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Maastricht University

Events and Announcements

If you are organising an event on the subject of occupation, such as a workshop, a seminar series, or a conference, and would like this featured on the Network website, please email the convenors, and we shall be happy to include it here.

Call for contributions to an edited volume

Visual and Material Histories of Military Labour

14 August 2023

The European Labour History Network (ELHN)’s Military Labour History Working Group is inviting chapter proposals for an edited volume on the ‘Visual and Material Histories of Military Labour’.

How do we write military history from labour perspectives? Or how do we write labour history with military sources? Labour historians have critically engaged with military sources by investigating them through feminist, anti-racist, and decolonized lenses, as well as by using new sources to document civilian experiences of war, military occupation, resistance to the military, and the militarization of everyday life. Expanding on these new directions, this edited volume seeks to create a new discussion on visual materials of military labour as sources of historiography and new theoretical interventions.

We welcome any historical studies (from the 1600/1700s onwards) that make innovative interpretations of such sources as paintings, drawings, photographs, posters, advertisements, cartoons, film, video, sculpture and architecture, as well as material objects, like memorabilia. We also welcome studies that critically engage with the ideas of visuality and provide new perspectives on visuality and materiality of military labour. Together, we aim to generate new theoretical and methodological discussions on visuality and materiality of military labour history across time and space. The edited volume is anticipated to be published with a Europe or North America-based academic press specializing in labour history.

We strive to make this project as collaborative as possible and, to that end, we will organize a series of online workshops where the contributors will share their work-in-progress and comment on the other papers. The workshops will serve as platforms to collectively develop the overarching theoretical framework of the volume. We expect them to be held between October 2023 and May 2024. Each workshop will be devoted to one section of the book (3-4 chapters) and the other contributors will provide constructive feedback on the papers. Invited contributors are encouraged to attend as many workshops as possible, with consideration given to different time zones. The final schedule for each workshop will be determined based on the locations and availability of the participants. A time commitment of 3- 4 hours for the preparation for and attendance at each workshop is expected.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, visual/material analyses of military labour that focus on:

  • Gender and sexuality/LGBTQIA in the military
  • Femininities and masculinities
  • Intimacy, family and domestic relationships
  • Early modern military labour
  • Military recruitment and resistance (including anti-war/peace movement/mutinies)
  • Lived experience of military labour (e.g., soldiering as labour, transition from civilian to soldier or vice versa, free/unfree/coerced labour)
  • Military labour and environmental changes
  • Intersectionality of military labour (race, ethnicity, class, and gender among others)
  • Civilians/civilian labour in the military
  • New theoretical frameworks on visuality and visual/material history of military labour

Papers that address more than one of the above themes are also welcome.

How to submit: Please submit a 500-word abstract along with a short bio (150-200 words, please include your ORCID, institutional profile page or personal website if applicable) to militarylabourhistory@nullgmail.com by August 14, 2023.

Please contact the editors with any inquiries at militarylabourhistory@nullgmail.com. The results will be notified in September 2023.

Expected Timeline (subject to change)

  • Proposal deadline: August 14, 2023
  • Notification of the results: by the end of September 2023
  • Workshops (via Zoom): October 2023-May 2024
  • Full manuscript: September 2024
  • Publication: 2025

Editorial Team

  • Bettina Blum, Paderborn University, Germany
  • Jeongmin Kim, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Christine de Matos, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Olli Siitonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Alexandros Touloumtzidis, University of Patras, Greece


Online Portal Launch

Launch of the Online Portal “Societies under German Occupation” at the University of Wuppertal

28 June 2023

On 28 June 2023, the digital portal “Societies under German Occupation” will go online. The portal provides sources on everyday life in occupied societies during the Second World War, with a specific focus on dealing with hunger and scarcity. The portal is designed for a broad audience – including researchers, academics, pupils, and teachers. The sources are made available in English translation, in their original language transcription, and as a scan of the original document. The digital source edition builds on the print edition Fighting Hunger. Dealing with Shortage, an international cooperative project published in 2022 which recently received an American Library Association award for best historical materials. The digital portal was created in cooperation between the Department of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Wuppertal and the Trier Centre for Digital Humanities.

The launch of the portal will take place on 28 June 2023 at 4pm in the Bergisches Zimmer at the University of Wuppertal. In addition to the official launch, the programme includes two keynote speeches and several short reports that provide an insight into the conception and making of the portal. Most of the contributions will be in German.

Network members are welcome to attend the launch. Please register here: sekretariatnng@nulluni-wuppertal.de


4:00-5:00pm: Welcome and Keynotes

  • Ursula Kocher (Dean of the University of Wuppertal): Welcome
  • Tatjana Tönsmeyer (Project Leader / University of Wuppertal): Keynote „Besatzungserfahrungen dokumentieren. Zu Anliegen, erinnerungspolitischem Umfeld und editorischem Konzept eines europäischen Forschungs- und Editionsvorhabens“
  • Thomas Burch (Informationstechnologische Koordination/ TCDH): Keynote „Digitale Editionen erstellen. Über Workflows, Werkzeuge und Datenmodelle in editionswissenschaftlichen Forschungsvorhaben.“

5:00pm: Launch of the Portal

5:15-6:45pm: Reports 

  • Dirk Luyten (CegeSoma): Collecting and Commentating Sources
  • Matthias Bremm (TCDH): Virtuelle Forschungsumgebung und Online-Portal
  • Laura Eckl and Daniela Zimmer (University of Wuppertal): Usability und Besonderheiten des Portals
  • Jörn Krepke und Sabine Althoff (UB BUW): Langzeitarchivierung des Portals

Afterwards we invite you to a small reception.


International Conference

Occupied Societies and Local Administration:
Statehood – Social Structure – Violence

29-30 June 2023

The international conference “Occupied Societies and Local Administration. Statehood ‐ Social Structure ‐ Violence”, will take place at the University of Wuppertal on 29 and 30 June 2023.

Occupied Societies and Local Administration

Occupation can be understood as war‐induced foreign rule that disempowers statehood. In its regulative presence, occupation resorts to its own authorities and personnel, but also to the administrations of the occupied countries. They thus mutate into executive organs of occupation policy measures. If one thinks of the Second World War, local administrations were involved in the provision of labour for the German armaments industry, the murder of the Jewish population, and the supply of food under conditions of shortage.

In historical research on the Second World War, the structures of the German occupation administrations are now generally considered to be well researched. The situation is different when considering local administrations as the means of transmission of German occupation policies. Additional research is required, particularly considering the involvement of municipal and local administrations in the community’s social framework. Local administrations, serving as executive authorities, played a crucial role in maintaining German rule. Nevertheless, they also pursued their own interests. For the members of the occupied societies, this meant that they were confronted with native forces in the offices, authorities, and police, and thus, in a sense, with their “own” people. In the case of the Netherlands, for example, occupation policy measures met with greater acceptance when they were implemented by native and thus, in the eyes of the population, “trustworthy” Dutch officials. The same was true for other occupied territories.

By understanding occupation as a social process and by asking questions about the social embeddedness of employees of authorities, administrations and police forces, the conference wishes to contribute to a deeper understanding of the everyday realities of occupied societies. We are particularly interested in understanding the negotiation processes that took place in the administrations and the demands which were expressed to them. In addition, there are further questions, among them: What measures and policies did local government officials try to implement? What room for manoeuvre was opened up by the occupation, and how did they use it? More generally, where and to what extent were officials integrated into the local social fabric? What consequences resulted from this? Last but not least: How did the gender-related aspects of administrative action under occupation unfold?

The conference will explore these questions in four sections. The focus is on two sections dealing with occupations in the years of the Second World War. Another section is comparative and focuses on occupations beyond the years 1939‐1945. Finally, in a fourth section we ask how museums and exhibitions address the history of occupation and the impact of local administration on the everyday life of occupied societies.

