CfP: Reimagining Citizenship in Postwar Europe

Call for papers, deadline 4 October 2021

Although fighting in the European theatre of World War II officially ended in May 1945, for millions of displaced and homeless individuals the struggle had only begun. Large groups of ethnic minorities were subjected to resettlement policies that uprooted them from their former homes. Others, mainly from Eastern Europe, fought against repatriation to their countries of origin. At the same time, Allied occupiers and new governments across the continent began to rethink what sovereignty might look like after the war. In the decades to come, new states and citizens would contest the very bounds of belonging in the postwar world.

Uniting all these developments was the question of citizenship – what it meant, who had it, and how to get it. The concept of citizenship is not a new one. Since the Greek polis established one of the first models of citizenship, its meaning has been subjected to constant debate and renegotiation. Today, citizenship is understood as a right and a responsibility with political, legal, social, and cultural dimensions, a set of „participatory rights and claims“, in the words of Kathleen Canning. Because citizenship is a concept that is both powerful and ambiguous yet also inherently unstable, in Frederick Cooper’s formulation, it is an ideal lens through which to explore the structure of society and how it changes over time.

This two-part workshop will explore how, in the years after World War II, citizenship took on new significance as states and individuals began renegotiating their positions in society vis-a-vis race, nationality, class, gender, and sexuality. It aims to draw attention to the complex and diverse ways that citizenship was being debated, constructed, and experienced. It will do so by examining this issue from a wide range of geographical, methodological, and social perspectives. The workshop will produce an edited volume that will shed light on groups and regions that have been relatively neglected in previous studies. In particular, we are interested in exploring citizenship and belonging from the perspectives of race, gender, and sexuality. Geographically, we are keen to account for the experiences of individuals and groups in Eastern/Central Europe and the Soviet Union as well as Western Europe.

We therefore invite chapter proposals from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We particularly encourage submissions from early-career academics. The following is a suggested, but by no means exhaustive, list of topics that may be addressed:

- LGBTQ+ and citizenship
- Empire and citizenship
- Gender and citizenship
- Race and citizenship
- Shifts in the meanings of citizenship
- Refugees and statelessness
- Citizenship lost and/or regained
- Identity and belonging
- The Cold War and citizenship
- Multi-level citizenship
- Citizenship and law

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a two-page CV to Dr. Rachel Chin ( and Dr. Samuel Huneke ( by Friday, October 4, 2021. Those selected will participate in two workshops: one in February / March 2022, in which authors will discuss chapter outlines, and one in June/July 2022, in which authors will circulate and discuss fully drafted chapters. The first workshop will be conducted on Zoom. There is a possibility (contingent on COVID-19) that the second workshop will be held in person. If the second meeting is held in person, funding will be available for all participants to attend who do not have access to institutional resources. After completion of the two workshops, participants will be asked to submit their papers for publication in a collected volume.