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The 2023 issue of the Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für Deutsche Geschichte, published by the Minerva Institute for German History at Tel Aviv University, is dedicated to processes of displacement and the search for refuge in various regions and epochs, especially in connection with the history of German-speaking Central Europe.
Refugees often attract public attention and become visible when they arrive on the shore, knock on the door. Their past trajectory is usually relegated to the background – some unspecified misery, distant persecution, or a common wish to build a better future. In this volume, we wish to discuss processes of displacement – from formal expulsions to low-key migrations, from internal relocation to frontier decimation, from movements of individuals, families, and communities to mass departures and large-scale flights, temporary or not.
In centering refuge, we wish to steer clear from the category of refugee, which has attracted, for good reasons, considerable political and scholarly attention: rather than discussing legal categories and state policies, we focus on attempts and strategies for attaining safety, finding shelter, and, if possible, settling down. We are interested in sheltering, refuging, re/settling, and returning; in conflicts and alliances within continuously negotiated social hierarchies; in what people on the move seek to avoid, what they hope to achieve.
Displacement, often in the context of war or an organized drive for ethnic cleansing, could also involve resettlement and replacement. How displacement, replacement, and resettlement as interrelated social processes look like on different temporal and geopolitical scales? What strategies those who were displaced develop to come to terms with their predicament, to find a place of sanctuary, to preserve their collective belonging, to lay claims for lost property, and to remember or forget their previous homelands? how do they set themselves up in new places, under different political and economic conditions? How diasporas and communities in exile are forged and fostered, and why do they disappear? How processes of displacement shape trajectories of refuge? How are places of safety imagined? What does it mean to settle down? Can refugees become settlers?
Refuging is an open-ended social process that could last a lifetime, or several. While mobility is necessary, there may be periods of precarious waiting in place. Places of refuge which were provisional at first may become long-term and even permanent, and it is often impossible to know how long would the transitory endure in advance. Those who leave homes in search of security sometimes manage to take with them their belongings, which they hope to keep or use in an uncertain future: artefacts, mementos, prized possessions, house keys, letters, identification papers. Histories of such objects are entangled with those of their owners or would-be looters. Displaced people may also take with them tools, knowledge, know-how, and skills with which they hope to work and survive. How can such luggage be carried across borders and distances? How is valued competence revalued? What forms of knowledge, political visions, and social competences are produced during displacement, after refuge?
We seek contributions offering a fresh look at displacement and refuge, using interdisciplinary and critical methodologies and dealing with historical and contemporary cases. Contributions should focus on a broadly defined central Europe and/or its entanglements with Israel/Palestine and the wider Middle East. We would particularly welcome articles that deal with transregional connections, environmental dislocations, and the relationship between refuge, displacement, and colonization.
The Yearbook publishes contributions in English and German. For previous volumes in the series, see: https://www.wallstein-verlag.de/reihen/tel-aviver-jahrbuch-fuer-deutsche-geschichte.html
Proposal submission deadline: October 30, 2022. Proposals should include a brief description, c. 500 words long, of the paper and explain its relevance to the Yearbook’s theme. They should also include bios.
Timeline for proposals and contributions:
October 30, 2022: Send 500-word proposal and short bio to the Minerva Institute for German History, Tel-Aviv University: firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 14, 2022: Decision notification from editors
January 31, 2023: Full manuscripts due for editorial and peer review
Gadi Algazi, Roii Ball, editors
The Minerva Isntitute for German History, Tel Aviv University
Gadi Algazi (Professor of History, Tel-Aviv)
Roii Ball (Postdoctoral Researcher, Münster)