Rethinking War: A Virtual Interdisciplinary Conference (March 18-19, 2022)

Bridget Keown's picture
Call for Papers
March 18, 2022 to March 19, 2022
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Military History, Peace History / Studies, World History / Studies

All history is political, especially the history of organized and state-sponsored violence. Multiple frameworks, disciplinary perspectives, and forms of expression are required grasp this history fully and comprehensively. Such work has the potential to emphasize the importance of military history, war studies, and conflict history within our own historic moment. More importantly, it provides the opportunity to welcome a new generation of scholars, students, and teachers of diverse experiences and perspectives.

This conference seeks to re-evaluate and re-define the study of war, conflict, and military history by moving beyond familiar periodization and narratives, and by challenging traditional binaries of war/peace, veteran/civilian, home-front/battlefield, and digital/physical sites of war. It also welcomes multiple forms of storytelling and a widely-representative group of storytellers, including artists and library and museum professionals.

This event is intended as research showcase and, hopefully, as a tool for building a supportive community of scholars, encouraging collaboration, and offering solidarity, even after the conference itself has ended. As a result, this conference strives to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible for all involved.

Some suggested topics for papers include, but are by no means limited to:

  • What it means to ‘decolonize,’ ‘re-center,’ or ‘reconceptualize’ the history of war
  • Destablilizing traditional frameworks of analysis around war, conflict, and peace
  • Violence within imperial contexts and hierarchies of power and violence
  • Reporting in/on war, storytelling and oral histories in/of war
  • The role of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, and identity within the context of the history of war
  • The effects of war on lived and natural environments
  • The rhetoric of war and violence (ex: “The War on Poverty”)
  • The intersections of health, medicine, and bioethics in times of conflict
  • Digital warfare and the use of technology in warfare
  • The study of trauma, memory, and memorialization of war, conflict, and violence
  • Media depictions of war, including literature, film, opera, video games, and comics
  • Innovative pedagogies of military history, war studies, and other fields
  • The effects of victory and defeat on culture, society, and historical analysis
  • Gendered violence, hate crimes, and crimes against humanity in the perpetration of state-sponsored violence
  • The role of veterans, as well as a consideration of those whose veteran status has been historically challenged or ignored
  • The politics and meaning of war, insurrection, and violence in society

To apply, please submit a proposal of no more than 250 words to The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2022.

Proposals will be accepted for individual papers, as well as for non-traditional forms of presentations, from scholars from all career stages, including undergraduate students. We also welcome expressions of interest from those who are interested in attending the conference without participating.

Please direct any questions to Dr. Bridget Keown at

Contact Info: 

Bridget Keown, University of Pittsburgh

Contact Email: