Call For Papers

This database has been created in order to facilitate exchange of information on the latest initiatives in the field of history and memory of 20th century in Europe. If you are looking for opportunities, check out current calls for applications / papers below. If you organise a relevant event, feel free to add your call by clicking the blue arrow:

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  1. Type: Publication
    Deadline: 30-04-2020
    Organiser: Praktyka Teoretyczna / Theoretical Practice Journal

    Subversive Concepts in Revolutionary Times

    Abstract submission deadline: April 30, 2020

    Text submission deadline: September 15, 2020

    Planned date of publication: March 2021

    For centuries revolutionary movements have sought adequate categories to both criticize the existing world and to express the desire for a new one. Medieval Heretics, French revolutionaries, Russian social-democrats one hundred years later, or anticolonial militants – all had to face not only the armed forces defending the current order, but also confronted fossilized political discourses against which the expression of new ideas had to struggle.

    Yet while revolutionary movements radically and widely reshaped the political vernacular, historians have mainly restricted their studies to elite discourse. The so-called Cambridge School, the influential German tradition of Begriffsgeschichte, or Jacques Guilhaumou and his collaborators, for instance, have all worked with methodological tool-kits designed to investigate conceptual innovations pursued mainly by political or symbolic elites.

    While elite writers might act subversively by coining concepts that could become weapons in the hands of mass social movements, it is only in trickling down to the revolutionary masses who subsequently reappropriate and rearticulate those concepts, do they become truly popular and revolutionary.

    Movements not only wield concepts that transcend the limits of the political imaginary, their expression and communication extends beyond elite media. Songs, poems and tales, banners and wood engravings have all served as important media for the expression of popular unrest. So too have the hidden transcripts of reception applied to the more top-down discourses that questioned their intended impact on the ground.

    The central objective of this themed issue of Praktyka Teoretyczna is to overcome the existing elitist bias within the history of concepts. By applying novel methodological approaches and studying militant socio-political concepts along with their popular expression, we seek to examine subversive languages that have actively reconstructed understandings of the society and the enunciating subject. We invite contributions examining democratized, revolutionary concepts spreading across the social spectrum but also carrying the “popular” core, actively rebuilding society, concepts forged, profoundly redefined or, on the contrary, jettisoned by revolutionary movements. The scope of our interest is not limited to any particular place and time, we look for inspiring instances from different epochs and contexts.

    While the editors will accept article submissions for review without the prior submission of an abstract, we strongly encourage interested authors to contact us in advance. In the run-up to publication panels on the issue theme are planned for Historical Materialism London Conference 2020, History of Concepts Group Conference Berlin 2020 among others; the editors hope to develop a wider dialogue with potential contributors to the issue.

    Abstracts and full papers should be submitted via the online submission platform ( In exceptional cases, they may be sent directly to praktyka.teoretyczna(at)

    A special section will be dedicated to the conceptual change from below and the global shockwaves in the inter-revolutionary period between 1905 and 1917.

    Exemplary areas of inquiry:

    Peasants’ rebellions and their key concepts
    Proletarians and conceptual change
    Popular media and conceptual change
    Conceptual emanations of the multitude, rabble and crowd
    Rebellion and reaction: elitist concepts towards popular unrest
    Revolutionary concepts beyond language
    Socialists and bottom-up, people’s concepts: symbiosis or rivalry?
    Theorizing subversive concepts: revisits and reevaluations of established perspectives such as those of Pocock, Skinner, Koselleck, and others
    How to write the people’s history of concepts?
    Digital humanities and distant reading as means to tackle popular revolutionary concepts

    Special section: the global impact of the 1905 Revolution and concepts during the inter-revolutionary prelude of 1905-1917.
  2. Type: Conference
    Deadline: 01-06-2020
    Location: Paris
    Organiser: George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention


    Contact details:

    Photographs play a central role in representations of the Holocaust. A few photographs have become so widespread and well-known that they are used in popular discourse as metonymic reminders of the genocide. And yet, often enough these iconic photographs do not actually depict what it is claimed that they depict. Instead, they are incorrectly attributed, mistakenly identified, and most importantly underanalyzed. This uncritical approach to the photography of persecution has resulted in significant misrepresentations of the Holocaust, especially in the popular imagination.

    Rather than treating photographic images taken under Nazi rule as self-explanatory, immediate, and self-contained, this conference invites interested scholars to approach photographs as they would other documents – by treating photographs as objects of historical inquiry and interrogating the political interests authorizing their creation, the material conditions under which they were produced, the editing process out of which they emerged and were displayed, and the uses to which they were put. The conference will focus on the photographic record of the persecution of Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe and its colonial possessions from 1933 to 1945.

    The conference organizers invite contributions that highlight what is missing from scholarly and public discourse about the photography of persecution. We welcome papers that shed new light on persecution and mass murder through an examination of photographic images. In particular, we seek papers that explore the historical context in which photographs were produced, that restore our critical distance to the narratives presented by the photographs, and that take up methodological problems associated with the use of photographic images as instruments of dictatorial rule or the resistance to it.

    We welcome contributions that focus on individual or serial photographic images, whether they are iconic or have yet to be widely distributed, whether they were taken by Jews, Nazis, local collaborators, public authorities, photojournalists, or amateur photographers.

    Suggested topics include:

    - The detailed and analytical assessment of photographic content, such as the profession, age, gender and demeanor of people depicted in the images, the environment and landscape, the presence of objects and buildings, or aesthetic aspects of the image;
    - Technical aspects of specific photographs, including color, light, paper, frame, format, and camera type;
    - Arguments about the intention and gaze of photographers;
    - The circumstances under which photographs were taken, developed, collected, displayed, and preserved;
    - The technical and narrative context in which photographs were presented, such as photo albums, printed books, and newspapers, between 1933 and 1945;
    - Photographic albums and the visual narratives they generate through the selection, placement, and sequencing of photographs as well as the captions commenting on them;
    - The uses of photographs in postwar venues, such as trials, oral histories, movies and comic books.

    At the conference, the organizers will arrange for the appropriate media that will enable contributors to present photographs in detail.

    The conference language is English. Proposals must include an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short narrative cv of no more than 250 words. Please send all materials to by June 1, 2020.
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