Call for sessions and papers on Labour and Working Class History for the Twelfth European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), Belfast, 4-7 April 2018.

On 4-7 April 2018 the 12th European Social Science History Conference will take place at Queen’s University in Belfast (Northern Ireland). 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 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 specific 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.

Furthermore, we see the emergence of substantial new areas of study within Labour History, for example:

  • the connected histories of colonial and metropolitan labour across the early modern and modern periods
  • the provincialization of Atlantic slavery vis-à-vis the emergence of new research on the experiences of enslavement in the medieval Mediterranean and the early modern Indian Ocean, Asia and the Pacific
  • a renewed approach to the question of free and unfree labour
  • the entanglements between the management of slave, indentured, convict and wage labour
  • the entanglements between the study of labour relations and workers’ individual and collective agency
  • the focus on single sites of production and reproduction (plantations, factories, mines, households, manufactures, docks, railways etc.)
  • and so on ...

Moreover, we witness a growing tendency to foreground labour history in order to understand pressing contemporary issues, such as globalization, social inequality, migration, labour precariousness, mass incarceration and citizenship.

The Labour Network welcomes any session or paper proposal dealing with all topics and periods in labour and working class history. Click here for more details on the submission of papers or sessions. The deadline for proposals is 1 May 2017.