The concept of crisis has been employed by political, economic, social, and cultural historians in order to analyze the weakening or breakdown of established systems, institutions, social relations, norms and values. Crises are periods of rapid change and upheaval, which generate a variety of options that should not be interpreted in hindsight as fixed outcomes but rather should be viewed as open-ended processes. At this conference we welcome contributions about crises occurring in international relations, domestic politics and economic systems. We are equally interested in the erosion of social cohesion and rules as well as cultural ties. The second key term is solidarity as one possible response to crises. Solidarity can be based on a horizontal network of support on a private/personal or public/institutional level. Therefore crises can also strengthen communities of solidarity or provoke new forms thereof. The conference intends to take a historical approach to these phenomena and to highlight different forms of solidarity in European history. Whereas solidarity could mean a legal obligation up to the early modern period, in the context of the French Revolution it referred to an ethical-moral commitment in terms of (universal) fraternity. In the 19th and 20th centuries it became a keyword of labour movements and social welfare systems - most famously in the "Solidarność" (Solidarity)movement in socialist Poland. The term has referred to different communities of solidarity - based on kinship ties, common political interests, shared values or sympathy, based on group membership or a more conscious individual choice.
The conference organizers invite postgraduate and early career researchers in history and related disciplines to submit paper proposals. Methodological approaches include macro-level and micro-level analysis combining the perspective of crisis and solidarity. Beyond comparative, transfer and transnational history, approaches such as discourse and social network analysis are welcome. The conference also encourages applications with a focus on the role of the media concerning both the perception of crises and actions of solidarity. In order to enrich the discussion and provide participants with additional input and ideas, experts on the subjects of crisis and solidarity will be invited to give keynote speeches during the conference.
Applications may include (but are not limited to) topics of the following areas:
political crises, especially before and after regime changes
economic crises as a consequence of economic long-term structural patterns and short-term cataclysms
the managing of political and economic crises in international and domestic contexts
narratives and symbolizations of crisis
the representation of crises in the media
changes in social and cultural practices as a response to crises
solidarity as a means of political and social integration/exclusion
solidarity in a professional context (guilds, trade unions, labor movements)
networks generated by solidarity (family, ethnic, religious, rural, migrant communities, etc.)
welfare systems as institutionalization of solidarity
the concepts of crisis and solidarity in intellectual history
The conference language is English.
We will provide affordable accommodations for all participants. Additionally, a limited number of travel grants will be available (if you want to apply for a travel grant, please provide us with documentation of your economic situation).
Please submit your proposal of maximum 300 words and your short CV to GRACEH2015@univie.ac.at .
Deadline for submitting your proposal: January 5, 2015. Proposals that arrive after this deadline without a particular reason will not be accepted.
If your proposal is accepted by the program committee, you will be asked to submit a paper (5 to 10 pages) no later than one month in advance of the convention, i.e., by March 23, 2015. For further information please consult the congress website and/or contact the organizers.