CfP: Museums as Agents of Memory and Change

25-26/04/2019, Estonian National Museum, Tartu, Estonia
Organisers: Estonian National Museum, University of Tartu
Keynote speakers confirmed: Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine (Birkbeck, University of London)

Museums have been shifting toward expanding their work from collecting and preserving to supporting and educating communities. They are using their collections to promote social change in the context of rising global demands on history and culture institutions. More than ever, dealing with the past is full of impediments and challenges for museums. How should they address a ‘global visitor’ who has little or no knowledge of the past – local, national or regional – to which the museum is dedicated? What stories should they tell and how, what memory cultures should they take into account? On the other hand, what have museums done and what do they intend to do in order to change the established way of remembering the past? What are the characteristics, risks and benefits in dealing with the difficult past in museums? What problems can museums tackle as they attempt to bring in changes to remembering and commemorating the past?

This conference aims to problematise museums as places of memory negotiations, and agents of societal change. While increasingly seeking to engage themselves in public life, museums are embedded in the fields of politics of memory and heritage, diverse, often disparate group interests, and power relations. How can a contemporary museum critically deal with the past and shape open debate and yet take into account diverse stakeholders and the versatility of narratives in play?

We welcome papers that approach the problems and dilemmas as well as best practices of contemporary museums as agents of memory and change:

How do museums position themselves in concurrent policies of memory and heritage? What are the roles of the museums in countries with targeted history politics? What dilemmas, possibilities and/or obstacles do they encounter in ‘memory-laden’ societies?
How do museums connect to transnational memory processes? What kind of new forms of remembrance should museums develop to make visible and/or seek to overcome tensions between group-specific, regional national and transnational memory?
How can museum relate historically specific and more abstract and structural experiences? Does anthropological universalisation have a place in national, regional or group-specific museums? How do museums address difference and shared legacy issues?
How is a transformation of the role of museums manifested in methods of visitor involvement? How are trends in recent museology linked to museums’ awareness of their role as public history agents? Are there specific trends in using media, material collections and oral histories to evoke open debate and awareness on memory matters? What topics and methods ‘work’ for different audiences, and why?
How should the issue of authorship and the autonomy of the curator in curating difficult histories (initiators, passive players, opposers) be addressed? Are curators independent agents in memory processes or do they mediate institutional points of view? Are there different practices in different types of museum (for example in art museums, cultural historical museums)?

We welcome submissions from a variety of disciplines and from museum professionals as well as academics.

Please submit your abstract of 300 words for a 20‐minute paper, along with a short CV, by October 15, 2018 to:

The conference language is English.

The conference fee of 100 EUR covers attendance to all sessions, lunches and coffee/tea breaks during the conference, welcome reception, and conference materials.

The time and venue of the conference is April 25-26, 2019 at the Estonian National Museum, Tartu, Estonia.

Notification of acceptance: November 15, 2018

Deadline for registration and conference fee payment: March 30, 2019

We are expecting to publish an edited collection based on a selection of the papers presented at the conference.

CFP: Monuments, The Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association of American Studies

25 – 27 April 2019 in Bergen, Norway

Submission deadline: 1 November 2018

Monuments construct the past in the present, and link it to a predetermined version of the future. Monuments tell singular and unified stories, acting as master narratives that impede other voices. Monuments have become some of America’s most important storytellers, giving form to power, but also to particular acts of resistance.

This is perhaps only to be expected, for the word “monument” bears within it the Latin mon, from monēre, which means “to remind,” but also means “to warn.” In its descriptive form “monumental” connotes something massive or imposing, something great in importance, but also expresses a sense of excess, of being overwhelmed. The word itself thus invites a chain of questions: What do monuments call to memory? What might they warn us against? What versions of events do they impose in presenting greatness? Who and what deserves recognition? How can monuments commemorate different or competing pasts? What should be done with monuments that uplift violent pasts?

The NAAS 2019 conference in Bergen on “Monuments” welcomes panel and paper proposals that address monuments and the monumental in relation to American literature, history, politics, media, art and popular culture, transnational and transcultural and comparative approaches. Keeping in mind that not all monuments are made of stone—Hemingway has been called a monument, political symbols and landscapes act as monuments, the literary canon and the Bible are monuments to Western culture—the list of different kinds of monuments is near endless. Some themes may be, but are not limited to:

Conceptualizations of the American past
Preservation and commemoration
Tradition and cultural heritage
Cultural perceptions, shifting attitudes towards the monument
Representation Memory and forgetting
Genre or aesthetic form
Landscapes, places and spaces
Resistance to the monument
The non-monumental
False memories

Please send abstracts and panel proposals to by 15 Sept. 2018. Abstracts for individual panel presentations (20 minutes) should be no longer than 250 words; proposals for panels or workshops should be no longer than 500 words. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in October.

The conference is open to scholars and students from all countries, but we offer lower registration fees to members of NAAS (Nordic Association for American Studies), EAAS (European Association for American Studies), and ASA (American Studies Association in the U.S.).

A conference website will be made available in the autumn. If you have any questions regarding the conference or your proposal before then, please write to the conference organizers at:

Conference organizers:
Jena Habegger-Conti, Associate Professor
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
President, American Studies Association of Norway

Asbjørn Grønstad, Professor
University of Bergen
Vice-President, American Studies Association of Norway

Lene Johannessen, Professor
University of Bergen
Committee Chair, American Studies Association of Norway

CfP: Guerrilla War and Insurgency: Lessons from History

Guerrilla warfare is an ancient concept. Sun Tzu wrote on the subject in the Art of War. Likewise, insurgencies have existed as long as there have been powers to wage them against. Insurgencies often utilize guerrilla warfare as a successful strategy in facing off against larger, more advantaged adversaries. Beyond this, the irregular war of this kind has been an element of almost every conflict ever fought. In recent years the study of, misleadingly labeled, ‘small wars’ has undergone a renaissance as the reality of their predominance has regained recognition among militaries and academics around the world. Insurgencies are able to absorb massive amounts of resources whilst serving to destabilize entire regions; indeed, insurgency can, and does, kill empires. For this reason, the study of conflicts from this lens is critical to understanding and confronting the world around us as well as the security concerns it presents.

This purpose of this book is to present and examine various historical examples of this form of war. Valuable lessons can be gleaned from examining and understanding past conflicts of this kind. Each of these conflicts hold their own unique characteristics as well as broad common themes. The nature of guerrilla warfare as it relates to insurgency and the way these forces confront ‘conventional’ advisories can inform approaches to modern irregular, hybrid, and even ‘conventional’ wars. In an effort to understand the complexity of these conflicts alternative perspectives and underrepresented examples will be introduced. By looking at these historical lessons our understanding can be considerably altered.

This book will compile a collection of chapters dealing with various and often overlooked historical examples of guerrilla insurgency. These chapters will present their unique qualities as well as common themes. Chapter subjects can focus on any aspect of their historical example and authors may approach the subject from whatever lens they feel appropriate. Authors are also free to emphasize, through their retelling of events, whatever particular themes, major policies, or particular policy / strategy disputes they feel to be of significance.

To give an example, the primary editor will be contributing a chapter examine the Yugoslavia revolt in the Second World War as a war of resistance, civil war, and revolution within the context of a larger conventional war.

Proposals for chapters dealing with historical examples that involve significant guerrilla theorists, for example, T.E Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, or Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution, would be most welcome. More significantly, underrepresented historical examples from antiquity and the modern period would be particularly well received. Authors dealing with the naval dimensions of insurgency/ Counter-insurgency and guerrilla warfare would be particularly welcomed.

Deadline for the chapter proposals: 31 October 2018

The Editor has existing relationships with several publishers who will be approached once the chapters have been assigned.

Please send a 300-word chapter proposal and a 150-word bio to

CfP: Post-War Transitions in Europe: Politics, States and Veterans (1918-1923)

Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin
28-30 March 2019

The Centre for War Studies of University College Dublin is pleased to host an international conference to commemorate the end of the centenary of the First World War. The conference aims to appraise how European WWI ex-service men and officers contributed to the creation of new states in Europe and participated through associative or political activism to the peace process.

Main themes
Papers will broadly deal with the following themes:
-WWI ex-service men and transnational networks in Europe
-WWI ex-service men and the peace process
-WWI ex-service men and politics
-WWI ex-servicemen and paramilitary violence in Europe
-WWI ex-service men and the creation of nation states throughout Europe

As we approach the end of the centenary of the First World War, the organisers invite a widespread multi-disciplinary response. In particular, they welcome proposals offering a transnational approach to the study of the demobilization of European armies. The conference organizer intends to organise a round-table around the work of George Mosse Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (1990). Historians, contributors to the conference, and the audience will debate whether the concept of “brutalisation” still has relevance.

The conference language will be English

Please send your proposal (title and abstract in English, French or German of no more than 500 words) and short CV to the conference organiser Emmanuel DESTENAY: The deadline for paper proposals is October 1st 2018.

Download full CfP: CALL FOR PAPER

CfP: War and Illness: Experiences and Patterns of Cultural Interpretation from Antiquity to the Present

Location: Aachen
Date: Thursday, 26 September–Saturday, 28 September 2019

Oganized by Arbeitskreis Militärgeschichte e.V. in cooperation with the Institute for the History, Theory, and Ethics of Medicine at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Oganizing committee: Gundula Gahlen (FU Berlin) / Dominik Groß (RWTH Aachen) / Ulrike Ludwig (GU Frankfurt am Main) / Mathias Schmidt (RWTH Aachen) / Jens Westemeier (RWTH Aachen

War brings not only death, but also illness. The experience of battle and the confrontation with violence, death, and injury take a heavy physical and psychological toll. Hunger and epidemic are conflict’s constant companions. Yet the illnesses that follow from war have been subject to significant change. This is due not only to the continually changing nature of war, but also to culturally varying definitions of illness. Illnesses have never been purely bodily, anthropologically stable phenomena, but always conditioned by social and cultural values and contextualizations.

The link between war and illness has rarely been comparatively investigated across historical periods. This conference thus seeks to offer a forum for current research on the subject and to sound out its limits and possibilities. It considers all physical or psychological phenomena that were labeled or treated as illnesses, and that were believed to be connected to war, whether they were understood as ‘war illnesses’ in a strict sense (e.g., as the result of the experience of war, as in the case of shell shock or war wounds) or as common concomitants of war (e.g. epidemics). We hope, in the course of multi- and interdisciplinary discussions, to tease out continuities, ruptures, and shifts in this history, as well as to develop new perspectives on the connection between war and illness.

In order to focus and structure the discussion, we ask for contributions in the following three thematic areas:

1. Concepts and frames, limits and possibilities of communication about war and illness across time. Rather than attempt to retroactively diagnose, we wish to illuminate and compare culturally and historically determined conditions of illness and the language used to describe them. Which cultural codes, symbolic transformations, mental-historical foundations, and discursive contexts can be identified? How and in what contexts were the sensations, symptoms, and behaviors of illness described, interpreted, and re-interpreted? What were the limits of public utterances on and demonstrations of illness? When and how did these limits change, and why? How does the language around illness differ across historical and cultural contexts?

2. The significance of illness to the (military and civilian) participants of war. How did the fear or endurance of illness influence the expectations, experience, and memory of war? When did fear cripple or disrupt the readiness for war? What forms of self- and professional help were employed to protect participants either before or during the war, or to restore their health afterwards? How was the suffering and treatment of illness experienced and remembered? In this context, the question of the long-term effects of war illnesses is also interesting. Papers investigating the role of illness in individual and collective memories of war would be welcome, as would papers analyzing societal approaches to people who suffered from chronic illnesses ‘acquired’ during war.

3. Connections between illness and injury, salvation and healing. This includes considerations of medical care in the military, but also magical or religious methods of healing. How did sanitary conditions and military hospitals develop, and what was their relationship to alternative medicines? What impact did war have as a ‘medical laboratory’ on the development of medicine and the position of doctors? And what self-image and reputation did healers, doctors, caregivers, and other medical professionals – who served both as ‘saviors’ and as instruments of war – cultivate?

