Network Conference 2019–Call for Papers (closed)


8th Annual Conference of the Historical Dialogues, Justice & Memory Network
Columbia University
New York City
December 12-14, 2019

Call for Papers

Prevention activism—that is, the effort to record, acknowledge, address and redress the violent past— seeks to counter nationalist myths and identities that are central ingredients of ethnic and political violence. Its goal is to deny the propensity for the future escalation of violence by acknowledging the role that the misuse of history has played in dividing societies. In other words, by enhancing public discussions about the past, prevention activism has become a central part of the efforts in post-conflict societies, as well as in democratic societies, to come to terms with their violent past.

This conference seeks to explore activities that can be defined as “prevention activism”, and their academic analysis. What forms do projects and initiatives take to address past violence, and what impact have they had? These projects often range from civil society initiatives, to government-instated commissions, to the work of international bodies. We are particularly interested in the study of how a specific body has worked to address past violence. Other topics include evaluating the success and failures of such initiatives; exploring the challenges faced by prevention activism; understanding the ways in which pressures, from funding resources to political developments, affect, suppress or inform activism.

Prevention activism and the ways in which it has been implemented on the ground inspired the Mapping Historical Dialogue Project (, and papers that take up this resource, or a discussion of the projects mapped therein are also welcome.

The Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network (, which is coordinated by an international Steering Committee, the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability (AHDA) at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, will hold its annual conference on December 12-14, 2019 at the Columbia University in New York City, USA.

In addition to papers that specifically address prevention activism, priority will be given to papers that explore the relationship between memory (individual, societal or international) and historical dialogue, and empirical approaches to historical dialogue, with a particular focus on the issue of the efficacy of justice, accountability and reconciliation mechanisms.

If you are interested in participating, please e-mail a 300-500 word abstract, a 2-3 sentence bio, and contact information to email: no later than August 1st, 2019. The documents should be sent in a single e-mail attachment. The conference is open to the scholars and activists from around the world. The conference language is English, no translation available. There is no conference registration fee, and no funding for participation is provided. Applications for panels or roundtables are also welcome.

Panel Submissions
Panels consist of a chair and 3-4 panelists. Panelists should plan to speak for 15 minutes each; the chair is expected to start the panel in a timely manner, to introduce each panelist, to ensure that speakers keep to their allotted time, and to moderate the Q and A. Panelists are not asked to circulate their papers in advance. If you are interested in submitting a panel, please provide a title for the panel and a brief overview of the theme or question that the panel will explore. Participants should also provide a title and abstract for their presentation. They should also include a brief, 2-3 sentence bio and their contact information. These materials should be submitted as a single document to email:

Roundtable sessions consist of 4-5 discussants and a moderator, who participates more fully in the session than a panel chair would in a traditional panel. Participants in roundtables do not present or read formal papers, but rather engage in a discussion or exchange about a specific question, text, or issue. The focus of discussion must be clearly articulated in the abstract, and participants are expected to prepare their remarks in advance, even if the nature of a roundtable is less formal than a traditional panel. If you are interested in submitting a roundtable abstract, please include the title of the roundtable, a description (300-500 words) of the issue or question to be discussed, and a list of participants with a brief bio for each person listed, including contact information for each participant. These materials should be submitted as a single document to email