CfP ELHN Working group Arctic and Indigenous labour

Call for papers, deadline 1 September 2023

Call for papers ELHN Working group Arctic and Indigenous labour

Fifth ELHN Conference Uppsala, 11-13 June 2024

The EHLN working group Arctic and Indigenous Labour wants to bring together scholars interested in the historiography of indigenous labour in settler colonies in and outside Europe.

Many labour historians associate indigenous history with non-European history. However, until today only Norway and Denmark are among the 23 countries which have ratified the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169 of the International Labour Organisation. While appearing as models for labour relations worldwide, scholars have paid little interest to the working and living conditions of indigenous people in the Nordic countries. Even though the process of industrialisation in the Nordic countries is based on settler colonialism in the Nordic countries, this has not been part of labour history.

There are good reasons for labour historians to think about the synergies that come from labour history and indigenous history, as our colleagues from other parts of the world have shown.

  • The synergies are first conversations about dispossessive commons and capitalism.
  • Secondly, perspectives in labour history that go beyond wage labour and address the topics of feminist labour history, unpaid labour, as well as race and racialization in settler colonialism and forced labour.
  • Thirdly, it refreshes old and new insights about work culture, customs, rituals, kin and community and culture as it is lived out in changing capitalism.
  • And fourthly emphasizes the interaction between indigenous histories and the strong political protests among indigenous  people.

The Working Group offers a meeting space for labour and indigenous historians to exchange discussions about theoretical frameworks, specific methods and blind spots in labour history.

With this call for papers, we invite you to submit proposals for papers, panels or workshop ideas no later than 1 September 2023 to

We also encourage the inclusion of indigenous scholars and activists in the planning and implementing of your activities at the ELHN.

The proposal should include a title, a short abstract (max of 500 words) for each paper, bios of the participant, and affiliation and contact details. If you want to submit a panel, send an abstract for the entire panel and each presentation included. For any other format, we need abstracts and names, affiliations and contact details of participants.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

We are looking forward to your submissions!

Helle Stenum and Silke Neunsinger