AAC : « Families in Transit : Child-bearing, Child-rearing and Inheritance during Displacement », September 21–23, 2022, Leiden University — LIMITE : 01/​05/​2022


Stories about refu­gees are almost always stories about fami­lies. From ancient times when depor­ta­tions accom­pa­nied mili­tary defeats to the modern migra­tions unlea­shed by conflict, perse­cu­tion and climate change, chil­dren within displaced fami­lies have conti­nuously demanded care. And yet, the archival record and the narra­tives drawn from it rarely capture the seemingly “invi­sible” work performed by biolo­gical and circum­stan­tial care­gi­vers during periods of displa­ce­ment. Further, while it is clear that child-bearing and care­ta­king are time­less enter­prises, deep lacunae remain around these histo­rical subjects more gene­rally. Diapers neces­sa­rily leave different kinds of cloth and paper trails. How does a focus on growing fami­lies as well as the indi­vi­duals and enti­ties who care for them change our unders­tan­ding of displa­ce­ment, migra­tion and the complex feelings of belon­ging to a specific reli­gious, ethnic or cultural “diaspora”?

This confe­rence, Fami­lies in Transit, makes the “invi­sible” work that accom­pa­nies chil­dren and conti­nues during periods of displa­ce­ment “visible” across space and histo­rical time. Drawing on multi­dis­ci­pli­nary pers­pec­tives, the goal of this meeting is to illu­mi­nate the connec­tions and discon­nec­tions between displaced fami­lies within different histo­rical and contem­po­rary contexts, like : deported popu­la­tions in the Ancient Near East ; indi­ge­nous peoples in North America ; fami­lies with Nansen passports after WWI ; Polish Jews who survived World War II and Holo­caust in the Soviet Union ; displaced people with Greek citi­zen­ship ; fami­lies uprooted during and after the breakup of Yugo­slavia in the 1990s and the disso­lu­tion of Mandate Pales­tine in the 1940s as well as Syrian and Ukrai­nian parents and their chil­dren who have been displaced more recently, over the last decade and up until today. The keynote addresses will be given by Professor Claire Zalc and Professor Ab de Jong. This confe­rence is spon­sored by the Royal Academy of The Nether­lands (KNAW) which awarded the orga­nizer an Early Career Part­ner­ship for this initia­tive in 2021.

We would like to invite “early career scho­lars” working on these themes to join our confe­rence. Advanced doctoral students, post­doc­toral colleagues and unte­nured profes­sors at univer­si­ties and research insti­tutes are welcome to apply. Small travel stipends will be offered on a case-by-case basis and appli­cants should consider asking their home insti­tu­tions for full support if they require a larger travel budget and over­night accom­mo­da­tions. Meals and refresh­ments at the confe­rence will be covered by the organizer.

Application details

To apply please send a proposed paper title, a 250 word abstract summa­ri­zing your confe­rence presen­ta­tion, and your CV to Sarah Cramsey (s.​a.​cramsey@​hum.​leidenuniv.​nl) by May 1. Ques­tions about the CFP and confe­rence more gene­rally can be directed to her as well.