Conference Programme

29 June 2023

Panel I: Occupations beyond the Second World War

Moderation: Laura Eckl (Wuppertal)

Anne Godfroid (Brussels): The Belgian occupier and the local authorities in the Rhineland: Legal framework and interactions

Anne-Kristin Glöckner (Halle): Public Displays of Power: Negotiation Processes around the Public Presence of the Occupying Power in the French Zone of Occupation in Southwestern Germany, 1945–55

Sibel Koç (Wuppertal): Social Changes and Everyday Life in Istanbul during the Allied Occupation 1918-1923

Comment: Christopher Knowles (London)

Panel II: Law enforcement and repression under occupation: police, courts, denunciation

Moderation: Dirk Luyten (Brussels)

Radosav Tucović (Belgrade): Life under pressure: The impact of police practice on everyday life in occupied Belgrade (1941-1944)

Markus Roth (Frankfurt am Main): Between greed and need – the local Polish population and administration dealing with Jewish property

Marieke Oprel and Wim van Meurs (Nijmegen): Local administration and the pitfalls of legalism. Comparing the expropriation and restitution of Jewish property in municipalities across the Netherlands (1940–1950)

Laura Brinkhorst (Nijmegen): Walking the beat under German occupation. The nature and intensity of police interactions with citizens and the German occupier before, during and after the occupation of the Netherlands (1938–1948)

Comment: Jerzy Kochanowski (Warsaw)

30 June 2023

Panel III: Health and social authorities

Moderation: Gelinada Grinchenko (Wuppertal)

Gaute Lund Rønnebu (Tromsø): Humanitarian spaces during the Second World War. The case of Norway

Michal Palacz (Oxford): Local administration and women’s health in German-occupied Warsaw

Mantas Šikšnianas (Vilnius): Health care in German occupied Lithuania (1941–1944)

Isabelle von Bueltzingsloewen (Lyon): Fighting food shortages and protecting vulnerable populations in occupied France: the case of the city of Lyon (1940–1944)

Comment: Jakub Rákosník (Prague)

Panel IV: Museal representations of occupation

Moderation: Tatjana Tönsmeyer (Wuppertal)

Ute Engelen (Mainz): Exhibiting the Rhineland Occupation 1918-1930. Fighting propaganda topoi

Liesbeth van der Horst (Amsterdam): Amsterdam Resistance Museum

Comment:  Gelinada Grinchenko (Wuppertal)

Closing debate

For further information please contact:

Laura Eckl: eckl@nulluni-wuppertal.de
Lennart Hein: sekretariatnng@nulluni-wuppertal.de


Call for submissions

Israel Law Review

Posted on 5 April 2023

The academic editor of the Israel Law Review and Network member, Prof. Yaël Ronen, is inviting members of the Network to submit their articles to the journal. Prof. Ronen writes that:

‘The journal is not Israel-focused as its name may suggest, but rather publishes articles on human rights, international and public law, with a focus on situations of conflict. It is therefore a perfect fit for articles on occupation. Our angle is legal, of course, although there’s even some flexibility there sometimes, for example when we have clusters of articles on a particular topic.’

Call for submissions

The Israel Law Review (published by CUP) invites submissions on areas of interest in human rights, international and public law. In this context, it has an interest in contributions relating to the law of occupation, and to law-and-occupation.

The Israel Law Review is a double-blind peer reviewed journal established in 1966, published by Cambridge University Press under the auspices and management of the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Under this stewardship, it focuses on scholarship in the fields of human rights, public law and international law. The Chief editors of the journal are Prof. Malcolm Shaw KC, UK, and Prof. Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

The journal aims to present scholarship that is representative in terms of gender, geographical distribution and viewpoint. We accept submissions on a rolling basis.

Consideration will normally be given only to original material that has not previously been published and is not under consideration elsewhere. All submissions are subjected to a double-blind review process. For further details on our publication policy and process see here.

For queries and additional information, please contact the academic editor, Prof. Yaël Ronen, at yael.ronen@nullmail.huji.ac.il.


Call for contributions to an edited volume

Military Humanitarianism: Reimagining the Nexus Between Aid Operations and Armed Forces

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 28 February 2023

This volume, edited by Network members Dr. Brian Drohan (U.S. Military Academy – West Point) and Dr. Margot Tudor (University of Exeter), seeks to demonstrate that military humanitarianism was far from unprecedented in the 1990s; that humanitarian intervention was not the only – nor even the primary – form that the military-humanitarian nexus took, and that understanding its evolution through past conflicts is crucial for nuancing scholarship on the politics and power of both humanitarian and military actors. By bringing different contexts into conversation, we draw attention to the tensions, ambiguities, and difficulties of defining ‘humanitarian action’ in contexts of disaster and war, particularly in contrast to military operations. We ask the questions: who is a ‘humanitarian’, can a military actor act upon a ‘humanitarian impulse’, and if so, what does it mean for a military actor to act in ‘humanitarian’ ways?

We encourage contributions from a range of academic levels (PGRs/ECRs are especially welcome) to reflect the diversity in this field. We are particularly interested in contributions from scholars based at institutions in the Global South. We will support authors for whom English is their preferred academic language and will investigate grants to facilitate the translation of non-English language submissions.

Please send abstracts (500 words) to m.tudor@nullexeter.ac.uk and brian.drohan@nullwestpoint.edu by 28 February 2023. We will respond to contributors in May 2023. We expect full drafts by the end of 2023 and will hold a virtual workshop for contributors in early 2024 to enable authors to polish their drafts. The estimated date of final submission is July 2025. Chapters must be original and not published elsewhere to be included in the edited volume.

An expression of interest has been received from a university press editor.

More details and the full call for contributions are available at


Online Network Workshop

The Age of Metamorphosis: Role Reversals in Foreign Occupations during and after the Second World War

15 December 2022, via Zoom
Convenors: Camilo Erlichman and Félix Streicher (History Department, Maastricht University)


Please note that all times are Central European Time (CET). UK time is one hour earlier.

10.00-10.45      Camilo Erlichman and Félix Streicher (Maastricht): The Age of Metamorphosis: An Introduction

10.45-11.30      Samantha Knapton (Nottingham): Little Poland on the Ems: Forced Migration in Microcosm

11.30-11.45      Tea break

11.45-12.30      Julia Wambach (Berlin): Learning Occupation – Francis Thiallet and the History of France and Germany 1917-1957

12.30-13.30      Lunch break

13.30-14.15      Arvid Schors (Cologne): “Lucky Victims”. German-Speaking Emigrants as Soldiers of Occupation in Germany after the Second World War

14.15-15.00      Peter Romijn (Amsterdam): Patriotic Duty or Gestapo Methods? Dutch Resisters and the Re-occupation of Indonesia

15.00-15.15      Tea break

15.15-16.00      Félix Streicher (Maastricht): From Occupied to Occupiers: Revenge and Retribution in the Luxembourgish Occupation Zone in Germany (1945-46)

16.00-16.45      Final roundtable discussion


Members of the Network are welcome to join the workshop and participate in the discussion. If you would like to register to attend the workshop and receive the Zoom access details, please e-mail Christopher Knowles at christopher.knowles@nullkcl.ac.uk

Blog series

Participants have been asked to pre-circulate a 1,000-word summary of their argument. These summaries will be posted publicly on the blog of the Occupation Studies Research Network: https://fasos-research.nl/occupationstudies/blog/


Online Network Workshop

The Age of Metamorphosis: Role Reversals in Foreign Occupations during and after the Second World War

15 December 2022
Convenors: Camilo Erlichman and Félix Streicher (History Department, Maastricht University)

During the Second World War and its immediate aftermath, whole nations and territories around the world fell under various forms of foreign rule. Some of these ruling regimes came into being as a direct result of the conflict, such as the various military occupations that were established as the frontlines of the war shifted. Others were embedded within longer-term structures of domination and were entangled with projects of imperial rule. Such forms of rule, however, were rarely permanent. Owing to the combination of the changing tides of military fortune, domestic circumstances, and geopolitical contexts, many people around the world suddenly found their role reversing from occupied to occupier; from living under a foreign occupation to being citizens of a state that carried out an occupation of its own.

This fundamental reversal in roles turned power relations on their head: survivors of genocide, refugees, and ‘displaced persons’ returned as occupation officials to rule over the population of states where they had earlier been persecuted; prisoners of war and those who had been penalised under foreign rule turned into judges and prosecutors adjudicating over those who had previously governed and administered the country; resistance fighters who had fought against an occupier were recruited into armies suppressing movements of national liberation in imperial contexts; civil servants who had collaborated with the occupier mutated into military occupation administrators themselves or into upholders of imperial rule. Others found themselves on the losing side of this shift in fortunes, turning from victors into vanquished, from occupiers into occupied.

While scholars have hitherto explored some of these role reversals, mostly in the context of national histories, they have rarely explored the phenomenon as a subject in its own right. This workshop seeks to address this neglect in the historical literature by putting role reversals in and around the conflicts of the mid-twentieth century centre stage.

This on-line workshop will take place on Zoom and will be held on 15 December 2022, from 10.00 a.m. (CET) to 5.30 p.m. (CET).

Members of the Occupation Studies Research Network are very welcome to attend and contribute to the discussions. If you would like to take part, please register by e-mailing Christopher Knowles: christopher.knowles@nullkcl.ac.uk

We shall then provide you with a Zoom link and the final workshop programme closer to the date.


Call for Papers – Workshop

Everyday Life under Occupation: New Perspectives on the Occupation of Germany and Austria by the Western Allies, 1945-1955

Workshop for early career researchers and PhD students, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris

19-20 January 2023

Deadline for submissions: 10 November 2022

PhD students and early career researchers in the Occupation Studies Research Network are invited to submit proposals for the international workshop Everyday Life under Occupation: New Perspectives on the Occupation of Germany and Austria by the Western Allies, 1945-1955 / Besetzter Alltag: Neue Perspektiven auf die westalliierten Besatzungen (1945-1955) Rencontrer et vivre avec l’ennemi : Nouvelles perspectives sur les occupations des Alliés occidentaux (1945-1955).

The workshop will take place at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris from 19-20 January 2023.

Submissions and presentations are welcome in English, French or German.

Full details are available (in German) at: https://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/event-129837

Call for Papers

In den letzten Jahren ist international ein neuerwachtes Interesse an militärischen Besatzungen als historischem Forschungsthema zu erkennen. Insbesondere die wissenschaftliche Beschäftigung mit den alliierten Besatzungen in Deutschland und Österreich nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg hat eine Erneuerung erfahren, wobei nun nicht nur die Besatzungspolitik, sondern insbesondere auch soziale und alltägliche Dynamiken in den Blick genommen werden. In der Verknüpfung einer „Geschichte von unten“ (Alltagsgeschichte) und einer „Geschichte von oben“ (Politikgeschichte) heben diese Überlegungen die ständigen Wechselwirkungen zwischen diesen beiden Sphären hervor. (Schissler 2001; Goedde 2003; Knowles 2017). Vielschichtige Beziehungen und Alltagsbegegnungen, sowie deren Auswirkungen auf Mentalitäten und Emotionen stehen zum ersten Mal im Mittelpunkt der Forschung. Besatzung wird somit als ambivalente und dynamische Herrschaftsform greifbar. Unser Forschungsatelier für Nachwuchswissenschaflter möchte an dieses Forschungsinteresse anknüpfen und sich explizit der alltäglichen Realität militärischer Besatzung in den Westzonen in Deutschland und Österreich nach 1945 widmen, im Ausblick auf übergreifende und komparatistische Ansätze, die auch andere alliierte Besatzungen einbeziehen.

Die westlichen Besatzungsregime brachten nach 1945 Gesellschaften hervor, in denen Gewalt zwar weniger vorherrschend war als während des Krieges, die aber dennoch von vorhergegangenen Gewalterfahrungen sowie von starken Antagonismen durchzogen waren. Es handelte sich hierbei um Gesellschaften, die grundsätzlich von einer “dynamic power relationship” zwischen Besatzern und Besetzten geprägt wurden (Knowles & Erlichman 2018), was eine ständige Neuverhandlung der sie durchdringenden Machtverhältnisse bedeutete. Die westalliierten Besatzungen waren zudem von einer Dynamik der “sortie de guerre” (Cabanes & Piketty 2007, Audoin-Rouzeau 2008) beeinflusst, und somit von einer insgesamt rückläufigen Konflikthaftigkeit, zumindest in Westeuropa. Dieser Rückgang war jedoch weder linear noch homogen: Spannungsfelder blieben lebendig und interagierten in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts mit dem Beginn des Kalten Kriegs sowie mit kolonialen Konflikten. Vor diesem Hintergrund der beginnenden Blockkonfrontation wollen wir auch unseren geographischen Fokus auf die Westzonen begründen. Als liberale Demokratien bilden die drei Westalliierten einen einheitlichen Vergleichsrahmen, insbesondere in Abgrenzung zu der Sowjetunion. Die sowjetischen Besatzungszonen wurden und werden aus diesem Grund in der Forschung oft gesondert behandelt. Verflechtungsansätze sind in diesem Bereich dennoch wichtige zukünftige – und auch in diesem Workshop erwünschte – Forschungsfelder.

Ein Ziel dieses Workshops ist es demnach, die militärischen Besatzungen in Deutschland und Österreich als asymmetrische Kräfteverhältnisse zwischen sozialen Gruppen (Besatzer/Besetzte) zu untersuchen, die in ständiger Beziehung zueinander standen, aber dennoch individuelle Handlungsspielräume (agency) zuließen. Das bekannteste Beispiel für solche Beziehungen, das in der Geschichtsschreibung gut dokumentiert und kommentiert ist, stellt die sogenannte „Fraternisierung“ zwischen Vertretern der Besatzungstruppen und der deutschen Bevölkerung dar (Biddiscombe 2001, Höhn 2002, Goedde 2003). Diese Debatte konzentrierte sich allerdings stark auf heterosexuelle Beziehungen zwischen männlichen Besatzern und Frauen aus der besetzten Bevölkerung, während andere Arten von zwischenmenschlichen Beziehungen aus dem Blick gerieten. Die Natur solcher Beziehungen konnte jedoch stark variieren, je nach Geschlecht der beteiligten Individuen, dem Grad an Konsens und der emotionalen Beteiligung jedes/r Akteurs/Akteurin, sowie den Ressourcen, die ausgetauscht werden, insbesondere den materiellen (Weinreb 2017).

Darüber hinaus war keine dieser beiden Gruppen (Besatzer sowie Besetzte) homogen, sondern beide blieben von tiefen Spaltungen durchzogen. Die Gruppe der „Besatzer“ war nicht nur durch die klassische administrative – jedoch oft unscharfe Einteilung – in Militär und Zivil strukturiert, sondern zudem durch soziale, geschlechtsspezifische, politische, ethnische, konfessionelle und generationsbedingte Spaltungen geprägt. All diese Schichtungskriterien betrafen auch die Gesellschaft der „Besetzten“ und beeinflussten die Beziehungen zur Besatzungsmacht und zu deren Repräsentanten, indem sie oftmals die Binarität durchbrachen. Die vielschichtigen Beziehungen zwischen und innerhalb der beiden Gruppen, ihrer äußeren und inneren Grenzen, stellen daher wichtige Untersuchungsgegenstände dar.

