CfP: Memories of Social Democracy, Trade Unions and the Labour Movement

Call for Papers, deadline 1 September 2018


Call for Papers: Memories of Social Democracy, Trade Unions and the Labour Movement
For a panel organized by Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger to be held at the Third Annual Memory Studies Association Conference, June 25-28th 2019, Madrid, Spain:

This panel has two goals: On the one hand it aims to figure out whether and how the labour movement’s achievements were and are still present in processes of collective remembrance in general. On the other hand it will focus on how organisations of social democracy and the labour movement themselves remembered and are remembering their own history.
Therefore we welcome contributions tackling the following issues:

- The history of memory of trade unions or labour-movement parties
- Remembrance of strikes and industrial conflicts
- Social insurances as ‘lieu de memoire’ of the labour movement
- Memories of codetermination and industrial democracy
- The history of memory of the women’s movement and the struggle for gender equality
- Internationalism in the labour movements’ collective remembrance
- The enforcement of social rights in collective remembrance

Submitted papers should address the following questions: Who remembers which events, processes and persons from the history of the labour movement and social democracy? Which intentions lay behind these remembrances? How did the memory of the labour movements’ struggles change from the early 20th century up to now and how did this shape the current state of memory cultures? How was collective memory used in political conflicts and what was its function for creating and changing identities of political organisations and movements? Which are ‘lieux de memoire’ of the labour movement, social democracy, and the trade unions?
Generally, two different perspectives can be taken to answer these questions: The ‘inner perspective’ analyses how actors from the labour movement remember their own history. In doing so, such an approach reconstructs memory cultures of labour movements. The ‘external perspective’ asks how the relevant issues are remembered in discourses and practices of remembrance in society as a whole and therefore sheds light on the labour movements’ and social democracy’s place in hegemonic memory cultures.

We are interested in papers of various scopes: from regional and national to transnational and global perspectives and from all disciplinary fields of memory studies. Please send your abstract (max. 1 page) and a short CV to Ulf Teichmann ( by September 1. We will then assemble a panel proposal from accepted papers and submit them to the Memory Studies Association submission system.