CfP: International Conference: XX. Century: IF THIS IS A WOMAN

Denisa Nestakova Contribution



Call for Papers


International Conference: XX. Century:


organized by

the Department of General History, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

and the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, Germany


January 21st – 23rd, 2019 in Bratislava


Gender analysis applied to the field of War Studies and Holocaust Studies has led to important discoveries, opened up new areas of research and raised critical questions about established narratives. Thanks to gender analysis, research has started focusing on different topics; in particular the female experience during the Holocaust and World War II, and has also brought up the latest findings on family and survival strategies, children´s experience, or investigation on life of homosexuals under the rule of NS Germany and their allies.

Despite the development of Women’s and Gender Studies in the last decades, the importance of women in history has remained—until recently— a “problematic” subject, and more importantly an under-researched topic. While most war memories belong to men, women´s experiences have played just a trivial role. Moreover, all generalizations and gender-neutral statements about experiences during the Holocaust have neglected a personalized and gender-oriented approach to Holocaust Studies. This conference attempts to pay particular attention to the specific features of women’s experience in WWII and the Holocaust.

Thanks to the growing academic interest in the history of gender, WWII and the Holocaust, the question of Jewish masculinity during the Holocaust could be analysed in the similar depth. Only little attention has been paid to the impact of humiliation, ghettoization and genocide, but also to hiding, resistance and the armed fight on the gender identities of the Jewish and non-Jewish men who experienced them. Questions including the role of men in the home, in public, the meaning of fatherhood, and the shifts of masculinities practised by victims and perpetrators, Jewish and non-Jewish men in this period have not received adequate scholarly attention.

We hope that the conference will contribute to fill the gap, while presenting the newest research on still under-researched topics on experiences of women and other marginalized groups of victims and perpetrators in WWII and the Holocaust.


We welcome papers touching on these issues across occupied Europe. Possible themes include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Being a Jewish and non-Jewish woman/man in ghettos/camps/hiding/resistance
  • Pregnancy, motherhood and fatherhood during WWII and the Holocaust
  • Relations within families and foster families
  • Survival and gender 
  • Value of work and gender 
  • War, Holocaust and gender related violence
  • Homosexuality
  • Perpetrators and rescuers
  • Women in the army
  • Hyper-masculinity vs. loss of masculinity
  • Aryan helpers (cooks, nannies, etc.) in Jewish families and their role in rescue and betrayal 
  • Transmission of female and male testimonies to children and grandchildren


Panel proposals are welcome.

We particularly encourage early career scholars and PhD candidates to apply.

The conference language is English.

Abstracts in English (max. 500 words), together with a short CV (max. 2 pages) should be sent to:

by June 30, 2018.

Travel and accommodation can be covered on request.

We plan to publish an edited volume of selected papers after the conference in order to share our findings and encourage further work in this area.


We are honoured to already announce that the conference will feature a keynote lecture by Professor Dalia Ofer (Hebrew University, Jerusalem).



Organization Team


Jakub Drábik, PhD (Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava)

Katja Grosse-Sommer, MA (Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg)

Borbála Klacsmann, MA (University of Szeged, Szeged)

Mgr. Denisa Nešťáková, MA (Comenius University, Bratislava)

Prof. Eduard Nižňanský, CSc. (Comenius University, Bratislava)

Anna Ullrich, MA (Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich)




Faculty of Arts, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic


Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, Poland

University of Szeged, Department of Contemporary History, Szeged, Hungary


Conference is sponsored by


Visegrad Fund