CfP: Fascist Warfare: A Concept to Understand Fascism and Total War in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

UAB, Barcelona, March 16-17 2017
Organising Committee: Javier Rodrigo, David Alegre and Miguel Alonso
Grup d’Estudis República i Democràcia, Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The main aim of this conference is to debate about the existence of a specific way of making war typical of fascism, that is to say, of the concept fascist warfare. Or, in other words, to reflect not only on its applicability, but also on its possible analytical and interpretative implications that its development would have both for the study of war in the twentieth century and for the study of fascism. For debating this issue we aim to count on the presence of scholars who have worked fascist regimes in times of war, mainly connected with two main elements: on the one hand, combat experience of the troops (mobilisation, violence, behaviour at the front, discipline, etc.) and, on the other hand, occupation policies (shootings, deportations, antipartisan policy, requisitions, economic exploitation, relations with civil population, etc.) Thus, we aim to tackle how war was set out in the ideological/conceptual level, hence including the sphere of mentalities, and how this war was waged in the frontlines and the rearguard, therefore paying attention to praxis.

Due to the dimensions planned for this conference, we will focus mainly on four cases of study, Germany, Italy, Spain and Croatia. This way, we are seeking to obtain a picture as complete and rich as possible in cases of study on which to build our debate, fundamentally with the aim of obtaining functional conclusions both at the theoretical and empirical levels, and above all to obtain a comparative and transnational perspective of the problem tackled, something we consider essential. Equally, and absolutely involved in the 80th Anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, this comparative and transnational perspective will allow us to connect the Spanish case with the nucleus of European fascisms and their war experiences, delving into this converging way that must be, and is, one of the main workhorses of Spanish historiography.

The conference will take place during two days, both in the morning and in the afternoon. We will invite 3 foreign scholars and a Spanish one, that is to say, one for each of the aforementioned cases of study. These scholars will make 4 lectures of 45 minutes tackling the different elements needed to establish the theoretical and factual limits of the proposed debate, that is, an analysis of mentalities, occupation policies, institutional machineries and combat experiences of the German, Italian, Spanish and Croatian fascisms during the thirties and the forties, as well as their multiple interrelations. Finally, beyond the lectures, a roundtable will take place in which the invited scholars will discuss, answering the questions posed both by a moderator and/or by the public, the limits, applicability and suitability of the concept fascist warfare, starting each from their own research experiences and from the elements tackled in the lectures.

Equally, we will open the conference to the selection of four or five papers among those proposals that we receive which will complement the issues tackled in the lectures, always on the basis of the debate around the concept fascist warfare and the different topics mentioned in the previous section. Besides, the organization will cover the expenses of travel and accommodation for the selected panellists. The papers will be grouped into the same discussion table in order to be debated altogether after being presented by one or two moderators. This way, we aim the debate to be the common base among all of them and what mark the nature of the session, rather than the mere and unconnected exposition of the papers. Therefore, this minimal selection of contributions will allow us to widen the discussion as well as the chronological and thematic boundaries defined in the lectures, making the conference a useful working platform able to produce the most feedback possible. And, also, we would be able to tackle both the questions and cases of study mentioned as well as other which could emerge during the debates and because of the different contributions and research experiences of the scholars attending the conference. Thus, our main goal is to provide a first approach to the concept fascist warfare and to weigh the possibilities of continuing working in this direction.

The deadline to send proposals is September, 30th 2016.

The proposals can focus on different cases and chronologies from the ones posed by the four lecturers, therefore these can deal with cases beyond the limits of the interwar period and the Second World War. These should include a title; a brief summary of 100-150 words where the author should explain his/her main thesis or the key questions he/she would deal with during the presentation; five keywords; and finally an explanation of 800-1000 words where he/she briefly develops the contents posed in the summary together with the main sources used in order to defend his/her thesis, explaining at the same time his/her position regarding the effectiveness and sense of the concept fascist warfare, how his/her proposal fits in this debate, as well as what can offer and which are his/her motivations to take part in this kind of conference. All of that should also include a brief curriculum vitae of 200 words. Needless to say that we will value specially these proposals that include transnational and/or comparative approaches, but also those which make original contributions from the thematic and methodological point of view. English will be the lingua franca of the conference in order to boost exchange and debate among the participants, in that sense we ask the proposers to send their proposals in that language or in both languages (English-Spanish; English-Catalan; English-German; English-Italian; etc.) The proposals should be sent to the following email addresses: or

Further information here.

