As world politics continue to revolve around questions and controversies concerning refugees and migration, historians have begun to pay increasing attention to earlier forms of human movement that have been compelled or assisted by states or international organizations, which can offer valuable background and precedents. A conference to be held in Germany next year seeks to bring together researchers working on related topics in an effort to begin to survey this growing area of inquiry. Entitled “(Forced) Migration and Large-scale Settlement in Modern European History: State-building, Ethnic Conflict and the Economy in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” the gathering, to be held from April 1-3 at the Technical University of Dresden, will encompass population movements both within Europe and beyond it – from the far eastern frontiers of the Russian Empire to the borderlands of the Ottoman Empire to the far-flung colonies where European powers often sought to export surplus populations.
The purview of the gathering will extend from the earliest decades of the nineteenth century – after the new force of nationalism had been let loose in Europe and thinking began to focus on populations as a whole – through the post-Second World War era. It will welcome papers focused on such topics as managing under- or overpopulation, migration as a means to solve ethnic “questions,” channeling migrants as a consequence of wars, soldier settlement schemes on borderlands, and ethnic cleansing, and such specific subjects as nineteenth century German settlement schemes in Poland, proposals for Jewish refugee assistance mooted by the Roosevelt administration, Nazi depopulation and repopulation plans, and the global exodus of displaced persons from the ruins of postwar Europe. Its overall aim will be to explore the effects of interdisciplinary thinking about demographics during the periods in question, especially linkages between political, scientific, and economic thinking about population and movement on a large scale, and how these forms of thought themselves influenced one another by crossing borders. More details are available here.
Interested participants should send a CV and proposal of no more than 500 words to organizers Gerhard Wolf (University of Sussex, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tim Buchen (Technical University of Dresden, email@example.com) by September 1, 2019.