Zudem macht die Beschäftigung mit den westalliierten Besatzungen nach 1945 deutlich, dass Vergleiche und Kontinuitäten mit anderen Besatzungsregimen und Herrschaftssystemen in Betracht gezogen werden müssen. Synchrone Vergleiche sollen vertieft werden, wobei das deutsche Gebiet auch auf Österreich ausgeweitet und mit Japan und Italien in Verbindung gebracht werden kann, den anderen Achsenmächten, die nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg von Alliierten besetzt wurden (Hagemann, Jarausch & Hof, 2020). Auch die Untersuchung von Verflechtung und Austausch mit den Besatzungsregimen der Sowjetunion, der vierten alliierten Partei, sind hier erwünscht. Durch diachrone Vergleiche kann eine Kontextualisierung der Besatzungen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg im Zusammenhang mit vorhergegangenen Besatzungserfahrungen im 20. Jahrhunderts erfolgen, insbesondere mit denjenigen nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg. Im Hinblick auf Herrschaftssysteme könnte zudem das Zusammentreffen der Besatzungsregime mit der “situation coloniale” (Balandier 1951; Stoler 2006; Miot 2021) untersucht werden. Eine weitere vielversprechende Perspektive stellt die Erforschung der langfristigen Nachwirkungen – der „legacy“ – der Okkupationen dar.

Wir begrüßen dementsprechend Vorträge, die sich mit einem der folgenden Themen befassen (nicht ausschließlich oder zwingend):

Doing occupation: Die Bedeutung und Auswirkung von Beziehungen zwischen und innerhalb sozialer Gruppen für die offizielle Besatzungspolitik; die mobilisierten Strategien auf Seiten der Besatzer, sowie die Nutzung von Handlungsspielräumen durch die Besetzten.

Begegnung: Alltägliche Interaktionen zwischen den „Besatzern“ und den „Besetzten“ und die Beziehungen innerhalb dieser heterogenen Gruppen. Die Rolle von Minderheiten und Randgruppen, sowie der „Grenzfiguren“ an der Schnittstelle zwischen Besatzern und Besetzten („auxiliaires authochtones“, Dolmetscher, Übersetzer) dürfte hierbei besonders interessant sein.

Schichtung: Die vielfältigen Schichtungen, die die Gesellschaften im Kontext der Besatzung innerhalb der untersuchten Gruppen aufwiesen (besonders in Bezug auf class, race und gender).

Regulierung: Die formelle und institutionelle Regulierung der Interaktionen, die Unterschunung jeder Organisationen, die mit dieser Regulierung betraut waren (Polizei, Gerichte), sowie informelle Mechanismen der sozialen Kontrolle.

Wahrnehmung: Die Rolle von Mentalitäten, Vorstellungswelten und Emotionen in den Besatzungsgesellschaften, sowie die Untersuchung von Kulturerzeugnissen. Die Mobilisierung von historischen Quellen in ihrer gesamten Vielfalt (Literatur, Fotografie, Musik/Ton, materielle Quellen) wird besonders geschätzt.

Dieses Atelier richtet sich an Nachwuchswissenschaftler*innen, insbesondere Doktorierende. Vortragssprachen sind Deutsch, Französisch und Englisch. Interessierte werden gebeten, bis zum 10. November 2022 ein Abstract mit maximal 300 Wörtern (+/- 10%), sowie eine Kurzbiographie per Email an folgende Adresse zu richten.


Die Reisekosten (150€ innerhalb von Frankreich, oder bis zu 250€ für Reisen aus dem Ausland nach Paris) sowie die Übernachtungskosten der Beitragenden werden übernommen.

Organisator*innen: Valentin Bardet (Sciences Po Lyon), Élise Mazurié (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg/EHESS), Stefanie Siess (Universität Heidelberg/EHESS), Félix Streicher (Maastricht University).


Online Seminar

Occupation as a daily challenge: Life in Ukraine’s occupied territories during wars past and present

German-Ukrainian Historians Commission (Deutsch-Ukrainische Historikerkommission)

6 October 2022

The German-Ukrainian Historians Commission is holding an online seminar on ‘Occupation as a daily challenge: Life in Ukraine’s occupied territories during wars past and present’, on October, 6, 2022, from 6-8 pm (CET). Members of the Occupation Studies Research Network are welcome to attend.

Speakers include Tatjana Tönsmeyer, Andrii Domanovski, and Gelinada Grinchenko. The discussion will be moderated by Oleksandr Lysenko

Further information and registration details (in German) are available here


Call for Papers – Conference

Étudier la guerre
Perspectives historiographiques et épistémologiques de l’histoire de la guerre des années 1950 à nos jours

Colloque international du Groupe de Recherche en Histoire de la Guerre (GRHG) à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

23-25 October 2023

Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2022

Members of the Occupation Studies Research Network are invited to submit proposals for the international colloquium of the Groupe de Recherche en Histoire de la Guerre (GRHG), which will take place at the University of Québec at Montréal on the 23-25 October 2023.

Submissions may be written and papers given in French or in English. However, in order to ensure a fruitful exchange of views, all participants need to have a reasonably good understanding of French, so they can take part in discussions with other participants.

Full details are available at https://grhg.hypotheses.org/1729

Appel à communications

Depuis le milieu du xx siècle, l’étude de la guerre a connu une véritable « révolution » historiographique. Elle s’est développée partout dans le monde suivant des rythmes et des modalités variées. Les historiens, les anthropologues ou encore les spécialistes des études littéraires ont rompu avec une histoire militaire décriée, focalisée sur les grandes batailles, étudiées du point de vue de l’État-major et enferrée dans un récit événementiel. C’est sur cette « révolution historiographique globale » des études sur la guerre depuis les années 1950 jusqu’à nos jours, que se penche ce colloque sans restriction spatio-temporelle. Comment l’expliquer ? Par qui a-t-elle été menée ? Quelles en ont été les voies et les étapes ? En quoi ces évolutions historiographiques se distinguent-elles ou se rapprochent-elles d’autres évolutions épistémologiques dans les sciences sociales ? Quels en sont aujourd’hui les approches, les méthodes et les outils de prédilection ? Et quels en seront ceux de demain ?

Après les deux conflits mondiaux, l’histoire militaire a connu des fortunes diverses. Discréditée dans une partie de l’Europe, elle a mieux résisté dans le monde anglophone. Elle n’a toutefois jamais disparu complètement du monde académique comme en témoignent les tentatives d’Hans Delbrück ou de Karl Demeter en Allemagne pour lier l’histoire de la guerre et l’histoire générale dès les années 1920 et 1930 ; l’édition posthume de L’étrange défaite de Marc Bloch en 1946 ; la place occupée par la guerre dans le second volume de La Méditerranée […] à l’époque de Philippe II de Fernand Braudel parue trois en plus tard; ou encore le livre de Pietro Pieri sur la Renaissance et la crise militaire italienne éditée en 1952.

Depuis les années 1950, l’histoire de la guerre a toutefois trouvé un nouvel essor. Trois générations d’historiennes et d’historiens ont œuvré au renouvellement de ses objets et de ses méthodes en s’emparant des sources, des problématiques et des méthodes des courants historiographiques qui ont traversé l’histoire. Ils se sont inscrits dans l’histoire sociale et économique, ont adopté la perspective du soldat pour comprendre le rapport de l’armée aux sociétés, pour comprendre le poids de la guerre sur celles-ci, ou encore l’expérience vécue par les hommes ou les femmes du rang. En Afrique francophone, une littérature abondante a été consacrée à la nature et au rôle de l’Armée en lien avec les nombreux coups d’État qui ont marqué le continent depuis les années 1960. L’accent y a été mis sur la nature de la guerre et sur l’organisation militaire des sociétés précoloniales. Plus récemment, les chercheurs ont adopté à son égard le prisme de l’histoire religieuse, du genre, de la violence, du droit ou des savoirs. L’histoire environnementale invite aujourd’hui à réfléchir aux liens entre les hommes de guerre et leur milieu, entre les évolutions des formes de la guerre et celles des milieux naturels, mais aussi des ravages de la guerre sur la nature.

