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Call For Papers

Labeling and the management of dis-placement – current research on ‘displaced persons’ and ‘Heimatlose Ausländer’ in the aftermath of World War II

5th conference of the Displaced Persons Research Network, October 28-30, 2021

IMIS/ Department of History of Osnabrück University, Germany

From October 28-30, 2021, the 5th bi-annual conference of the Displaced Persons Research Network will take place at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) and the Department of History of Osnabrück University.

The year 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the „Gesetz über die Rechtsstellung heimatloser Ausländer im Bundesgebiet“ (“Law on the Legal Status of Homeless Aliens in the Federal Territory”), with which the Federal German legislature “relabeled” those "Displaced Persons" in 1951 who had not previously been repatriated or resettled abroad, stayed in Germany and eventually had to be integrated into German society as “Heimatlose Ausländer”. While the new law caused heated debates in German society and in the just established German Bundestag in the early 1950s, the story of the so-called “Heimatlose Ausländer” has since largely disappeared from public consciousness. To revisit this consequence of forced migration, the conference is put under the theme “Labeling and the management of dis-placement – current research on ‘displaced persons’ and ‘Heimatlose Ausländer’ in the aftermath of World War II”.

Since the 1980s, research about the so-called Displaced Persons has become a dynamic and diverse field. Research today includes the entanglement of the Nazi period with post-war history, the early years of the United Nations or studies about the Cold War as well as the social, political, legal, cultural, gender or institutional history, local and global history of forced migration linked to refugee studies and research on migration, integration or identities. At the same time, more and more archives were opened for research across Europe while the digitization of documents and the methodologies of digital history opened new ways to look at the sources.

The Displaced Persons Research Network was established ten years ago as an international and interdisciplinary association of scientists working on the topic of Displaced Persons during and after World War II.

The conference will take the Law on the Legal Status of “Heimatlose Ausländer” in the Federal Territory as a starting point but will leave room for other topics and approaches in the field.

For its 5th conference, you are invited to submit a paper or session proposal addressing either the conference theme or other related topics. Authors who are interested in submitting a paper should send a title, a short abstract outlining the scope of their proposed paper and a short CV of one or two paragraphs. Session proposals should include three to four papers, a session title and abstract, as well as titles and abstracts of all included papers plus short CVs of all participants.

The deadline to submit proposals is May 31, 2021.

Please send proposals to Sebastian Huhn at: sebastian.huhn@uni-osnabrueck.de.

Travel expenses as well as accommodation will be covered for those participants who present a paper. Colleagues are however also invited to participate in the event without presenting a paper on their own expense.

We are currently planning this event as an onsite conference. Given the uncertainties of the global health situation and possible travel restrictions, we might have to change to a hybrid format, combining online and in-person attendance, or an entirely online event.

Linda Ennen-Lange, Lukas Hennies, Dr. Sebastian Huhn, Dr. Sebastian Musch, Prof. Dr. Christoph Rass

Sebastian Huhn
IMIS/ Historisches Seminar, Universität Osnabrück
Neuer Graben 19-21, 49074 Osnabrück – Germany