For the Ninth European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC) in Glasgow, Scotland (11-14 April 2012), the Politics, Citizenship and Nations Network welcomes paper and session proposals on any topic in political history, broadly defined, covering any historical period. The theme of our program for 2012 is:
"Grey Areas: Seeking Nuances in Political History"
Traditional political histories tended to present the past in black and white, relying on archival sources that guided their authors to normative “political” objects. Historians sought to explain political “modernization”; revolutions; the rise and fall of states, empires, monarchies, or political systems; the origins of wars, social or political movements, or types of public policy; interstate relations and conflict; or the rise and fall of “great” or notorious political figures.
The recent “return” to political history has expanded our understanding of politics and the political to include the “grey areas” between, around, beyond, and within what previously appeared black and white. By “grey areas” we mean processes of becoming and transitions; the provisional, the interim, the in-process, the semi-, the in-between, and the experimental; loopholes, absences, omissions, and silences; what can and cannot be imagined, remembered, felt, understood, and represented; and the borderless, the borderline, the marginal, the transnational, and the non-governmental. This can mean seeking the political in the gaps between theory and practice, for example under political systems where political association and/or citizenship was restricted or prohibited, either for everyone or for certain groups of people. Another “grey area” can be discerned within the research field of political transitions (authoritarian rule to democracy, post-colonial/post-imperial rule to independence, monarchy to republic) through in-depth exploration of the breakdown phase and immediate transition process – the in-between, experimental, or interim phase of “regime change” – in a broad historical, geographical, and comparative perspective. Similarly, attention to gender, race, ethnicity, and other sociocultural differences and identities, to the intersections between these, and to the way governments address or neglect these forces us to rethink “black-and-white” historical cleavages between political parties, ideologies, systems, and models of citizenship. Finally, to capture, understand and characterize these “grey areas” of political history, scholars may turn to new kinds of sources and approaches or use traditional ones creatively. Studying the history of what has come to be called “political culture,” analyzing politics as actually practiced and imagined, and identifying and describing these nebulous, ill-defined political states-of-being, objects, and spaces – both enrich and challenge our understanding of familiar political objects such as democracy, citizenship, and the nation-state, and categories such as “left” and “right,” “conservative” and “progressive.”
We are particularly interested in sessions that explore the “grey areas” within the following themes in the history of politics, citizenship, and nations:
• Uses and abuses of categories, classifications, comparisons, and rankings
• Mechanisms of stigmatization, subordination and transgression
• Borders and politics
• Breakdown of political regimes, regime change and transitions
• Elections and social control: electoral mechanics in comparative historical perspective
• Definition and redefinition of citizenship and civic culture
• Integration and disintegration of nation-states, regimes, and empires
• Emotion in politics
• Images of power and authority
• The body/bodies and (or in) politics (gender, sex, race, sport, health, aging…)
• The making of Europe: transnational and bottom-up approaches
• Violence and sovereignty
• Imperial visions
• The politics of memory
• New approaches to the history of parties and political movements
• Transnational intellectual and scientific networks
We encourage comparative sessions and/or papers, and we will gladly co-sponsor sessions with other networks. In addition to traditional panels (chair, discussant and 3-4 formal presentations) we are open to proposals for workshops, roundtables, “meet the author” sessions, and other formats. As panel organizer, you must ensure that each individual participant in your session is pre-registered by the deadline: if an abstract is missing from the database, it will not be forwarded to us for consideration and thus cannot be included in the program.
The deadline for pre-registration on the conference website is 1 May 2011. For general information or to pre-register online please go to the Conference website at www.iisg.nl/esshc or contact the Conference secretariat email@example.com. For questions about the Politics, Citizenship and Nations Network please contact network chairs José Reis Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Anne Epstein (email@example.com).
University of Strasbourg
José Reis Santos
New University of Lisbon
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)