Ce renouveau est aussi venu du croisement des disciplines. Les chercheuses et chercheurs ont trouvé dans l’anthropologie, dans la sociologie ou encore dans la linguistique de nouveaux regards pour comprendre la guerre, les hommes et les femmes de guerre et leurs rapports avec les non-combattants. Ces disciplines ont contribué au développement d’une histoire militaire au ras du sol et sensible à l’expérience de la guerre ; une histoire de la motivation, de la violence, des émotions, et des pratiques de et dans la guerre. Ce changement d’échelle a également soutenu l’introduction du paradigme culturel dans l’étude de la guerre et le développement d’une attention à la manière dont s’articulent pratiques et représentations. Cette attention met en lumière les tensions naissant de la confrontation des processus de rationalisation et de professionnalisation de l’armée, d’une part, et des transformations politiques, culturelles et sociales affectant les sociétés, d’autre part. Une véritable histoire sociale et culturelle de la guerre s’est ainsi développée au tournant du xxii siècle, attentive aux violences, cultures, ou encore aux mémoires et aux représentations de la guerre. Aujourd’hui, de jeunes disciplines, comme l’archéologie des conflits et le droit international humanitaire, mais aussi de nouvelles approches, comme en histoire de l’art, permettent de poursuivre ce renouvellement. L’histoire expérimentale de la guerre, non sans lien avec l’histoire des sciences et l’archéologie, incarne parfaitement ce renouveau fondé sur la pluridisciplinarité, voire l’interdisciplinarité. Elle place le corps au centre de ses réflexions et rejoint ainsi l’histoire de la santé et des émotions, dans une approche plus sensible de la notion de combat.

Les travaux réalisés depuis les années 1950 ont ainsi démontré combien l’histoire militaire gagnait à se nourrir des méthodes et des concepts issus d’autres types d’histoire ou d’autres sciences humaines et sociales. À tel point que l’on peut s’interroger pour savoir si ce qui fait sa singularité aujourd’hui est son objet ou sa méthode. Il n’est ainsi pas anodin de remarquer qu’après s’être fait « nouvelle histoire militaire » ou « nouvelle histoire Bataille », l’histoire militaire est devenue histoire de la guerre. Il ne s’agit ni d’un remaniement cosmétique ni d’un simple glissement sémantique. Car, alors que l’adjectif « militaire » renvoie à ce qui est relatif à l’armée, à son organisation ou à son action, à la nature d’une fonction, d’un territoire, d’une technique, d’un comportement ou encore d’un sentiment, le substantif « guerre » évoque un contexte, un conflit de nature ou de forme variée ou encore un ensemble de processus qui touchent tout autant ceux qui la font que ceux qui la subissent. Et si on l’utilise parfois comme un synonyme de militaire pour définir des opérations, des prisonniers ou encore des tactiques, voire un art, le caractère englobant du terme de « guerre » définit plus justement la diversité des thèmes abordés par les chercheuses et chercheurs qui s’en revendiquent aujourd’hui. Il souligne leur manière de la considérer comme un fait social et historique majeur, comme un moment particulier dans laquelle se nouent des relations spécifiques entre États, peuples, groupes sociaux et individus, et comme un prisme au travers duquel il est possible de comprendre la vie, l’organisation et l’évolution des sociétés du passé.

Ce colloque propose de revenir sur la manière dont l’histoire militaire est devenue histoire de la guerre (1) en établissant le bilan de sa riche historiographie depuis le milieu du xxe siècle, (2) en dressant un tableau de ses méthodes et de ses objets, (3) et en esquissant les contours des perspectives qui s’offrent pour l’avenir de champ de recherche. Car, si ce qui fait la singularité de l’histoire de la guerre réside dans son objet d’étude plutôt que dans sa méthode, cela ne signifie pas qu’elle ne possède ni son historiographie, ni ses concepts et ses méthodes, ni son avenir.

Les propositions devront donc s’inscrire dans l’un des trois axes proposés ci-dessous.

  • Historiographie de la guerre :Cet axe vise à établir un bilan des transformations de l’histoire militaire depuis le milieu du xxe siècle. Les propositions pourront privilégier les approches par aires géographiques, linguistiques ou culturelles ; choisir de les croiser sur des aspects thématiques particuliers ; ou encore souligner les voies empruntées pour renouveler les approches et les thématiques de la recherche. Il s’agira ici de faire ressortir les domaines exploités depuis près de 70 ans, les spécificités des traditions historiographiques locales, ou encore les convergences et les divergences entre ces traditions historiographiques.
  • Épistémologie de la guerre :Cet axe vise à dresser un tableau des concepts, méthodes et sources de l’histoire de la guerre en examinant le dialogue entre l’histoire et les autres sciences sociales et humaines. Les propositions pourront revenir sur un concept particulier, les manières dont il a été mobilisé, les adaptations qui ont été nécessaires pour le transposer d’une discipline à une autre ou entre périodes historiques, ainsi que sur ses apports et limites pour l’histoire de la guerre. Elles pourront également réfléchir aux sources traditionnellement utilisées, à leur élargissement depuis les années 1950, à ce qu’elles apportent à la compréhension de la guerre, ou encore aux méthodes spécifiques qui ont été établies pour les exploiter à nouveaux frais.
  • Perspectives de la recherche en histoire de la guerre :Cet axe vise à esquisser les contours des perspectives thématiques et méthodologiques qui s’ouvrent à l’histoire de la guerre. Les propositions pourront aborder l’ouverture de nouvelles voies thématiques et de nouvelles méthodes, explorer les apports de nouveaux croisements entre historiographies ou disciplines, ou encore souligner l’intérêt qu’il puisse y avoir à rompre les frontières disciplinaires, géographiques ou chronologiques. Elles pourront également envisager les tendances de la recherche la plus récente menée par les jeunes chercheuses et chercheurs ou encore dans des travaux émergents.

Les communications à plusieurs voix sont les bienvenues. Elles pourront se faire en français ou en anglais. Cependant, afin de garantir des échanges fructueux la compréhension du français est exigée.

Le colloque se tiendra à l’Université du Québec à Montréal les 23, 24 et 25 octobre 2023. Les propositions de communications (1500 caractères), accompagnées d’un bref curriculum vitae, doivent être adressées avant le 1 décembre 2022 par voie électronique à :

Benjamin Deruelle
Département d’histoire
Université du Québec à Montréal

Jonas Campion
Département de sciences humaines
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

ou à:

Pauline Lafille
Université de Limoges


Call for Papers – Workshop

Informal Communication in Occupied Societies: World War II, Postwar Transitions, and the Search for Meaning in Societies at War

German Historical Institute Paris (DHIP), 23-25 November 2022

Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2022

This workshop is a cooperation between the INFOCOM Project (IfZ), the DHIP, and the Centre de recherches historiques (CRH/EHESS) and aims to provide a relatively intimate setting to discuss ongoing research into the workshop’s themes. Applications from Occupation Studies Research Network members are very welcome.

Across Europe, World War II gave rise to profoundly altered communicative landscapes. War and occupation devastated established sources of information and public spheres, while in many territories, dictatorial regimes implemented unprecedented degrees of censorship, propaganda, and surveillance to constrict, mould, and (re)direct public opinion. Particularly in moments of crisis — when individuals were violently pulled out of their accustomed environments and previous channels of communication collapsed — reliable, verifiable information became sparse. As a result, World War II became a breeding ground for alternate, informal information channels, in which rumours, gossip, and tall tales helped shape individuals’ actions and sense of reality.

