CALL FOR PAPERS
Exploring the micro history of the holocaust
Over the past years, numerous surveys adopting a micro perspective applied to different terrains of investigation have enhanced our understanding of the holocaust. Focusing on family trajectories, deportation convoys, the histories of a ghetto, a camp, a city or a region, these studies aim to provide a local contribution to the national and European edifice of the history of the holocaust. The purpose of this international conference is to engage and compare the methods deployed in these studies, to investigate the specificity of the scale of observation thus adopted and to assess how the choice of a micro scale contributes to our macro comprehension of the history of the holocaust.
The delimitation of a terrain of investigation means in the first place the possibility of reconstituting the logic of a social space and the decisions facing individuals embedded in this space. Can monographs significantly highlight the dynamics of social relations among victims, executioners and bystanders? Can prosopographies document the victims' beliefs and knowledge in light of their social networks, groups of affiliation, and biographical trajectories? Which contributions can we expect from a focus on interactions and factors of embeddedness? More broadly, how what are the benefits, limitations and possible shortcomings of a micro-historical applied to the analysis of the persecutions?
The organization of this conference builds on the international workshop held at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) on June 9-10, 2011 which fifteen researchers attended. In light of these exchanges, we propose to reflect on the implications of a shift in scale and to discuss the practical challenges faced by this change of perspective. What are the relevant sources? How are quantitative analyses possible at the local level? Can the methods of social history be applied to objects of research that due to their exceptional character are also objects of intense debates and contention? This conference will address these different questions and, in so doing, will provide the opportunity to confront the methods, findings and hypotheses of researchers who share an approach to the persecutions from a local standpoint.
The topics addressed by this conference might be organized around the following themes:
1. New objects, new questions
Procedures of identification, classification and filing
Neighborhood relationships, proximities, and social inclusion
Acts of killing: pogroms, assassinations, killing centers
2. Methods and epistemology
Choosing terms and writing styles
Quantification: limits and contributions
The “I” of the historian and family histories
Testimonies and archives: competition or complementarity?
The end of the witness: how shall we write the holocaust after the witnesses?
3. The choice of a scale
What is to be done with monographs?
The “normal” and the “exceptional” (small places, outlooks from the margins …)
Capital cities as terrains of microhistory?
We invite potential contributors to submit a three-page proposal (double space) addressing a research object relevant to the focus or the main themes of this conference as well as a Vitae to the following address by February 15, 2011: firstname.lastname@example.org . The selection of the proposals will be finalized in April 2012 and the deadline for the submission of the papers will be November 1, 2012. The conference will take place at the Ecole Normal Supérieure (Paris) on December 5-7, 2012.
Organization committee: Claire Zalc (CNRS), Tal Bruttmann (Ville de Grenoble), Ivan Ermakoff (University of Wisconsin at Madison), Nicolas Mariot (CNRS)
Scientific committee: Omer Bartov (Brown University), Jan Grabowski (University of Ottawa), Jan Gross (Princeton University), Maurice Olender (EHESS), Dieter Pohl (Universität Klagenfurt), Annette Wieviorka (CNRS-Paris1)
Organization committee: Claire Zalc (CNRS), Tal Bruttmann (Ville de Grenoble), Ivan Ermakoff (University of Wisconsin at Madison), Nicolas Mariot (CNRS) Email: email@example.com
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