We welcome papers on a variety of eras with a military and/or medical-historical focus. In addition to empirical case studies, we also strongly encourage more theoretically oriented papers that demonstrate the potential of different methodological-theoretical approaches and concepts, or thematic comparative studies spanning multiple historical periods.

Please send proposals (up to one page) and biographical information (up to two pages) to Gundula Gahlen ( by 31 July 2018.


The journal Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, invites submissions for the Fall 2019 issue.

Guest Editor: William Chapman

Sites of war and conflict that symbolize collective loss or that served as pivotal moments in national or global history are sometimes elevated to the status of “heritage.” Battlefields, sites of bombings, or places of terrorist attacks are all marked by human tragedy and acts of violence and their interpretation is inherently conflictual. This issue of Change Over Time examines heritage produced by violent acts of destruction and our efforts to commemorate the complex narratives these sites embody.

To support the interpretation of sites characterized by absence, we have often erected commemorative memorials of various forms from plaques and commissioned statuary to the presentation of charred and damaged remnants of what stood before. Examples featuring the vestiges of physical destruction include: the hull of the USS Arizona, sunk during Japan’s 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor; the skeleton of the domed administrative building that marked the zero point of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945; the stabilized walls of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Coventry, a victim of the German Luftwaffe’s November 1940 blitz; and the “Survivors’ Stairs,” the last remaining element of the World Trade Center following its destruction on 11 September 2001. In this issue, we invite contributors to interrogate the types and nature of heritage produced out of war and conflict, the forms of its commemoration, and the challenges associated with its conservation. We encourage contributors to consider the influence of class, politics, and culture in commemorative expressions; the technical and conceptual challenges of conserving objects or places of destruction; inclusive or conflicting (re)interpretation; and evolving perceptions of places over time.

We welcome contributions representing a broad array of geographic, cultural, temporal, and historical contexts that may or may not include vestiges of destruction but that do address the complex attributes of collective place based tragedy. Submissions may include, but are not limited to, case studies, theoretical explorations, and evaluations of current practices or policies as they pertain to the conservation and commemoration of heritage of war and conflict.

Abstracts of 200-300 words are due 1 August 2018. Authors will be notified of provisional paper acceptance by 1 September 2018. Final manuscript submissions will be due late November 2018.

Articles are generally restricted to 7,500 or fewer words (the approximate equivalent to thirty pages of double-spaced, twelve-point type) and may include up to ten images. See Author Guidelines for full details at, or email Senior Associate Editor, Kecia Fong at for further information.

CfP – The Many Faces of War: An interdisciplinary symposium on the experience and impact of war throughout history

September 19th, 2018 at South Dakota State University

The study of warfare is often restricted to the sphere of military history and rarely allowed to transcend the artificial boundaries of historical study, namely those limited by geography and periodization. Throughout the ages war has had the greatest impact, not on the political elite who declare wars but on those who fight and die and their families and friends. This conference aims to address both the experience and impact of war for those fighting as well as for those on the periphery of combat.

Subtopics of particular interest are:
Women in war; the social stigma of retreat or cowardice; war and agriculture; the impact of scorched earth policy on populations; The depopulation of villages; war’s effect on birth or marriage rates of the loss of male citizens; prisoners of war; camp-followers and non-military personnel; displacement of populations; arms production; social security systems for war widows and orphans; the effect of training on a soldier’s mindset and actions (before, during and after combat); the social position of soldiers; peacetime relations between soldiers and civilians; wartime relations between civilians and occupying armies.

The conference is aimed equally at postgraduate students, researchers in the early stages of their careers and established academics. There are no specific geographical or temporal parameters regarding the subject matter of papers, and scholars of ancient, medieval and modern warfare are encouraged to submit proposals. We would also encourage the proposal of panels of three papers.

Proposals/abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and should be sent to:
Graham Wrightson (
The deadline for submission of proposals is August 31st, 2018.