Taking an interdisciplinary, transnational approach, this workshop explores the role of informal communication in different European societies, focusing especially on its relationship to official state communications “from above” and its embeddedness in particular social realities and wartime mentalities “from below.” More broadly, it asks how individuals made sense of an ever- changing, often threating global situation by specific practices of communication and interpretation. It aims to bring together scholars from diverse areas of expertise to explore the following (non-exhaustive) questions:

– What role did informal communication play in particular wartime contexts? Among which populations, in which situations, and for what purposes did certain forms of informal communication become particularly salient?

– What can be known about specific practices of sense-making among civilian populations living under conditions of war and occupation? How did ordinary women and men try to explain a world turned upside down by the global conflict? What role did experiences of previous conflicts (e.g. World War I) play in these processes? To what extent did such practices endure into the postwar period, as societies transitioned into new realities?

– How do we conceptualize “informal,” “unofficial,” and “from below” communication and its relationship to its “formal,” “official,” and “from above” counterparts? What are the parameters of informal communication? How do these concepts relate to larger questions of “informality,” particularly in contexts of war, occupation, and dictatorial surveillance?

– What kinds of parallels can be drawn between the communicative cosystems of different political regimes and the communicative practices that these fostered? To what degree can we compare Nazi Germany, Vichy France, or Europe’s various aligned or occupied territories? What can be said about the specificity of informal communication under dictatorial rule in comparison to democracies?

– In which way did the specific context of French (or other) colonial domination change the structure of (in)formal communication, given the coexistence of various ethnic groups and languages?

– To what extent and in which contexts were informal communication and sense-making a product of curiosity and a human desire to locate oneself? How did states react to these informal spheres of communication? What efforts did the Nazi and other regimes mobilize to denote informal communication as deviant behaviour?

– What do the forms, contents, and modes of informal communication and sense-making reveal about social relations, the creation or destruction of groupness, gender, or individual and collective agency in conditions of violence and upheaval? How are these related to practices of accommodation or opposition to particular regimes?

– What kinds of sources are at our disposal for studying informal communication? How do we problematize and contextualize these? On what epistemological basis can historians make generalizations based on fragmentary evidence? How do these questions relate to larger questions of credibility and veracity, in their historic contexts and retrospectively?

– What kinds of perspectives can historic explorations of topics such as informal communication, “fake news,” and challenges to established notions of veracity and factuality provide for current controversies on these issues?

To examine these questions, this workshop welcomes perspectives from scholars working on World War II, its precursors and immediate aftermath, and its more long-term memorial and historiographic reverberations. It seeks studies on diverse geographic contexts, with a special emphasis on France (and its colonies) and Western Europe under dictatorial occupation. However, to encourage comparative and transnational approaches, the workshop welcomes contributions on World War II and postwar European societies more broadly. In exploring these subjects, the workshop aims to provide a modern, transnational approach to communications in conditions of war and occupation, while historicizing ongoing debates on media, factuality, and truth.Practical Information:

This third workshop of the INFOCOM Project (Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, IfZ) will take place at the German Historical Institute Paris on November 23-25, 2022. Workshop participants will be asked to submit an extended, English-language abstract (ca. 500 words) for internal circulation prior to the workshop. Presentations should last no more than 20 minutes to allow for ample discussion time. The working language is English, however, participants may choose to hold their formal presentations in French or German. Invited speakers’ travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the organizers.

Organizers: Caroline Mezger and Manuel Mork (IfZ), Jürgen Finger (DHIP), Florent Brayard (CRH/EHESS)

To Apply:
Please submit a short biography (max. 150 words) as well as the title and an English- language abstract (max. 250 words) of your intended contribution by e-mail to Manuel Mork by June 30, 2022 (mork@nullifz-muenchen.de). You will be notified about your participation by the end of July.


Conference Programme

The Great(er) War of Military Occupations in Europe. Antecedents, Experiences and Legacies

The programme of the conference on occupations during the Great War, The Great(er) War of Military Occupations in Europe. Antecedents, Experiences and Legacies, has now been published.

The conference will be held in Brussels on 23, 24 and 25 June 2022. Practical information is available at the following address:


Thursday 23 June
9:30 Welcome
10:00 Opening Remarks

Session 1 Experiences of the Occupied
Annette Becker & Laurence van Ypersele
10:30 Introduction
10:40 Gustavo Corni
Conflicting Elites in Occupied Friuli and Venetia, 1917–1918
11:00 Renaud Dorlhiac
Beyond the Adriatic: the Italian Occupation of Albania, 1915–1920
11:20 Kostis Gkotsinas
Disloyal Friends: Traces and Experiences of the Allied Presence in Macedonia (1915-1919)

12:30 Lunch Break

Session 2 Occupied Notables and Occupiers
Nico Wouters
13:30 Introduction
13:40 Jan Naert
Maintaining Order under Occupation: Mayors and Occupiers in Belgium and Northern-France during the First World War
14:00 Klāvs Zariņš
The Shaping of a Military Occupation: Some Perspectives and Problems of Collaboration in Northern Ober Ost, 1915–1918

15:00 Coffee Break

Session 3 Occupation and Environment
Frank Hadler
15:20 Introduction
15:30 Iaroslav Golubinov
The Environmental Dimension of the War: Occupied Lands on the Eastern Front in 1914-1918
15:50 Andrew Hoyt Kless
Ecological Encounters in First World War Poland
17:00 Keynote by Maciej Górny
And what is your occupation? East Central European experiences

Friday 24 June
8:30 Welcome

Session 4 Pacification
Markus Pöhlmann
9:00 Introduction
9:10 Jake Gasson
A Colonial Mindset: British Approaches to the Pacification of Macedonia, 1915–1918
9:30 Christoph Ortner & Daniel Gunz
Violent Interaction between Occupiers and Occupied. The Prosecution of Violence at Austro-Hungarian Military Courts in Occupied Albania, 1916–1918
9:50 Hauke Petersen
Conflicts between Occupiers and Occupied: Delinquency during the American Occupation of the Rhineland, 1918–1923

11:00 Coffee Break

Session 5 Modernisation and Demodernisation
Maren Roper
11:15 Introduction
11:25 Vanda Wilcox
Planning for a Colonial Future? The Italian Wartime Occupation of Albania
11:45 Marco Mondini
“The Year of Hunger”: the Austrian-German Occupation in North-Eastern Italy 1917-1918. Brutalization, Exploitation, Demodernization.
12:05 Halit Dündar Akarca
The Impacts of Infrastructure Projects during the Russian Military Occupation of Ottoman Territories during WWI

13:15 Lunch Break

Session 6 Transfer of Experience
Élise Julien
14:15 Introduction
14:25 Gilad Ben-Nun
Neighbouring Miltary Occupation (NMO) as the Surrogate of Conquest: 1872–1945
14:45 Anne Godfroid
The Belgian Occupation of the Left Bank of the Rhine: a Theater of Transfer of Experiences Against the Backdrop of Tensions between Occupiers
15:05 Reinhold Zilch
Allies or Competitors? Germany, its Allies, and the Exploitation of Occupied Territories

Saturday 25 June
9:30 Welcome

Session 7 Ethnic Engineering and Identities
Tamara Scheer
10:00 Introduction
10:10 Christopher Kinley
The Italian Occupation of Epirus: Regional Ambitions and the Ethno-Engineering of a Region, 1916–1920
10:30 Petra Svoljsak
The Italian Occupation of the Slovenian Territory (1915-1917). Preparations for the future Annexation
10:50 Sibel Koç
Allied Occupation of Istanbul 1918–1923. Encounters within the “Occupied Society”

12:00 Lunch Break

Session 8 Human and Biopolitical Resources
Emmanuelle Cronier
13:00 Introduction
13:10 Thomas Edelmann
In Control of the Body. The Fight against Infectious Pathogens behind Habsburg Frontlines
13:30 Alexandros Touloumtzidis
The British Military Occupation of Greek Macedonia: Approaching its Development through the Organisation of Public Works and Labour Relations in Salonica and in the British Military Sector
13:50 Christian Westerhoff
Recruitment under Changed Conditions. German Labour Policy in the Territories of the Russian Empire Occupied in 1917–1918

15:00 Coffee Break

15:15 Closing Remarks by Sophie De Schaepdrijver
16:15 End of the Conference




Call for Papers – Workshop

PhD Workshop: Experiencing and Remembering Mass Violence: Social and Cultural Perspectives on the Histories of Violence and War

Amsterdam, 16. September 2022 (physical)

Our workshop wants to bring together PhD students who do cutting edge research in the field of the history of violence and war. We want to provide a forum for the discussion of work-in- progress and offer an opportunity to strengthen the ties within the network of the field. How do individuals experience and respond to war, occupation, persecution, and violence in their everyday lives? How do they make sense of their circumstances, and what are the social and  cultural factors that shape different experiences? How are wars narrated and remembered, both individually and collectively? And how can we combine a local, microhistorical analysis of war experiences with wider societal, comparative or transnational perspectives?

