Call for Papers (Articles): Suicide in East-Central Europe, 1848-1969

Orel Beilinson's picture

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Call for Publications
December 21, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Eastern Europe History / Studies, European History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Literature

Call for Papers: Suicide in East-Central Europe, 1848-1969


We are seeking abstracts for a proposed journal special edition on the topic of ‘Suicide in East-Central Europe, 1848-1969’. Suicide is an important but to date largely neglected subject in the history of nineteenth and twentieth century East-Central Europe and it is our intention to address this gap in the research through interdisciplinary articles, focussed either on individual or comparative case studies throughout the period in question. Case studies can explore suicide as a social barometer and a symbol politicized by the public sphere, as a problem to be eradicated by governmental and non-governmental organizations, as a personal choice (as far as one can go in gauging the suicidal subjectivity) influenced by historical watersheds and calamities, as well as a topic for news coverage that was one of the most consistent sections (usually not separately marked) in each issue of the news. We hope to bring meaningful transnational and transhistorical study to the phenomenon of suicide in East-Central Europe to an Anglophone readership.


Key questions include:

  • How were suicides counted and calculated in East-Central Europe?
  • How did the press report on suicide, both individual cases and as a cultural and social phenomenon?
  • What were the most important differences in the way that successive regimes (Habsburg, interwar governments, socialist regimes) dealt with suicide? What meaning/significance did they attribute to it, and how did they propose to deal with it?
  • What were the literary and artistic responses/representations of suicide in East-Central Europe, and what impact did they have?
  • Did these matters differ significantly in differing parts of East-Central Europe? Was there serious reflection and cooperation on the problem of suicide between various parts of the region?

Those interested in contributing should submit a title and 300-400 word abstract by 21 December to Any further inquiries or expressions of interest can also be directed to either of us. Our intention is to submit a special edition proposal early in the new year, with full drafts for peer review ready by summer 2021, but we will respond with further details once we have reviewed abstracts.


Orel Beilinson (Yale University)

John Paul Newman (Maynooth University)