Reminder: Call for Papers: No Neighbours’ Land: Postwar Europe in a New Comparative Perspective. International Workshop, Warsaw, 23-25 October 2019

Anna Wylegala Discussion


No Neighbours’ Land: Postwar Europe in a New Comparative Perspective.

International Workshop, Warsaw, 23-25 October 2019

How does one get used to living in a house that had belonged to people who were deported? How does it feel to wear the dress of your murdered neighbor? What happens when half of the community vanishes overnight? Is it easier to cope if the process of destruction takes longer?

The Institute of Sociology and Philosophy of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw), under the patronage of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, with the cooperation of the German Historical Institute Warsaw, invites applications for an intensive academic workshop focused on the social, economic and cultural consequences of the ethnic cleansing and forced resettlements in Europe during and immediately after World War II. The goal of our workshop is to gather researchers working on various geographical and historical contexts to develop a common theoretical and methodological framework for researching transnational post-war phenomena.

Our workshop aims to fill a gap encompassing the fate of the “No Neighbours Land” of Europe and its inhabitants, who undertook the burdensome process of the post-catastrophe reconstruction.  In the middle of 20th century, ethnic cleansings and deportations  as well as political and social revolutions deprived this part of Europe of important Others, in both a class and an ethnic sense. The vanished Others were primarily Jews, but also included other national minorities: Poles in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, Ukrainians in Poland, Hungarians in Romania, Finns in Karelia, Germans throughout all Central and Eastern Europe, and many others. Although much has been written on the victims and survivors, not that much attention was devoted to the witnesses and bystanders, who remained in the ‘Bloodlands’.

As a result, in the immediate postwar period, many places in Europe (and East-Central Europe in particular) were left to deal with a substantial void in various areas of society: the economy, professional and social roles, everyday culture and tradition. Emptied households, towns and workshops were filled with other, resettled nationalities who took over new social roles, inhabited foreign cultural landscapes and normalized living in previously unfamiliar parts of the world.

Although our focus is on post-1945 Europe, we invite proposals dealing with other time-frames (e.g. post-1974 Cyprus, aftermaths of the Yugoslavian war, the civil war in Greece) and cases from outside Europe. Our goal is to discuss new research in the field, but also to allow for networking and encourage the exchange of methodological and theoretical approaches. Proposals from disciplines other than history are most welcome.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

- property transfer;

- private and public discourses about the ‘vanished Others’;

- witnessing and collaborating;

- economic dysfunctions and professional shortages;

- the emergence of new social and political orders;

- changes in the social structure;

- changes in social norms and values;

- changing cultural practices in the context of a lost multi-ethnicity;

- symbolic spaces: cemeteries, places of worship and monuments;

- memory, commemoration and identity – long lasting aspects of the problem.


Please send your paper proposal (no more than 350 words) and short CV (max. 2 pages) to by February 28, 2019.

The list of chosen participants will be announced by the end of March 2019. Successful applicants will be asked to send their draft papers in advance to be forwarded to the commentators.

There is no conference fee. Accommodation in Warsaw might be offered depending on the obtained funding.


Organizing team: Anna Wylegała,, Małgorzata Łukianow,