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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 proposals: Network members’ conference, July 2025

Occupation Studies Research Network – Members’ Conference: Themes, Approaches, and Future Possibilities

King’s College, London, United Kingdom, 10-11 July 2025
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2024

The first in-person conference of the Occupation Studies Research Network will be held on 10-11 July 2025 in central London at King’s College London.

The Occupation Studies Research Network was launched in September 2021. The Network currently has over 140 members including PhD students, postdoctoral and early career academics, senior staff and full professors from universities, museums and archives and other higher education institutions across the world. It acts as a hub for the global community of scholars actively researching the phenomenon of military occupation and, in doing so, facilitates the exchange of ideas and encourages a more systematic, comprehensive and interdisciplinary conceptual understanding of the subject. The Network runs an academic Blog that now includes 36 articles, and has so far also organised two seminars and two workshops.

The Network’s first-in person conference is intended to give members the opportunity to present their research, discuss their research agendas, and obtain feedback from an expert audience.

The keynote presentation will be given by Professor Ismee Tames (Utrecht University and NIOD, the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies) on ‘Who decides what an occupation is? Reflections on territories, regimes and experiences.’ Professor Tames is the author of Fighters across Frontiers: Global Resistance in Europe 1936-1938 and Global War, Global Catastrophe: Neutrals, Belligerents and the Transformation of the First World War.

Panel sessions will be structured with up to four 15-minute presentations, selected from responses to this CfP. Additional time will be provided for open discussion, the exchange of ideas, and networking. To give as many members as possible the opportunity to present papers and receive feedback, panel sessions will run in parallel.

Proposals are invited from Network members:

  • to organise a panel with several speakers or
  • to submit an individual paper, which, if selected, the organisers will allocate to a relevant panel.

Panel proposals with up to four presentations, organised around a theme that cuts across different cases of military occupation are particularly encouraged by the conference organisers.

Proposals from academic scholars who are not currently Network members are also welcome, provided they join the Network before participating in the conference. Membership is free of charge and open to academic scholars working at PhD level or above in any relevant discipline.

The conference organisers will select proposals that in their view make the best overall contribution to the objectives of the Network.

Suggested themes for panels include:

  • Occupation and Empire

Occupation and empire are both forms of foreign rule, generally if not exclusively imposed and maintained by force or the threat thereof. Ruling techniques, experiences gained, and lessons learned may be transferred and applied from one case to another. Military occupation may be implemented during a ‘state of emergency’ in an imperial territory or adopted as an alternative to the incorporation of a territory in a more formal imperial structure. Occupation by a former imperial power, or by its allies, or by rivals for global or regional hegemony, may also follow decolonisation and independence, in which case occupation may form part of informal empire and soft power structures. Yet the historiography of empire is currently quite separate from the historiography of occupation. Can the categories of analysis that are most used in cases of occupation also be applied to the study of imperial projects, and vice versa? Topics and themes that potentially apply to both occupation and empire include, inter alia, ruling techniques, legal and constitutional structures, sovereignty, cultural transfer, violent and transgressive actions, resistance and collaboration, economic exploitation or ‘development’, social interactions, reconciliation, re-education, transitional justice, coming to terms with the past, memories and legacies.

  • Occupation and humanitarian aid

Occupation is often associated with forced migration and population displacement, economic disruption, and sometimes widespread and severe famine and starvation. Many international, public and private organisations have been established to provide humanitarian aid to alleviate suffering, but the provision of aid can be especially difficult in conditions of occupation. How has the provision of humanitarian aid developed over time, can specific cases be usefully compared, and what are the prospects for the future?

  • The lived experience of occupation

How did the local civilian population experience and perceive occupation and how did it affect their daily lives at home, work and in public or semi-public spaces, such as shops, marketplaces and streets? Can similarities be identified across otherwise very different cases of occupation, for example in the implementation of requisitioning and the loss of living space, in forced labour, in shortages of food and essential supplies, or in restrictions on movement? How did occupation affect personal and family relationships? What was the nature of the encounters and interactions that took place between occupiers and occupied, both in the course of their work and socially? How did both occupiers and occupied describe and make sense of their experiences both at the time and later? What stories did they tell about their own and other’s experiences? How did they perceive the transition from war to occupation? And how did they perceive liberation or the end of occupation and the withdrawal of occupying troops?

  • Occupation and International Law

Occupation is a historical phenomenon that can be explored by studying what happened in specific cases, how these compare with each other and through identifying cross-cutting themes that illustrate how policies and practices changed and developed over time. Occupation is also a condition that is recognised and regulated by international law, interpreted in national and international courts of law, and discussed and analysed by legal scholars. What can historians, political scientists and international lawyers who are actively researching the subject usefully learn from each other? How has the law of occupation developed over time, how has it been applied in practice, and is it still fit for purpose?

  • Unrecognised or forgotten occupations

There are many cases that have been described as occupations by scholars, but that the occupying state claimed at the time were not actually cases of occupation: because the occupier was actually the legitimate sovereign of the territory; because a puppet government installed by the occupier was legitimate and did not depend for its survival on the occupying power; or because the occupiers’ armed services were present in the territory for other reasons, such as ‘liberation’, ‘peace-keeping’, ‘regime change’, or to protect against a real or imagined external threat. In other instances, occupations have disappeared from collective memory after their conclusion, often for political reasons. What can we learn from cases of ‘unrecognised’ or ‘forgotten’ occupations and what insights do they provide for Occupation Studies more generally?

  • Violent occupations

Some cases of occupation have been especially violent. Why have some cases of occupation been more violent than others? How should violence by armed forces, and by civilian authorities during a time of occupation, be studied and interpreted? How have the issues of retribution, compensation, reparation and justice for victims been addressed following the end of occupation and what were the outcomes? Can any general conclusions be drawn from studying different cases, or were they so context dependent that it is better to examine each case separately?

  • Occupation as transformation

Occupation is often associated with significant changes that, it is claimed, could not have occurred in other circumstances. In some cases, one of the occupier’s principal aims may have been to remove the existing government and impose ‘regime change’ on the occupied state. To achieve this, they may conduct a political purge of former government ministers, leading officials and their supporters. Occupiers may also apply deliberate ‘re-education’ policies to promote social and cultural change. In other cases, one or more local political parties or social groups may achieve sufficient power during an occupation, perhaps with the support of the occupier, to secure long-standing aims that they had not been able to achieve earlier. Some social and economic groups may have emerged from occupation with enhanced power and status, whereas others found that their status within society had been diminished. On the other hand, such changes during an occupation period may be reversed when the occupier leaves and former elites return to power. To what extent has occupation influenced the future political, economic, social and cultural trajectory of a territory, a state or a region?

  • Occupation as a catalyst for national, cultural or personal identity

Occupiers may attempt to exploit regional, ethnic, social or religious differences within an occupied state or territory to ‘divide and rule’ and maintain their own authority as the ruling power. Those resisting an occupation, on the other hand, may appeal to a sense of national identity to justify their actions and attract support from the wider population. Following liberation, those who resisted occupation are often feted as patriotic heroes, while collaborators may be branded as traitors. How has the experience and memory of occupation, from the nineteenth century to the present day, influenced the construction and projection of national, cultural and personal identities, in literature, in film, and in the subsequent historiography?

  • Occupation during Civil War

Occupation is often understood as foreign rule and the international laws of war, as codified at the Hague Conventions, apply to conflicts between nation states, not to internal conflicts within a state. During the course of a civil war, however, both sides may occupy territory over which they exercise de facto control, while their claim to sovereignty over that territory is not recognised by the other side, nor by the local civilian population. There are also cases where a former sovereign has renounced their claim to act as the legitimate supreme authority, but there is no obvious successor, and different factions fight each other to gain control over parts of the country. To what extent should such cases be considered as military occupation, and discussed and analysed in similar ways to occupation during and after conflicts between nation states?


If you wish to organise a panel on one of these themes, or on another theme that you consider to be important and relevant to Occupation Studies (such as ‘New Research Methodologies and Approaches to Occupation Studies’, ‘Occupation and the Environment’, ‘Occupation and Gender’), please submit a proposal including a brief rationale for the panel (max. 300 words), the name of the proposed chair/discussant and a short CV, together with the proposed contributors’ names and affiliation and the titles and abstracts (max. 300 words) for no more than four papers. Panel organisers may contribute a paper and/or act as chair/discussant themselves. Joint proposals are welcome from members who would like to work together to organise and contribute to a panel.

If you wish to propose an individual paper, please submit a title and abstract (max. 300 words) as well as a brief CV.

All submissions should be sent to Dr Christopher Knowles (christopher.knowles[at]kcl.ac.uk) who is acting as the conference administrator.

The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2024. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of September 2024. Any enquiries should be directed to the conference administrator.

There is no conference fee and refreshments will be provided free of charge to participants on both conference days. We regret that the Network does not have sufficient funds to pay travel expenses or the cost of accommodation in London. Contributors will therefore have to either pay travel and accommodation costs themselves or obtain funding for this from other sources (such as from their own institution).

