur des recherches originales, nous encourageons les chercheur·ses à réfléchir à des idées pour les différentes rubriques de la revue, que ce soit Sources, terrains, contexte et Entretiens, ou Comptes-rendus critiques.

Axe 1: Les enfants africains chez eux

On a souvent tendance à croire que la vie des enfants dans leurs familles (nucléaires et élargies) ne représente aucun intérêt majeur pour les chercheur·ses. Mais à y regarder de près, on se rend compte qu’on a beaucoup de choses à apprendre sur ces premières années de formation des enfants. Parmi les sujets possibles, nous pouvons citer la socialisation de l’enfant à la vie en société (les normes, les habitudes, les croyances, le langage corporel, et la construction sociale de la réalité), la division du travail entre garçons et filles, les jeux des enfants, les moments de transmission du savoir ancestral au travers des proverbes ou des contes, sans oublier les chansons et les danses (Bâ, 1972, 1992, 1980 ; Lundy 2018). Ce sujet est important parce qu’il nous aide à mieux comprendre le monde des enfants en famille et entre eux, révélant des détails sur le point de vue des enfants sur le monde.

Axe 2: Les enfants africains et l’éducation formelle

Parmi ceux qui s’intéressent à l’histoire de l’enfance en Afrique contemporaine, il est évident qu’il faut inclure l’histoire de l’école. Effectivement, pendant des décennies, on a failli équivaloir l’histoire de l’école coloniale ou postcoloniale à l’histoire des enfants. Les historien·nes ont eu tendance à se focaliser sur l’institution de l’école, pour examiner, par exemple, le pouvoir de l'État colonial, la politique, ou l'aliénation culturelle parmi les (anciens) élèves. Mais nous ne connaissons ni les expériences scolaires des enfants africains ni leurs points de vue sur l’école. Nous en savons encore moins sur l’histoire de l’initiation à la vie d’adulte subie par l’enfant dans sa famille et/ou sa communauté, la façon dont cette éducation a changé pendant et après l’époque coloniale, et les impacts sur les expériences et les idées de l’enfance. Et il nous reste beaucoup à apprendre au sujet de l’éducation religieuse et son influence sur l’enfant. Nous sollicitons donc des articles au sujet de l’histoire de l’éducation au sens large, les effets d’une telle éducation sur les enfants et/ou les impacts de l’action des enfants africains sur leur éducation (les années formatives, l’éducation religieuse, publique/privée, etcetera).

Axe 3: Les enfants africains et la santé

Dans cette partie, nous sollicitons des articles qui traitent des questions liées à la santé de l’enfant et à la maladie de l’enfance. Les enfants sont demeurés presque invisibles dans les études sur médecine coloniale en Afrique (Feierman 1985 ; Vaughan 1991). Dans la période postcoloniale, les études historiques sur la santé des enfants sont de valeur inégale sur le plan géographique et thématique. Les deux dernières décennies ont vu un changement de focale, depuis la malaria (Trape 2002 ; -Feltrer 2008), la vaccination (Périères 2022) et la polio (Makoni 2020) vers les enfants orphelins à cause du SIDA et les problèmes auxquels ils ont fait face (Filteau 2009). Dans ce numéro, nous nous intéressons à l’étiologie des maladies des enfants, aux options thérapeutiques disponibles, à l'itinéraire du patient entre la médecine traditionnelle et la biomédecine, au personnel soignant les enfants, et aux médicaments. Nous voudrions aussi des contributions sur les expériences des enfants avec la biomédecine, y compris l’introduction des maternités par les autorités coloniales et leur acceptation par les femmes de diverses catégories sociales ou religieuses, les questions liées à la vaccination et à l'immunité, et le lien entre l'accès à l'école et la vaccination, aussi bien que l’expérience des enfants avec les maladies émergentes comme le virus Ebola et celui du Covid-19.

Axe 4: Les enfants africains et les espaces publics

Pour ce dernier axe, nous invitons les chercheur·ses à contribuer à l’histoire des enfants africains dans les lieux publics, que ce soient les espaces physiques comme les rues ou les marchés, ou les espaces métaphoriques comme la rhétorique, le discours politique ou l’action humanitaire. Nous nous intéressons surtout aux histoires des enfants qui ont rencontré les vecteurs de pouvoir de l’État ou des ONGs en traversant ces espaces publics. Ces « corps en mouvement » peuvent inclure des enfants de la rue, des mendiants, des vendeurs ambulants, des enfants réfugiés, ou des enfants soldats. La littérature a beaucoup écrit sur les enfants soldats ou les enfants mendiants contemporains, et on commence à mieux connaître l’histoire des organisations humanitaires que se concentrent sur le sort des enfants (Baughan 2022), mais nous devons en savoir plus sur l’influence de ces espaces publics et les entités qui ont tenté de les mettre en ordre sur les enfants qui y vivaient et sur leur influence sur l’idée même d’une « enfance africaine ». Nous ne suggérons pas ici que l’expérience de la violence ou d’être « enfant-soldat » est ou était typiquement africain en Afrique. C’est un phénomène plus récent lié surtout à l’exploitation illégale des « minerais de sang » et c’est la raison pour laquelle nous proposons un thème plus large. Ce sont donc les enfants, (souvent, mais pas toujours, marginalisés), dans l’espace et en rapport avec les vecteurs de pouvoir que nous voudrions examiner ici.

Calendrier et modalités de soumission

15 avril 2024: Envoi des résumés. Veuillez envoyer un résumé 500 mots maximum accompagné d’une biographie d’environ 100 mots aux adresses suivantes: et

15 juillet 2024: Envoi des articles. Les auteur·e·s invités devront envoyer leurs articles de 55 000 caractères maximum, espaces comprises et incluant bibliographie et résumés. Les articles doivent être inédits. Pour les consignes aux auteur·e·s voir:

Automne 2024: évaluation.

Juin 2025: Publication


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