If your doctoral thesis tackles one of these questions or engages with social and cultural historical perspectives on war and violence, join us in the PhD workshop, hosted by het Duitsland Instituut and the DAAD! During the one-day workshop, we will discuss and give feedback on precirculated papers, chapters or thesis outlines. The aim is to discuss the practical application of concepts and perspectives and to jointly reflect on problems and challenges you experience during your writing.

Practical information: All participants will submit a paper of up to 15 pages which will be commented on by one the organizers, Maria Fritsche and Villi Kivimäki, and then discussed by all participants.

The workshop will be physical and take place on 16 September 2022 at the University of Amsterdam (exact place and time follows). The Duitsland Instituut and the DAAD will cover the costs of travel and accommodation if needed.

If you are interested in participating, please write an e-mail to maria.fritsche@nullntnu.no with a very brief description of your PhD thesis and the paper you would like to present.

Deadline for application: Friday, 15 May 2022

Dr. Maria Fritsche is a social, cultural and gender historian and film scholar at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Her research has focused on the Second World War and early postwar Europe, addressing issues of military and justice, Holocaust, everyday life under German occupation, popular film as well as the role of cinemas. Fritsche’s research is mainly informed by social and cultural perspectives, in particularly Alltagsgeschichte, as well as gender history. For more information, please see https://www.ntnu.edu/employees/maria.fritsche

Dr. Ville Kivimäki is a social and cultural historian of the Second World War and its aftermath at Tampere University, Finland. He has specialized in the study of war-related violence in connection with gender, nationalism, trauma, and memory. Theoretically, Kivimäki is combining the histories of  experience and emotions with other approaches in social and cultural history. For more information about his research, please see https://www.tuni.fi/en/ville-kivimaki

Dr. Mario Daniels is the DAAD Fachlektor at the Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam




Network seminar

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: An Interdisciplinary Discussion on Occupation

Like many around the world, we are deeply concerned about the current situation in Ukraine and the suffering faced by the local population following the Russian invasion. We have therefore decided to organise an ad-hoc seminar on the subject of:

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: An Interdisciplinary Discussion on Occupation

In this panel, five highly distinguished scholars with expertise in different fields will reflect on possible future scenarios for a Russian occupation of Ukraine, which currently appears likely to occur in some form or other as one of the outcomes of the war.

The panel will include:

Professor Tarik Cyril Amar (Istanbul, Modern History of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe)

Professor Sophie De Schaepdrijver (Pennsylvania, Modern European History)

Professor David Edelstein (Georgetown, International Affairs)

Dr Marco Longobardo (Westminster, International Law)

Professor Tanja Penter (Heidelberg, Eastern European History)

Each of the panellists will make a brief statement of up to 10 minutes, followed by a general discussion with the audience.

This event will take place on-line on Zoom on Thursday, 24 March 2022, from 5.15 p.m. to 6.45 p.m. Central European Time (4.15 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. UK time). 

If you would like to attend, please register by emailing christopher.knowles@nullkcl.ac.uk and we will then send you the Zoom meeting details.

This event will be open to everyone, including those who are not members of the Network.




Network seminar

Occupation Studies: Towards a New Research Agenda

Our Research Network has now grown to almost 80 members. As we move into the next phase of the project, we are now launching the first of what we hope will become a series of network seminars, offering the community of scholars working on occupation an opportunity to get together and engage in stimulating conversations.

The first seminar will be a roundtable discussion on the subject of Occupation Studies: Towards a New Research Agenda. Professor Jeremy Taylor (Nottingham University), Dr Peter Stirk (formerly of Durham University), and Dr Camilo Erlichman (Maastricht University) will discuss the state of the art in the study of occupations, the main challenges faced by scholars working in the field, and the themes and questions that they believe that those working on occupation should concentrate on in the future. The roundtable will be chaired by Dr Christopher Knowles, and members of the audience will be invited to contribute to the discussion. There will be ample time for questions and comments.

This event will take place as an on-line roundtable on Zoom on Wednesday, 9 March 2022, from 6.00 to 7.30 p.m. CET (5.00 – 6.30pm UK time). It is limited to network members only. All network members are very warmly invited to join and contribute to the conversation.

If you would like to attend, please register by emailing Christopher.Knowles@nullkcl.ac.uk and we will then send you the Zoom meeting details.




Call for Papers – Panel

Bridging Intercultural Encounters in Wartime Italy

Please consider submitting an abstract for the following panel held at the American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS) Conference 2022 (Bologna, May 29-June 1, 2022) by 27 January 2022.

This session aims at shifting the focus away from the widely researched Second World War battlefields of the Italian Campaign in order to examine different aspects of the intercultural relationships taking place in the multifaceted contexts of occupation, liberation and invasion. From 1943, in fact, Italy was subjected to two, very different, foreign occupations: that of the Germans and that of the Allies. War is a liminal experience that marks a severe break or a crucial turn in the lives of those who experience it, be they soldiers or civilians. The study of intercultural encounters shows that, as war forces people to move giving way to previously unimaginable encounters, it can, indeed, destroy and divide; and yet, war can also provide opportunities for meeting and appreciation of different cultures.

Proposals investigating – but not limited to – the analysis of issues including identity, otherness, racism, gender, and sexuality from perspectives including history, literature, cinema, art, memory studies, and any other field of the Humanities will be welcome:

  • Italian encounters with German soldiers before and after 8 September 1943;
  • Italian encounters with Allied soldiers in the context of invasion, liberation and occupation;
  • Foreign soldiers’ encounters with Italian soldiers and/or civilians;
  • The politics of the encounter;
  • The hierarchy of the encounter;
  • Gendered encounters;
  • Ordinary and extra-ordinary (covering experiences such as those of Allied POW escapees, SOE agents, Italian members of the Resistance…) encounters;
  • Italian encounters taking place outside Italy;
  • Italian encounters taking place in non-WWII conflicts.

Please consider sending a 250-word abstract and a 100-word bio to Fabio Simonetti (fabio.simonetti@nullreading.ac.uk) indicating if you are happy to speak in-presence (preferable) in Bologna (May 29-June 1) or, alternatively, in the online session (May 13-15) by 27 January 2022.

The languages of the conference are English and Italian.



Lecture Series

Everyday Life under German Occupation 1939-1945

Organised by “Stiftung Topographie des Terrors” in cooperation with “Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas”. Designed by Tatjana Tönsemeyer.

Livestream: https://www.topographie.de/veranstaltungen/alltag-unter-besatzung/

11 January 2022: Narrowness, Coldness, Darkness. Housing Shortage, Depopulation and City Destruction as European Occupation-Experience in World War II.

