CFP | Histories of Violence in War | Society for the History of War

Graça Almeida Borges Discussion

Histories of Violence in War


23-24 November 2023

National Library of Portugal, Lisbon




***The Deadline for Submissions is 30th June 2023***


The Society for the History of War – in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Centre for History, Cultures, and Societies (CIDEHUS) of the University of Évora, the Department of History, Arts, and the Humanities of Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, the Centre of the History of Society (CHSC) and Culture, of Universidade de Coimbra, and the Center for the Humanities (CHAM), of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa – invites proposals for a conference on the history of violence in war and conflict. The conference will be held in Lisbon at the National Library of Portugal on 23-24 November 2023.





Professor Margaret MacMillan


Professor Macmillan is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Toronto and an Emeritus Professor of International History at Oxford University. Professor MacMillan will discuss the uses of violence in war. The keynote lecture is a public event open to all.


The history of war is the history of violence. But historians of war have yet to unravel the many layers, logics, and dimensions of violence as it is inflicted and endured in the context of military conflict. By contrast, historians of violence have recently made important contributions to the theoretical and empirical framing of violence as a concept, as a political tool, as a social practice, and as a cultural phenomenon. In this conference, we aim to broaden discussions between historians of violence and historians of war. This will make it possible to explore, discuss and deconstruct different empirical, methodological and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of war and violence. In this call for proposals, we invite papers or panels that examine the similarities and differences in how war and violence are represented and understood across time and space in any of the following themes:

  • The use and reception of violence in the context of military conflicts
  • The impact of and the disruptions caused by war violence within communities and societies
  • The agents of violence in war contexts from political actors to everyday lives: state-controlled violence, collective violence, individual, and interpersonal violence
  • The logics of violence in war conflicts: causes, dynamics, and results
  • Decision-making, military organisation, resources, and modes of warfare: the role of violence in military strategies and planning
  • War and violence in the context of imperial expansions, colonial interactions, and post-colonial societies
  • Long-term perspectives to the study of war violence: how did the use and scale of violence in military conflicts evolve through time?
  • The geographies and scales of violence: local, regional, national, and global approaches in the study of war violence
  • Cultures, ideologies, and theological debates on the use of violence in war and conflict
  • Visual, written, and oral representations and narratives of war violence
  • Reactions to violence: violence as resistance, and resistance through violence
  • Violence and war in the history of emotions
  • Violence beyond the war: the use and permanence of violence before, during, and after military conflicts


We would particularly welcome early innovative and/or interdisciplinary methodological approaches that aim to highlight the range and complexity of challenges faced when studying violence and war.



We welcome proposals for individual papers or for themed panels. Postgraduate students are explicitly encouraged to participate in panels or to submit their own panel proposals or individual papers. The conference is intended to offer a constructive environment in which to present work in progress to a specialist audience.


Panels will last for 90 minutes each and should have three speakers and a chair. Each paper should be no longer than 20 minutes to leave sufficient time for discussion.


Individual paper proposals must include a paper title, a 300-word abstract of the paper, and a one-page CV with current contact information / email address. If accepted, individual papers will be assigned by the program committee to an appropriate panel with a chair and commentator.


Panel proposals must include a panel title and 300-word abstract summarizing the theme of the panel; a paper title and a 300-word abstract for each proposed paper proposed; and a one-page CV for each panellist (including the chair and commentator).


Roundtable proposals must include a roundtable title, a 300-word abstract summarizing the roundtable’s themes and points of discussion, and a one-page CV for the chair, the moderator, and each participant (max. 3 participants).


The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2023. Please send all the relevant paperwork to making it clear that you are responding to this particular CfP. The conference organisers will make a decision on the final programme by 1st September 2023 at the latest.



SHoW is a small society of volunteers. We are committed to promoting and developing equality, diversity and inclusivity through our work and to ensuring that our events are accessible, welcoming and collegiate.

To this end, we will provide three travel bursaries of up to 350 EUR, covering either accommodation or travel during the conference, to support the participation of scholars from groups and institutions who are currently underrepresented in the field. We are particularly keen to support applications from scholars based in the global south and from others whose participation will help to ensure a plurality of voices. To apply for a travel bursary, applicants should submit a brief cover letter, explaining how their participation will help to achieve our goals, together with a CV and a copy of their abstract (as a single document).



The conference is organised on a not-for-profit basis. Attendance costs to participate in the conference are to cover travel bursaries, daily refreshments and lunch. We also hope to organise a wine reception and conference dinner. Members of the Society for the History of War receive a discounted attendance fee as will new joiners. Participants may attend without joining SHoW.


Conference Fees:

Final decisions on conference fee will be taken closer to the time of issuing the programme. However, we want to assure participants that the conference fee will not exceed the following:

SHoW’s Members:     €65

Non-Members:           €90

Conference organisers have identified potential hotels where participants can take advantage of cheaper room rates. This information will be posted after the organising committee have published the conference programme. A conference dinner for participants is under consideration. More details of this will follow the issuing of a conference programme later in the year


Contact Info:

For more information, please contact the Society for the History of War via e-mail or via the website.


Organizing Committee:

Graça Almeida Borges | DHAH-Autonomous University of Lisbon and CIDEHUS-University of Évora

Matthew Ford | Swedish Defence University

Samuël Kruizinga | University of Amsterdam

Bruno Lopes | CIDEHUS-University of Évora

Roger Lee de Jesus | History Department-Leibniz University Hannover and CHSC-University of Coimbra

André Murteira | CHAM-New University of Lisbon