The conference is organised by the Occupation Studies Research Network and supported by the Arts and Humanities faculty of Kings College, London.



Call for Participation: International research workshop

International research workshop on architectural photography

Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, 16-19 September 2024, and 2 online modules (on 8 July and 9 September)
Deadline for applications: 15 June 2024

“Man weiß nur, was man sieht.“ Bauten und ihre Abbildungen als Wissensquelle über die deutsch-französischen Beziehungen im Saarland nach 1945 / « On ne sait que ce que l’on voit ». Les bâtiments et leurs images comme source(s) de connaissance sur les relations franco-allemandes en Sarre après 1945

The main purpose of the workshop is to create a place of exchange between young academics from the disciplines of architecture, urban planning and heritage studies as well as historical studies and in particular, contemporary history. The intensive and interdisciplinary study of the buildings serving as sources is intended to open up new ways of gaining knowledge about the Occupation of Germany after the War. To this end, the remaining buildings of the French presence in Saarbrücken will be surveyed photographically and their testimonial value and significance will be analysed and presented.

The workshop is open to young academics from qualified Masters (research-oriented Masters postgraduate programmes) to postdocs, particularly from the fields of (contemporary) history, architecture, urban planning and heritage studies.

Working languages are German, French and English.

Further information and a preliminary programme can be found on the homepage of the research workshop: https://www.b-tu.de/fg-denkmalpflege/forschung/dfh-forschungsatelier

Applications consisting of a CV and a letter of motivation of no more than 3,000 characters outlining the relevance of the workshop for your own research interests can be submitted by 15 June 2024 by email: forschungsatelier@nullb-tu.de

The Atelier is funded by the Franco-German University (Deutsch-Französische Hochschule, Saarbrücken).



Call for papers: Workshop and edited volume

Competence, Loyalty, and Control: Indirect Governance of Violence, Economy, and Religion in Africa

Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa, 24-25 July 2024
Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2024

WISER (The WITS Institute for Social and Economic Research) in Johannesburg seeks papers for a workshop on July 24-25 on Indirect Governance in Africa covering topics such as the indirect management of the economy, religious influences, and the dynamics of violence.

Delegation, or indirect rule, is ubiquitous. Leaders at the state level rely on a network of actors, including local and national bureaucrats, judges, central bankers, constitutional courts, and others, to implement orders, policies, and regulations aimed at influencing people’s behaviour. Internationally, they turn to entities like international organizations, warlords, and military firms to advance their policies on the global stage. Business executives depend on their corporate officers, managers, and foremen, while Mafia chiefs rely on their henchmen. Similarly, colonial governors used to delegate authority to chiefs for the administration of colonial territories. Agents may exhibit unpredictable conduct, leading to varied outcomes that affect both the leader and the public interest.

Network member and workshop organiser, Youssef Mnaili, writes that papers on military occupation are welcome.

Further details and the full Call for Papers can be viewed at:



Call for papers: International Conference

Complicities in the Second World War: Literature of Occupation, Collaboration, and Impure Resistance

Monasterium Poortackerey, Gent, Belgium, 4-5 October 2024
Deadline for proposals: 6 May 2024

The memory of World War II has acquired a strong ethical dimension and has become a source of metahistorical reflections, prompting questions about human agency and the burden of guilt and responsibility for injustices. These ethical considerations come into sharp focus in the context of military occupations. The territories occupied by the Axis Powers and the Allies during World War II constituted a “contact zone” between people of different nationalities endowed with asymmetric power that confronted the members of the occupied communities with weighty choices of collaborating, resisting, or navigating the complex spectrum in between.The ethical questions and dilemmas inherent in military occupations constitute a crucial component of the vast literary production that throughout the decades has represented the Second World War. Cultural memory scholarship reveals how literature holds a unique position in addressing the memory of occupations: not only can it configure the past in meaningful, memorable, evocative, and immersive ways, but it can also challenge instrumental national accounts, break silence, and compel readers to grapple with the most unsettling and difficult aspects of history.

This conference invites scholars working on the literary representation of World War II across any cultural context and language to present case studies that, through the analysis of the complex positionalities that literature constructs, can address the ethical issues woven into the fabric of military occupations. In particular, scholars are encouraged to explore the complicities of collaborators, the responsibilities of implicated subjects, and the form of resistance that Mihaela Mihai (Political Memory and the Aesthetics of Care: The Art of Complicity and Resistance, Stanford University Press, 2022) calls “impure”, which rather than promoting idealised heroic models foster a multifaceted understanding of the ethical complexities inherent in the struggle against occupation.

Further details and the full Call for Papers can be viewed at:



Call for papers: International Conference

Resistance during the Second World War

University of Antwerp, Belgium, 18-20 September 2024
Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2024

Almost eighty years after the end of the Second World War and after the resistance to the fascist and Nazi occupiers emerged from its shadows, this conference aims to unite the wealth of perspectives and insights generated by resistance historiography during these past decades. From 18 to 20 September 2024, the Department of History of the University of Antwerp will host an international conference on the history of resistance during the Second World War, exploring its conceptual and methodological evolutions.



Call for papers: International Conference

Panel on ‘Doing and Undoing Kinship Under Military Occupation’ at the 2024 EASA conference

Barcelona, 23-26 July 2024
Deadline for proposals: 22 January 2024

Network member Maria Padrón Hernández is co-convening the panel ‘Doing and Undoing Kinship Under Military Occupation’ at the 2024 European Association of Social Anthropology (EASA) conference, Barcelona, 23-26 July 2024.


This panel will explore the doing and undoing of kinship in contexts of military occupation. What happens to kinship in contexts of military occupation, when strategies to control occupied populations and territories undo the everyday and upset ‘normal life’?


In this panel, we ask how hybrid strategies of dominance by occupying powers undo ‘normal’ lives, and create new conditions for, and forms of, interpersonal relations. How is kinship performed and lived under these circumstances? Which counter-strategies are employed? How is social continuity disrupted and re-established?


We invite papers exploring these and related questions and aim to engage in a comparative discussion of efforts to maintain kinship and family in contexts where these are affected, or undone, by military rule.


Proposals for contributions to the panel from Network members are welcome.

The Call for Papers is open until January 22 2024.


More information is to be found on the conference web site:



Call for Proposals: International Research Workshop

The US Military and the Holocaust: International Research Workshop

July 15–26, 2024
Deadline for applications: Friday, February 2, 2024

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum invites applications for a research workshop entitled The US Military and the Holocaust. The Mandel Center will co-convene this workshop with Kaete O’Connell, Yale University, and Adam Seipp, Texas A&M University. The workshop is scheduled for July 15–26, 2024, and will take place at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

On the last day of World War II in Europe, more than 1.8 million American military personnel found themselves on the territory of Hitler’s collapsed Reich. During the invasion of German- occupied Europe and for years thereafter, American military personnel encountered and interacted in a variety of ways with the millions of surviving victims of the Holocaust, forced labor, and other crimes of the Nazi regime. While the military was sometimes reluctant to take on responsibilities beyond their traditional war-fighting tasks, the armed forces played a critical role in managing the chaotic and uncertain transition from war to peace after 1945.

The goal of this workshop is to stimulate conversation about the US military’s engagement with the Holocaust before, during, and after the murderous years of the Second World War. The past decade has seen a flourishing of scholarship in many languages on what Frank Stern memorably called the “historic triangle” of Jews, Germans, and occupiers. This contemporary scholarship has complicated Stern’s triangle and simultaneously opened new avenues for thinking about the complex web of relationships that developed across postwar Germany and Europe.

Daily sessions of the workshop will consist of presentations and roundtable discussions led by participants, as well as discussions with Museum staff and research in the Museum’s collections. The workshop will be conducted in English.

Museum Resources

The Museum’s David M. Rubinstein National Institute for Holocaust Documentation houses an unparalleled repository of Holocaust evidence that documents the fate of victims, survivors, rescuers, liberators, and others. The Museum’s comprehensive collection contains millions of documents, artifacts, photos, films, books, and testimonies. The Museum’s Database of Holocaust Survivor and Victim Names contains records on people persecuted during World War II under the Nazi regime, including Jews and Roma and Sinti. In addition, the Museum possesses the holdings of the International Tracing Service (ITS), which contains more than 200 million digitized pages with information on the fates of 17.5 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labor, and displacement as a result of World War II. Many of these records have not been examined by scholars, offering unprecedented opportunities to advance the field of Holocaust and genocide studies.

Participants will have access to both the Museum’s downtown campus and the David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center in Bowie, MD.

Participants will also have the opportunity to pursue research in the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress.

To Apply

Applications are welcome from scholars affiliated with universities, research institutions, federal government agencies, or memorial sites and in any relevant academic discipline, including anthropology, art history, economics, genocide studies, geography, history, Jewish studies, law, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, religion, and Romani studies, and others. Applications are encouraged from scholars at all levels of their careers, from Ph.D. candidates to senior faculty. Scholars working at the intersections of military history, the history of humanitarianism, Jewish and Romani studies, public history, medical history, memory studies, and/or the history of the federal government are especially encouraged to apply.

The Mandel Center will reimburse the costs of round-trip economy-class air tickets to/from the Washington, D.C. metro area, and related incidental expenses, up to a maximum reimbursable amount calculated by home institution location, which will be distributed within 68 weeks of the workshop’s conclusion. The Mandel Center will also provide hotel accommodation for the duration of the workshop. Participants are required to attend the full duration of the workshop and to circulate a draft paper in advance of the program. Participants must commit to attending the entire workshop.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, February 2, 2024. Applications must include a short biography (one paragraph), a CV, and an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the specific project that the applicant is working on, plans to research, and is prepared to present during the program.

All application materials must be submitted in English via USHMM Research Fellowships.

Further details about the workshop are available on the USHMM web site

This international research workshop was made possible by the William J. Lowenberg Memorial Endowment on America, the Holocaust, and the Jews.


Online Network Workshop

The Allied Occupation of Italy in History and Culture:
A Reassessment

13 December 2023, 13.00-19.00 (CET) / 12:00-18:00 (GMT)

Convenors: Camilo Erlichman (Maastricht University) and Fabio Simonetti (Brunel
University London)

Please register by e-mailing: christopher.knowles@nullkcl.ac.uk.


This on-line workshop seeks to provide a reassessment of the Allied occupation of Italy between 1943 and 1945 from a historical and cultural perspective, eighty years after the beginning of the occupation. While Allied rule in Italy was relatively short, occupation shaped Italy’s post-war politics, society, and culture for decades. It also had important transnational legacies, impacting the societies of the occupiers and their notions of Italy and Italians, while functioning as a testing ground for Allied ruling strategies.

Despite its significance, the Allied occupation of Italy was marginalised in the scholarly literature for a long time. While in Italy attention predominantly focused on the more traumatic experiences of the German occupation and the civil war, in Britain and in the US the Italian Campaign did not fit easily into the dominant narrative of the ‘path to the liberation of Europe’. For decades, exploring the subject through the lens of ‘occupation’ was highly controversial since the concept carried derogatory overtones and was consequently rejected. This slowly started to change following the pioneering work of David Ellwood, who in 1977 published in Italian the first – and only – comprehensive history of the politics of the occupation. In recent years, scholars have further reinvigorated the field by exploring a range of hitherto neglected aspects of the period, gradually shifting the research agenda from high politics to include the occupation’s social and cultural dimensions. The result is a rich and diverse, but also fragmented research landscape that lacks a shared centre of gravity.

This workshop seeks to remedy this predicament and aims to provide the first comprehensive reassessment of the subject by showcasing new research approaches. In doing so, the contributions will speak not only to those interested in Italian history, society, and culture, but also to those working in the fields of occupation studies and international relations more broadly.

Programme (all times are CET)

13.00 Welcome

13.05 Introduction: Reconsidering Allied Rule in Italy, 1943-1945
Camilo Erlichman (Maastricht University) and Fabio Simonetti (Brunel University London)

13.20 The Contact Zone of Occupation: Encountering the ‘Other’ in Wartime Italy
Fabio Simonetti (Brunel University London)

14:00 Feeding Former Foes: Food and Occupation in Italy, 1943-1945
Fabio De Ninno (Università di Siena)

14.40 Coffee break

14.50 Corporeal Metaphors in Cinematic Adaptations of the Allied Occupation of Naples
Ruth Glynn (University of Bristol)

15:30 American Soldiers and Italian Women during the Occupation/Liberation Period
Silvia Cassamagnaghi (Università di Milano)

16:10 Coffee break

16.20 Cronaca Nera: The Racialization of Crime in Occupied Italy
Charles L. Leavitt IV (University of Notre Dame)

17.00 The Grammar of the Occupation: The Advisory Council and the Evolution of Allied Control in Italy, 1943-45
Marco Maria Aterrano (Università di Messina)

17.40 Coffee break

17.50 Keynote presentation: L’alleato nemico, Forty-Five Years Later
David W. Ellwood (Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe, Bologna)

18.30 Final roundtable discussion

19.00 Workshop ends


International Conference

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

23-25 October 2023

The international conference “Étudier la guerre : Perspectives historiographiques et épistémologiques de l’histoire de la guerre des années 1950 à nos jours”, organised by the Groupe de recherche en histoire de la guerre, will take place at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada from 23-25 October 2023.

Further information including the full programme is available on the conference web site

Network members who are interested in the conference but are not able to attend in person can request a link to view the sessions on-line by emailing etudierlaguerre@nullsciencesconf.org


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