ESSHC 2020 Labour Network CfP

Gorkem  Akgoz 's picture
March 18, 2020 to March 21, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Labor History / Studies


Call for sessions and papers on Labour and Working Class History for the Thirteenth European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), Leiden, The Netherlands, 18 – 21 March, 2020


On 18-21 March 2020 the 13th European Social Science History Conference will take place in Leiden (The Netherlands) – The ESSHC brings together scholars interested in explaining historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences. The conference is characterized by a lively exchange in many small groups, rather than by formal plenary sessions. It is organized in a large number of networks that cover specific fields of interest.


One of the largest networks of the ESSHC is Labour. We think that progress in Labour History is being made by analysing global developments in labour relations and labour struggles, including the influence of these global developments on local and national contexts and vice versa. It also remains essential to take into account other constituent elements of working class identities besides class, such as gender, ethnicity, religion, age and nationality. Labour can also provide an analytical lens to study the interconnectedness of political, economic, and cultural developments, and specific issues such as management strategies, colonial relations, factories and other sites of production (plantations, mines, households), slavery, free and unfree labour, formal and informal labour activism, etc. Moreover, labour history provides essential insights into pressing contemporary issues such as globalization, social inequality, migration, and precariousness.


The Labour Network welcomes any session or paper proposal dealing with all topics and periods in labour and working class history. For a detailed list of the criteria that we will follow in our selection, see the annex 1 below. Please, read it carefully when preparing your proposal.


The Labour Network seeks to broaden its temporal and geographical scope, and therefore encourage sessions and papers from all time periods and all regions. We welcome the organisation of conference sessions that move beyond the traditional conference panel, such as film screenings, book panels etc. Roundtable discussions that present and discuss important books, articles, changing institutional and educational structures and other concerns within labour history are also encouraged.


The conference language is English.             


Since the coherence of sessions will be an important criterion, propositions of full sessions with three to five papers will be easier to accommodate in the conference programme than single papers. However, we do accept single paper proposals, both in order to include them in proposed sessions and to compose a limited number of new sessions. Moreover, while most sessions choose the panel format, other types of sessions are encouraged. We also have a preference for sessions with a comparative character, geographically and/or chronologically. Also, we advise you to seek alliances with other ESSHC-networks, propose joint sessions and/or specify any other networks that are related to your theme in your proposal.


We heartily encourage young scholars, such as PhD and master students, to organize sessions and propose papers within the Labour Network. We remind you that the Jan Lucassen Prize for the best paper at the ESSHC of a junior scholar will be awarded again in Leiden  (see


Proposing sessions or papers only works by pre-registering on our website.

To propose a panel session (2 hour timeslot): panel organizers need to pre-register for 3 to 5 participants. Add full names and addresses of all paper authors and of a chair and/or discussant. To propose an individual paper: pre-register through the conference website, indicating ‘Labour’ as your network of preference.

See for full details: The deadline for proposing abstracts is 15 April 2019.                                                  

Further information on the ESSHC is available from the conference website at                    ...

For specific questions about the Labour Network, please contact the chairs: Görkem Akgöz (, Peyman Jafari ( and Hanne Østhus (


Annex 1. Criteria for selection


At the ESSHC 2020, the Labour Network will be allocated 24 time-slots, thus confirming itself as one of the biggest networks at the ESSHC. Usually, we receive more proposals than we can accommodate. Final decisions result not only from the evaluation of individual session and paper proposals, but also from the need to construct a balanced and representative programme.


For the purpose of transparency, and as guidance to your submissions, please find below here a list of the key criteria that will guide our selection.


We will:


  • accept session proposals with a minimum of three and a maximum of five speakers.
  • accept single and double session proposals, but no triple session proposals. Double sessions may include from a minimum of six to a maximum of ten speakers.
  • not accept sessions that stem from single institutions, single research projects and/or single countries.
  • not accept session or paper proposals which substantially overlap with those presented at previous conferences or at previous editions of the ESSHC. If your session or paper proposal is a sequel of a session or paper you have presented earlier on, please state it explicitly in your submission and tell us how the new proposal will differ from the previous one(s).                                                
  • prioritise session proposals, but reserve some time-slots to sessions stemming from paper proposals. We will also actively seek to place individual papers in appropriate session proposals.                                                                                        
  • prioritise session proposals with the maximum level of internal coherence. To this end, in some cases we may have to accept only some of the papers included in a session proposal and/or ask the proponents to include extra individual papers in their proposed session.
  • send a collective email when a session is formed out of individual paper proposals, we will and ask the speakers to discuss together in order to improve the internal coherence of the session. They will be also asked to choose a chair and a discussant together.                        
  • prioritise sessions that address multiple spatial contexts, rather than a single country.
  • prioritise sessions that use a comparative approach.
  • seek to balance themes, approaches and time-frames within the field of labour history.    
  • seek to balance between senior and junior researchers (including PhD and master students).
  • seek to have a balanced gender representation among speakers, chairs and discussants.
  • welcome proposals for sessions that do not follow the panel format. You may think of roundtables, workshops, discussions around one or two volumes, etc. Be creative!
  • ask you to decide about the chairs and discussants in your accepted session. If you don’t provide us with any name by the time the final programme is due to be published, we or the ESSHC organizers will assign one chair and one discussant to your session. As a standard, sessions with five speakers have one chair, but no discussant.


In case you have any doubt regarding these criteria, please do not hesitate to contact us prior to your submission.                                                




Contact Info: 

Görkem Akgöz 

re:work (IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History) 

Humboldt University 

Georgenstr. 23, 10117 Berlin

Telephone: +49 (0)30 2093 702 33

Telefax: +49 (0)30 2093 702 10

Contact Email: