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CFP: Captivity in War: a Global Perspective (19th and 20th Centuries)

Submission deadline: September 15, 2017

Conference date(s):
March 23, 2018 - March 24, 2018

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Conference Venue:

Military Academy at ETH Zurich
Bern, Switzerland

Topic areas


This conference will explore various issues relating to captivity in war in the 19th and 20th centuries. In recent years, the study of prisoners of war has increasingly attracted scholarly attention. However, it remains a neglected topic when it comes to research on wars, which often focuses either on the conduct of war itself or on the home front, with prisoners of war fitting in neither of those categories. The aim of the conference is to bring together academics currently working on various aspects of captivity in war during the 19th and 20th centuries, and to discuss and explain how captivity in war varied and evolved during this period.

We welcome proposals for 15-minute papers from researchers not only with a historical background, but also from other disciplines. Submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers are particularly welcomed. We purposely use a broad definition of «captives», which not only refers to prisoners of war but also includes forced labourers, civilian internees etc. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • International organisations and humanitarian aid
  • Violence towards captives

  • Camps

  • Captives and labour

  • Interaction with local populations

  • Remembrance

  • Release and reintegration

The conference will be held at the University of Bern, Switzerland on 23/24 March 2018 and is organised by the Military Academy at ETH Zurich.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words and a brief CV to: and by 15 September 2017.

Bursaries to cover travel expenses and accommodation are available.

We aim to publish selected contributions in a special edition of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Military History and Historiography.

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