CfP: Echoes of the Past: the refugee crisis and European collective memory

A special issue of Patterns of Prejudice edited by Dan Stone

In the October 2015 issue of the Journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees, Rabbi Walter Rothschild spoke of ‘public disgust at images of corpses on the beaches and reports of dozens suffocated in what were little more than mobile gas chambers on the Autobahns’. A few days later, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein admonished European politicians for their use of dehumanizing rhetoric, saying that phrases such as ‘swarms of refugees’ used by David Cameron recalled the period before the Second World War when the world turned its back on Jewish refugees. ‘If you look back to Evian’, Al Hussein said, ‘and read through the intergovernmental discussion, you will see that there were things that were said that were very similar’. Since then Europe has both taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and simultaneously mobilized to try and stop more from attempting the journey. Echoes of the past seem to resound every time that the current refugee crisis in Europe is discussed, with the Holocaust an especially vivid point of reference. What, if anything, does this seemingly instinctive response, connecting the experiences of those fleeing Nazism before the war, or survivors of it afterwards looking for a home, with those fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, tell us about contemporary European identity and its rootedness in the past?

Topics on which proposals might focus include:

Links between pre-Second World War debates about refugees between states, among politicians and in the press, and similar debates today.
Debates about the admission of refugees before and after the Second World War and how they compare—or have shaped—today’s similar debates.
Accounts of how the experiences of different refugee groups have been incorporated in European collective memory in different ways, e.g. Hungarians fleeing in 1956, Ugandan Asians, Vietnamese ‘boat people’, Bosnians and Kosovars.
Analyses of how refugees themselves made sense of their experiences, from giving thanks to the countries that offered them refuge, to using their experiences to criticize racism and other forms of prejudice later on in their lives.
EU policies—e.g. Frontex’s operations—and how these are (mis)understood in different European settings.
Comparisons between Eastern and Western European collective memories and how these are made manifest in discussions in the public sphere over refugees. Why, for example, have Poland and Romania agreed to receive so few refugees from Syria, and why has Hungary rejected them altogether?
Theoretical discussions of the creation and contestation of collective memory, including far-right narratives of Europeanness and their impact on the public sphere.
Transnational and/or comparative approaches are especially welcome, although country-specific studies will also be considered.

Proposals (no more than 1 page) should be submitted to Professor Dan Stone ( by 30 June 2016.

CfP: Performing War: Acts of Transgression and Transformation

DeAnna Toten Beard, Baylor University
Jenna L. Kubly, Independent Scholar

This body will convene a diverse group of scholars, methodologies, and research interests to participate in an ongoing conversation about the complex relationship between war and performance. In concert with the larger conference theme, the working group is interested in projects that consider the many ways that transgressive acts associated with war—for example, physical destruction, psychic violence, border crossing, political betrayal—both transform performance and are transformed by/in performance.

Papers might address how theatre, drama, civic performances, musicals, operas, popular entertainments, re-enactments, and dance relate to the following ideas:

How does the environment of violence impact theatre in a war-zone? On the Home Front? In a P.O.W. camp or concentration camp?
What are the artistic and ethical implications of presenting images of wartime violence on stage?
How has war-time drama supported soldiers and citizens negotiating the transition from peace time to war time—and then back again?
How might war and war-time theater offer a liminal space for explorations of transgender/sexuality?
How do voices of pacifism and reconciliation become transgressive during the climate of war?
How does the literal act of border crossing by combatants in times of war create opportunities for transcultural performance? How is artistic border crossing made suspect by war?
How do translations or transmissions of war-time texts operate as propaganda, modes of resistance, or documents of “truth-telling”?

The goal of the working group is to form a community of scholars and practitioners invested in this unifying theme. Through two rounds of paper exchanges with small subgroups, each participant is offered the change to give and receive feedback and suggestions on the completed 15-20 page work. During the conference session, participants will caucus in groups over questions suggested by the convenors, before coming together for a discussion that will include all participants.

Images, video, music or other multimedia to accompany the papers are strongly encouraged, but the participant must be able share it with the group prior to the conference (i.e. via a website link or Dropbox). There will be no media provision in the conference session.

