CfA: Children’s Experiences of Violence and Coercion in Europe since 1945

Call for abstracts, deadline 29 February 2024

17 - 19 October 2024, Universität Konstanz (Germany)

The workshop is the first of a series of events within the programme ‘Violence in East and West — Towards an Integrated History of 20th Century Europe’, funded by the VolkswagenStiftung. Its goal is to stimulate a comprehensive, multi-scalar and multi-territorial research and teaching on violence in the 20th century Europe.

Call for abstracts: Children’s Experiences of Violence and Coercion in Europe since 1945

The Chair of East European History at the University of Konstanz welcomes applications for a workshop dedicated to publishing a journal issue/edited volume on the topic of children’s experiences of violence and coercion in Europe since 1945. We plan to develop a multi-scalar approach that includes individual, bottom-up and local, as well as collective, institutional and national/transnational perspectives covering the second half of the 20th century, along with the 21st century.

We particularly welcome historians as well as researchers from other relevant fields (sociology, anthropology, political science, legal studies, gender studies, decolonial studies, pedagogy and psychology). The geographic focus of the workshop is Europe as a whole, both capitalist (Western democracies, Southern authoritarian regimes, Nordic welfare states) and socialist (including the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) countries. Comparative papers crossing the East-West divide are particularly welcomed. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

We remain open to papers reflecting on any relevant issues, for instance:
- Local, state and transnational policies towards protection of children against violence, particularly in time of transitions and transformations (relief organisations, care institutions, grassroots and formal substitute care)
- Domestic and systemic violence against children
- Children’s experiences of poverty, homelessness, hunger, labour (also as a result of previously experienced violence)
- Exclusion of and violence towards children from marginal groups
- Children born of war and occupation
- Post-war adaptation of child survivors (civilians, prisoners, forced labourers, refugees)
- Forced transfer and trafficking of children
- Trauma and resilience of children who experienced violence

The workshop’s goal is to offer a substantial space to discuss each other’s work, explore new research ideas, and build and extend networks of scholars of all career levels who research children’s post-war experiences of violence. After the workshop, we intend to publish selected papers as a special journal issue or edited volume. The aim of the set-up network would be to develop studies on the long-lasting consequences that World War II in Europe (as well as other later conflicts) had on child survivors, communities, and societies, as well as law, medicine, pedagogy, and welfare.

Accommodation (2 nights) and travel costs (within Europe) for the participants will be covered. The language of the workshop and further publication will be English.

Please send your abstract (max. 300 words) and a short bio to in a message entitled „WORKSHOP” by 29 February 2024. Decisions will be sent out by 31 March 2024.

If you are invited to participate, the deadline for a draft paper (work in progress, around 7000 words, in English), will be 15 September 2024. All paper drafts will be pre-circulated two weeks before the planned workshop, with one person selected as a respondent and the other participants expected to comment during the group discussions. The workshop will take place on 17-19 October 2024 at the University of Konstanz, Germany (Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning).

Organising committee: Maria Buko (Universität Konstanz), Jakub Gałęziowski (University of Warsaw), Pavel Kolář (Universität Konstanz).