The Society for the History of War – in collaboration with the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies, the Research School for Political History, the Netherlands Institute for Military History, the Faculty of Military Sciences of the Netherlands Defence Academy, and the University of Amsterdam – invites proposals for a conference on the global history of war and empire. This will be a face-to-face conference in Amsterdam on 24-25 November 2022.
Our keynote speaker for the event is Professor Santanu Das (All Souls College, Oxford) who will discuss the cultural aspects of global history and memory of war and empire. This will be held at Doelenzaal, University of Amsterdam Library at 16:00 on 25 November 2022. The keynote lecture is a public event open to all. It will be followed by a drink’s reception for conference attendees.
While war was the pre-eminent force in the making of a truly globalised world, histories of empire and war remain marginal to much of global and world history. At the same time, the role of force in the establishment and defence of imperial rule, the relationship between violence, colonialism and anti-colonialism, as well as the legacies and continuities of colonial violence are the subject of fierce scholarly and societal debate. This conference seeks to provide a space for a measured and informed analysis of war and empire, taking a global and transnational view of the place of violence in the making and remaking of colonial states and societies. In this call for proposals we invite the submission of papers and panels that explore some of the following themes:
- New chronologies, periodisations, framings. How do we get beyond established periodisations and the limits they impose (to connect the colonial and postcolonial, but also transmissions across and along imperial chronologies – i.e. relationship between ‘first’ and ‘second’ British empires; between colonial conquest (pre-1900) and anti-colonial resistance (post-1900); the colonial roots of counter-insurgency, and militarised policing.
- New geographies (and post-geographies). How can we write a truly global history of war and empire, across and between national and imperial frames?
- Culture, conflict, history – How did imperial cultures of race, gender, sexuality inform military praxis from the barracks to the battlefield? What might a cultural history of imperial conflict look like?
- Nations/empires/wars/histories – How did nation states fight imperial wars? How did the fact of empire, and of imperial conflict, shape histories and historiographies of war? When, why and how did war (and its histories) become a national (as opposed to an imperial) enterprise? How did shifts from nations, to empires, and back, work through?
- Political economy & imperial war – How were wars financed, and their costs and benefits calculated? Can we (should we) revisit imperialism and military fiscalism?
- Empire, war, genocide – were imperial wars ‘exterminatory’? Was genocidal violence incubated in the colonies, or do the problems of genocide reflect and sustain the violence of empire?
- Empire, law, war – How was imperial war shaped by imperial law? Did human rights transform imperial war, or was the colonial battlefield a space of exception?
- Emotions, senses and imperial war: how were empire’s wars felt and sensed…?
- The contemporary politics of war and empire, and the relationship between the two – have become central preoccupations of the contemporary culture war.
We invite scholars interested in any aspect of War and Empire to submit proposals for papers or panels that will allow us to gain new insights into similarities and differences between Empires across time and space. We would particularly welcome early innovative and/or interdisciplinary methodological approaches that aim to highlight the range and complexity of imperial encounters and their legacies.
Submission process: We welcome proposals for individual papers or for themed panels. Postgraduate students are explicitly encouraged to participate in panels or to submit their own panel proposals or individual papers. The conference is intended to offer a constructive environment in which to present work in progress to a specialist audience.
- Panels will last for 90 minutes each and should have three speakers and a chair. Each paper should be no longer than 20 minutes to leave sufficient time for discussion.
- Individual paper proposals must include a paper title, a 300-word abstract of the paper, and a one-page CV with current contact information / email address. If accepted, individual papers will be assigned by the program committee to an appropriate panel with a chair and commentator.
- Panel proposals must include a panel title and 300-word abstract summarizing the theme of the panel; a paper title and a 300-word abstract for each proposed paper proposed; and a one-page CV for each panellist (including the chair and commentator).
- Roundtable proposals must include a roundtable title, a 300-word abstract summarizing the roundtable’s themes and points of discussion, and a one-page CV for each participant (including the chair / moderator).
The deadline for proposals is July 31. Please send all the relevant paperwork to firstname.lastname@example.org making it clear that you are responding to this particular CfP. The conference organizers will make a decision on the final programme by the end of August. We assume that the conference will be face-to-face but a decision on how the event is staged will depend on circumstances relating to the global pandemic.
SHoW is a small society of volunteers. We are committed to promoting and developing equality, diversity and inclusivity through our work and to ensuring that our events are accessible, welcoming and collegiate. To this end, we will provide three travel bursaries of 350EUR to support the participation of scholars from groups and institutions who are currently underrepresented in the field. We are particularly keen to support applications from scholars based in the global south and from others whose participation will help to ensure a plurality of voices. To apply for a travel bursary, applicants should submit a brief cover letter, explaining how their participation will help to achieve our goals, together with a CV and a copy of their abstract (as a single document).
The conference is organised on a not-for-profit basis. Attendance costs to participate in the conference are to cover travel bursaries, daily refreshments, room hire, lunch and an evening reception. Members of the Society for the History of War receive a discounted attendance fee as will new joiners. Participants may attend without joining SHoW.
To attend one day:
Join SHoW €50.00
To attend two days:
Join SHoW €55.00
Conference organisers have identified potential hotels where participants can take advantage of cheaper room rates. This information will be posted after the organising committee have published the conference programme. A conference dinner for participants is under consideration. More details of this will follow the issuing of a conference programme later in the year.