Gepubliceerd op 24-02-2020

CFP – The Janus Dilemma: wathershed moments in history from 1848 to the present

Type: Call for Papers
Date: April 30, 2020
Location: United Kingdom
Subject Fields: Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Intellectual History, Political History / Studies, Social History / Studies

The Janus Dilemma: watershed moments in history from 1848 to the present
University of Edinburgh, 29 May 2020

In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions. He presided over passages, doors, gates and endings, as well as transitional periods between war and peace. He was usually depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions, one towards the past and the other towards the future.

Inspired by Janus, we propose to examine watershed moments in history from 1848 to the present. We will explore how economic, social, political and cultural crises sparked changes in the temporality between the past and the future. We will also question whether, as Antonio Gramsci famously put it, moments of crisis and change indicate that “the old is dying and the new cannot be born”. By drawing on a wide variety of contexts, methodologies and regional expertise, we hope to develop new perspectives on how and why watershed moments take place, and how we might analyse them as historians.

This conference is aimed at PhD students and early career-researchers in any area of modern history. Topics for consideration include (but are by no means limited to) the following:

  • Revolutions and counterrevolutions
  • Times, temporalities and change
  • Environmental history
  • Constitutional and legal history
  • Subcultures, subaltern studies
  • Colonialism and decolonisation
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race, slavery and Empire
  • Intellectual history
  • Global, nation and identity

Abstracts of 300 words and a short CV should be submitted to csmch2020-group@uoe.onmicrosoft.com by 30 April 2020. Any questions regarding the conference should be sent to the same address.

Organising committee: Kate Ballantyne, Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Marina Moya Moreno and Calum Aikman on behalf of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. 

The Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History is the University of Edinburgh´s leading centre for research into the history of the modern world. The centre organises a wide range of events, from a regular seminar series and postgraduate colloquia, to one-off public lectures and film screenings.


Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.