This workshop will explore the emotional dimension of property transfers that accompanied expulsion and ethnic cleansing in Europe and other regions of the world in the mid-20th century. While much ink has been spilled over the fate of displaced people, the property that was left behind has attracted little attention. It is common knowledge that the property of displaced people – be it evacuees, refugees or expellees – was subject to confiscation, looting and destruction. Much less is known, however, about the emotional impact that losing and acquiring such belongings had on individuals and societies. This workshop will investigate how emotions triggered by mass property transfers shaped the reconstruction of the social order in the affected states among the displaced and dispossessed people, and among their successors.
We invite 20-minute papers on “material feelings” dealing with three regions of the world that were most affected by population and property transfers in the second half of the 1940s: East/Central Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East. Some possible lines of inquiry are:
- What emotions did property loss and gain trigger at both the personal and collective levels?
- What role did those emotions play in shaping individual trajectories, family stories, and the overall reconstruction of the social order?
- To what extent did property transfer contribute to the emergence of “emotional communities”?
- What strategies helped the new administrators and proprietors overcome the “otherness” of things left behind?
- How and why were “material feelings” transmitted to new generations, and how did they change over time?
We welcome papers from scholars in a variety of disciplines, including history, anthropology, sociology, law, and cultural, literary and film studies.
Please send paper or panel proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short biographical statement (200 words) to Dr Ewa Stańczyk (email@example.com).
Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2018. Selected speakers will be contacted by 30 January 2018.
The workshop will take place at the Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO), Lepzig, on 24 and 25 May 2018. Funds will be available towards travel and accommodation costs. Selected papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of a peer-review journal.
This workshop is supported by the Leibniz ScienceCampus Eastern Europe – Global Area.
Dr Ewa Stańczyk
Lecturer in East European Studies
University of Amsterdam, Department of History
Oost Indisch Huis, Kloveniersburgwal 4
1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands