CFP: Gender and Trauma: Material, Methods, Media

September 20-21, 2019, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Co-organized by Jason Crouthamel (Grand Valley State University), Julia B. Köhne (Humboldt University in Berlin), Peter Leese (University of Copenhagen) and Ville Kivimäki (University of Tampere, Finland).

Sponsored by the Grand Valley State University Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), and in conjunction with the Michigan Council for History Education (MCHE).

Specialists in trauma studies and gender studies have collaborated to produce innovative research on war, genocide and other sites of extreme violence.  Building bridges between scholars in trauma research and gender studies leads to important discoveries finding new source bases, methods and directions of inquiry, opens up new areas of research and raises critical questions.  This conference aims to:

  1. Foster interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars in history, literature, media
    (film/popular and fine arts) studies, psychology, sociology, culture studies, women and gender studies and other fields.
  2. Share new sources, topoi and approaches in gender and trauma research.
  3. Explore the different ways in which concepts of ‘masculinity,’ ‘femininity,’ or ‘queerness’ are shaped and affected by traumatic events (including war, genocide, economic crisis, environmental disaster, domestic violence and other forms of violence).
  4. Explore and debate unconventional trajectories and tendencies in historiography and theory on gender and trauma.
  5. Build connections between scholars and the public/community in discussions of gender and trauma as they relate to historical and contemporary sociopolitical issues.

We invite applicants who are interested in any topics related to trauma studies and gender studies (or who specialize in one or the other and would like to build interrelations between the two fields) across regional, national, chronological, disciplinary as well as taboo and other boundaries.  We encourage a broad range of scholars, teachers and activists/policy-makers to send a proposal. Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Analysis of gendered or sexualized violence in a variety of geographical and cultural contexts
  2. Representations of gender, sexuality and trauma in (audio-)visual media
  3. Gender and trauma in political (postcolonial), medical and military discourse
  4. The impact of gender studies on military history (and vice versa)
  5. Trauma, gender and memory
  6. Gender analysis and narratives of trauma (archival, literary and cinematic sources)
  7. Theoretical inquiry into gender and trauma as categories of knowledge and analysis (intersections between sex, gender, class, race, age, disability etc.)

One of the keynotes for the conference will be Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Professor and Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.  Her ​work explores ways in which the impact of the dehumanizing experiences of oppression and violent abuse continues to play out in the next generation in the aftermath of historical trauma. She also analyzes the relationship between remorse and forgiveness after historical trauma, and examines what she terms “reparative humanism” as an alternative to the notions of “healing” and “closure.” Her critically acclaimed work includes A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness, which explores the interweaving of guilt, shame and remorse on the one hand, and trauma and forgiveness on the other. The book won the Christopher Award in the United States and the Alan Paton Prize in South Africa.

Our second keynote is Dagmar Herzog, who is Distinguished Professor of History and Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She writes and teaches on the history of the Holocaust and its aftermath, the histories of religion and Jewish-Christian relations, and the histories of gender and sexuality. She is the author, most recently, of Cold War Freud: Psychoanalysis in an Age of Catastrophes (Cambridge, 2017), Unlearning Eugenics: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Disability in Post-Nazi Europe (Wisconsin, 2018), and Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth Century History (Cambridge, 2011).

The conference encourages diverse session formats, including workshops, roundtables and traditional panels.  We encourage individual proposals as well as workshop or panel proposals. In your application, please indicate the kind of format you would like for your session:

  1. Proposals for individual papers should include a 300-word abstract and one-page CV.
  2. Proposals for panels should include 300-word abstracts and a short CV for each panelist, as well as a brief description of the overall panel.
  3. Proposals for workshops and roundtables can vary in size and format (e.g. pre-circulated papers, structured discussion, etc.). Workshop and roundtable proposals should include a 300-word abstract about the goals of the session, a list of participants (with their email addresses and affiliation) and a one-page CV of the session organizer.

Please email proposals to Jason Crouthamel ( by April 30, 2019.  Candidates will be selected and contacted regarding acceptance shortly thereafter.  Please contact Jason Crouthamel if you have any questions.

See more information here.

Professor Jason Crouthamel
Grand Valley State University
(616) 331-3298

Call for papers

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Posted: March 05, 2019