Cfp: Everyday Life History and its Approaches to Writing the History of Twentieth-Century Europe.

Over the last decades there has been a growing interest in the history of everyday life, Alltagsgeschichte, a perspective which emerged from the context of the social and political upheavals of the 1960s. A new generation of historians turned their attention to social history and took a closer look at the “mundane” and often invisible activities of the everyday life. They became interested in the subjective experiences of individual actors, who had remained anonymous to that point in history and who had left but few sources about their lives. Everyday life historians, using sources such as autobiographies, public records, letters, visual material, newspapers and magazines, as well as series of oral interviews or other artifacts, started to construct their narratives and historicize the social practices of people and the different societal structures. Their research has primarily focused on ordinary material, individual biographies, local actors, and their different historical contexts. Through these stories of individuals, historians began to narrate history from below and reveal connections between the micro-historical context, i.e. small-scale case studies and their particular local contexts and the meta-narratives of macro-history.

The objective of this conference is to find out what new theoretical, methodological, and empirical findings in writing everyday life history are present in scholarly research today. The conference welcomes various approaches (theoretical/critical works, empirical studies, methodological discussions), and encourages submissions that cross disciplines. We seek to investigate what new conventional or unconventional source material might be used in writing this kind of history.

Moreover, we are interested in studying empirical cases dealing with everyday life in the 20th century in various (e.g. state/non-state, formal/informal, religious/secular, etc.) contexts in Europe. We further seek to develop a gender perspective. In what cases and how does the category of gender emerge while investigating everyday life history? What are the links between gendered practices and their representations?

We seek to gather an international group of scholars and PhD students who use the approach of everyday life in their researches to narrate different historical events of 20th century history in Europe. The conference encourages a comparative approach. We hope to bring together a group of scholars working in diverse geographical, social, political and cultural contexts. Topics of interest for possible submission include, but are not limited to:

- Theoretical and methodological reflections on an everyday life approach for writing the history of the 20th century

- War experiences and violence

- Working and living conditions

- Religious practices

- Childhood and education

- Family life and domesticity

- Community, neighborhood, and urban life

- Sport and leisure activities

- Mass media and cinema

- Illegal networks and criminal organizations

Each presentation at the conference should last no more than 20 minutes. For all accepted presenters, travel and accommodation will be covered. The conference will be held in English and German.

Abstract proposals of no less than 250 and no more than 500 words with a short bio should be sent by October 1, 2018 to:

The workshop will be organized by:

Prof. Ruth Leiserowitz / Dr. des. Christhardt Henschel, German Historical Institute Warsaw and Dr. des. Gintarė Malinauskaitė, German Historical Institute Warsaw / Branch Office Vilnius

Deadline for submitting abstracts: October 1, 2018

Notification of acceptance: October 31, 2018

Conference dates: February 20-22, 2019

Conference venue: Vilnius, Lithuania




Photographer: Ludwig Boedecker

Copyright: The Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Rare Books Department


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