For any specific questions, please contact the working group convenors at and Please note that all submissions must be received formally through the ASTR website, at The form will allow you to indicate second and third -choice working groups if you wish; if you do so, note that there is a space for you to indicate how your work will fit into those groups. The deadline for receipt of working group proposals is 1 June 2016 and we anticipate that participants will be notified of their acceptance no later than 30 June. As this is the first year of this new process, please contact the conference organizers at if you have any questions about the process.

The Conference and Organisation

The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) is a U.S.-based professional organization that fosters scholarship on worldwide theatre and performance, both historical and contemporary.

The 2016 Conference will be held November 3-6, 2016
Minneapolis Marriott City Center
30 S 7th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402

CfP: Armed Resistance in Eastern and Southeastern Europe 1945-1956: Actors, Groups, Forms, Intentions, Motives, Goals, and Consequences

As a consequence of the military defeat of the Axis powers and the establishment of communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe under Soviet domination, various organized groups decided to resist by force the newly established systems of repression and compulsion. In some cases these groups were newly formed; in others the roots were wartime. Sometimes they competed with one another. Appreciable combat operations continued into the 1950s and pinned down military resources of the USSR and its communist occupation regimes.

The Institute of Modern and Contemporary Historical Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Arenberg Foundation in Enghien (Belgium) plan a scholarly conference (also under the title VIth Arenberg Conference for History) to explore the forms and scope of violent resistance in eastern and southeastern Europe. The focus will be the transnational examination and analysis of the political, social, economic, and religious causes of such resistance.

This topic must first of all be contextualized within the history of communism and anti-communism as well as the history of political violence and resistance during the interwar years and the Second World War. The resisters’ images of the Soviet Union and Russia, their struggle against what was in part perceived as foreign (Russian) rule, and collaboration with the Third Reich must also be taken into consideration.

Through a comparative approach, both regional differences and commonalities in the violent struggles of these groups will be highlighted, while the resistance of Jewish groups and the participation of women must also be factored in.

The survey will also involve problems of definition, contextualization, periodization, and reception of resistance-activity (“freedom fighters” versus “counter-revolutionaries”). Individual conference contributions should deal with significant actors and groups, the limits and possibilities of action, areas of operation and retreat (such as border regions), backgrounds, resources, recruitment, intentions, motives and goals, the consequences of action, or counter-insurgency. Other key questions concern how such resistance was even possible and how the population at large reacted to it.

Because of the very nature of the topic, the problem of evidence is a difficult one given that the sources are both heterogeneous and confusing. As in the case of other controversial themes, the issue of contemporary witnesses, their experiences, and their memories will be raised within the framework of the conference. In this connection, the problem of resistance in historical memory from war’s end to the present day will likewise be broached.

The conference languages are English and German (no simultaneous interpretation). The publication of the conference proceedings is also planned.

The deadline for abstracts of proposed papers is 30 June 2016.

At the latest the conference will take place in the first quarter of 2017.

The deadline for submission of manuscripts for publication in the proceedings will be two months after the conclusion of the conference.

In case of interest, please send an abstract of 400-800 words to the following address:

Institut für Neuzeit- und Zeitgeschichtsforschung / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Strohgasse 45/2/4
1030 Wien, Österreich
Tel. +43-1-51581-7311
Fax +43-1-51581-7330

CfP: Violence and its narratives (1936-1948). Coup, Revolution and Post-War in Comparative Perspective

Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain)

On 15th and 16th December 2016, UAB’s GERD (Working Group on Republic and Democracy), with the support of RETTDES (Network of Studies on Totalitarianisms and Transitions to Democracy in 20th Century Europe), organizes the International Seminar ‘Violence and its Narratives (1936-1948)’.

In order to achieve a broad debate and to establish the current status of studies on violence in Spain between 1936 coup, war and postwar periods in comparative perspective, there will be a session devoted to the presentation of papers. These may deal with violence in Spain in all its variants (murders, political cleanings, concentrationary and prison systems, political repression) and analytical perspectives (definitions, cultural dimensions, justifications, enemy images, comparative dimension, etc.), taking as chronological limits the coup of 1936 and the end of Francoist martial law in 1948.

Those interested in participating must send an e-mail before May 30, 2016 to the secretariat of the seminar, Assumpta Castillo,, including personal data, title of the proposal and a summary of about 100 words. Selected papers must be submitted before December 1st, and will be presented by their authors. Working languages will be Spanish, Catalan, English and Italian.

Further information here.