Lecture: Prof. Dr. Tatjana Tönsmeyer
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum


22 February 2022: Leisure Time and Free Space? The Illusion of Normality under German Occupation.

Lecture: Prof. Dr. Nicholas Stargardt
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Tatjana Tönsmeyer

5 April 2022: Between Cooperation and Resistance. About Everyday Life of Mayors in Occupied Western Europe.

Lecture: Prof. Dr. Nico Wouters
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Tatjana Tönsmeyer


On-line Seminar Series

New Approaches to Medical Care, Humanitarianism and Violence during the ‘long’ Second World War, c. 1931–1953

This series of 12 on-line seminars (from 7 December 2021 to 28 June 2022) aims to reconsider the history of the long Second World War (1931-1953) from the perspectives of those who delivered and received medical and humanitarian care in various sites across the world. This wider timeframe is meant to address a number of issues with the traditional chronology of 1939 to 1945.  In particular, this timeframe obscures important transfers of expertise and practices across spaces, between ‘civilian’ and military medicine, and over time.  Instead, our seminar series takes as its starting point the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, which led to the collapse of bilateral agreement and the progressive dislocation of the League of Nations, with the Japanese, German and Soviet departures in the 1930s.  It ends with the termination of the Korean War in 1953, and the subsequent dismantlement of the first United Coalition and UN Peace enforcement operation. This periodization allows us to consider significant extra-European spaces and conflicts, such as the Ethiopian War, civil wars (including the Spanish Civil War), “regular” and “irregular” warfare in occupied Europe and Asia, as well as the first decolonization conflicts. Through this seminar series, we will reconsider the circulation of humanitarian knowledge, rhetoric, actors and practices between different organizations and in different contexts, such as Latin America for example. We will also reflect on the role of medical care within the transnational resistance – a session that might be particularly relevant to members of this network. Overall, the series covers a wide range of methodological approaches, geographical areas and subjects, from ‘Reinventing Forensic Investigations? Humanitarian medicine and the corpses of mass violence’, to ‘Therapeutic aesthetics’, ‘Race and mental health’ and ‘Humanitarian intimacies’.

The programme and a short video introduction can be found here.



Vandervort Prizes

The Vandervort Prizes recognize outstanding journal articles that contribute to the field of military history.

In previous years, the Vandervort Prizes (previously the Moncado Prize) recognized the best article in each issue of The Journal of Military History.  The Trustees of the Society for Military History have decided to expand the scope of the award, which honors the JMH’s longtime editor, the late Dr. Bruce Vandervort.  The prize now recognizes at least two of the best articles published in The Journal of Military History during the previous calendar year, as well as up to two articles published outside of the journal.

All articles published in The Journal of Military History are automatically eligible for the Vandervort Prizes.  The selection committee is seeking nominations of outstanding articles published in other journals.  These should be articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals, in English, with a publication date of 2021.  The journal itself need not focus on military history, as we are seeking to recognize scholarship that shows the intellectual breadth of our discipline. Self-nominations are permitted. One nomination per individual, please.

To nominate an article for consideration, please submit a copy of the article (preferably as a PDF) and complete citation information to aseipp@nulltamu.edu by January 18, 2022.



Conference – call for papers

The Great(er) War of Military Occupations in Europe: antecedents, experiences, and legacies
23-25 June 2022 (CfP deadline: 31 October 2021)

at the CEGESOMA (Study- and Documentation Centre for War and Contemporary Society), Brussels.

Organising committee:
Emmanuel Debruyne (UCLouvain – Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Gwendal Piégais (Université de Bretagne occidentale – Brest, France)
Élise Rezsöhazy (CEGESOMA – Brussels, Belgium)

Scientific committee:
Sophie De Schaepdrijver (Penn State University – PA, USA)
Maciej Górny (IHPAN – Warsaw, Poland)
Jonathan Gumz (University of Birmingham – United Kingdom)
John Horne (Trinity College – Dublin, Ireland)
Markus Pöhlmann (Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr
– Potsdam, Germany)
Tamara Scheer (Universität Wien – Vienna, Austria)
Nico Wouters (CEGESOMA – Brussels, Belgium)

Call for Papers

A historiographical renewal has emerged in recent years with regard to the military occupations in Europe during World War One. Still, as yet, few historians have tried to connect and compare these occupations at the European or even global level, to question the transfers between them, and finally to consider them more comprehensively in the long run or in the broad perspective of imperial regimes of domination. The aim of this conference is to understand the different forms taken by the occupations during the First World War and to develop better categories of analysis. In so doing, this conference will deploy a broad perspective on the European occupations of the WWI era.

First, scholars are encouraged to look beyond Central Powers occupations towards Entente military presences that may or may not be defined as occupations: not only the German occupation of Belgium, Romania or Poland, or the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Serbia and Montenegro; but the British presence in northern France; the lasting settlement of the Armée d’Orient in Macedonia; the Russian invasion and occupation of East Prussia and Galicia; the Russian support to the Romanian army; etc. The geographical framework will thus encompass all fronts: Western, Italian, Russian, Ottoman, and Balkan fronts.

Second, we welcome papers that look beyond the traditional chronological limits towards the Greater War, which, past the Armistice, continued in Eastern Europe and on the margins of empires. Occupation regimes endured beyond, or emerged from the Armistices: German forces remained in the Baltic and Ukraine; Entente forces occupied the Rhineland, the Danube and Constantinople; etc. Meanwhile, new state actors, born on the rubble of the Central Powers, occupied territories they considered their own (Polish occupations in Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine, successive reoccupations of the Caucasus, etc.). Even as we look beyond the Armistice, we will also look beyond the summer of 1914 to consider the decades leading up to the conflict, and how they may have left legacies that influenced the First World War’s military occupations.

This conference aims to reconsider those occupations in their economic, cultural, political and social dimensions, and to examine the diversity of the occupation regimes set up by the belligerents during the Great War. The occupation is the result of a military situation, but its nature is profoundly hybrid by confronting civilians and military, occupiers and occupied, political and security considerations. We will thus emphasize the efforts of coordination of the agendas of the various actors. To what extent did occupying institutions adapt to the realities of the occupied territories or shape them? And how did they reflect and cope with the tensions between occupying civilian and military actors, but also between them and the occupied authorities left in place and invited to cooperate?

Occupations were not just pragmatic responses to geostrategic contingencies. Even if numerous practices were essentially improvisations or ad hoc solutions, they were also thought, theorized and conceptualized, anticipatively or fueled by current or subsequent feedbacks. This conference will be an opportunity to discuss the intellectual or legal frameworks in which occupations operated, or which were generated by them; as well as frameworks transferred from one occupation regime to another. What practices have been transferred, and how have they been adapted? And what were the vectors of these transfers? What genealogy can be traced with the occupations that preceded it, and with those that followed?

The conference also welcomes papers highlighting economic and material issues. What tools and methods did the occupiers use to take advantage of the resources of this dominated space, in relation to the needs of war as well as to the longer-term prospects? To what extent did they clash with the realities of the occupied population? And what tensions did they cause with the other actors of the economic, military and political spheres, outside the occupied territory? Given the progress of scholarship on these matters, this is a particularly good time to consider them in a transnational perspective.

We also encourage scholars to send in paper proposals that deal with occupied communities, whose status under occupation oscillated between objects of knowledge, political subjects, strategic adversaries, and negotiating partners. How can we map out occupied citizens’ agency? Finally, on the experiential level, we may ask the question of how occupation affected daily and material life, social relationships and networks; what emotional regimes it engendered; and what were the limits of the intrusion of the “occupation” reality into the lives of individuals. In the process, we will pay especial attention to what cultural productions arose from these different experiences.

The conference will be held at the CEGESOMA (Study- and Documentation Centre for War and Contemporary Society) in Brussels from 23 to 25 June 2022. It will be conducted In English. The organisers will offer accommodation, but will not cover transport.

Proposals should include:
– Name and affiliation
– Title and a short abstract (100-200 words)
– Brief CV
Please submit proposals to: occupations2022@nullgmail.com
Deadline for the paper submission: October 31, 2021