Call for Papers: “The Search for Humanity after Atrocity” at Kean University

The Search for Humanity after Atrocity: A Conference for Engaged Scholars and Informed Practitioners

October 16-17, 2022

Kean University – Union, NJ* Conference Website

The Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at Kean University is pleased to invite presentation submissions for the conference “The Search for Humanity after Atrocity” to be held at Kean University in Union, NJ, on October 16–17, 2022. *Our intention is to have an in-person conference with the understanding that the need may arise to shift to a virtual format depending on the current status of the Covid-19 pandemic.* The conference is an opportunity for scholars, especially at the early stages of their careers, and NGO and other non-profit practitioners to compare and reflect, in a spirit of reciprocity, on the search for post-atrocity humanity or at least order and stability, if not reconciliation, with an emphasis on victims’ perspectives. The conference will culminate with proposals designed for enactment. The conference invites participants to submit abstracts addressing one or more of the following themes:

Collective memory: How do societies, and social groups within a society, remember or seek to forget atrocities in official and unofficial ways? How do societies, and social groups within a society, reinterpret atrocity over time? How do these memory modalities help or hurt the search for humanity after an atrocity?

Civil Society-State Relationship: What is the role of civil society, particularly in relationship with the state, to promote a post-atrocity social order or, broadly, humanity? What structural conditions enable civil society to play a role vis-à-vis government?
Lingering Adversarial Relationships: How do survivors and perpetrators find ways to participate in public life after an atrocity? How does living through atrocity inform survivors’ intra- and inter-relationships? How do survivors manage relationships with known perpetrators, particularly when perpetrator accountability is absent or compromised? When do survivors’ testimonies help and when do they hurt the chances for post-atrocity humanity or stability?
Strategies for Mending Relationships: When has geographical partition worked? When and why is past wrongdoing deflected, acknowledged, suppressed, or confronted? How effective is education as a preventative measure? When do social media encourage or discourage favorable post-conflict trajectories? How is resource revitalization reimagined in the wake of environmental depletion? Are restorative/transitional justice and other peacemaking schemes effective?
The Arts, Memorials, and Material Culture: Are music, architecture, storytelling, and other forms of artistic expression redemptive? Do these particular fields can help survivors and/or the broader community seek humanity after atrocity? How does commemoration of victims inform the direction of the search for humanity after atrocity?

Submit your abstract:
1. Group presentations that combine scholars and practitioners by topic will receive priority consideration.
2. Presentations that explore concepts and practices from victims’ perspectives will also receive priority consideration.
3. Proposals that include models of enactment will additionally receive priority consideration. Examples are an open-source, interactive database of artifacts and interviews for use by survivors, educators, researchers, and practitioners; restorative and transitional justice projects; a published volume of essays by and for policymakers, practitioners, and engaged scholars; special issues of academic and not-for-profit journals for scholars and practitioners; and a website, a digital newsletter, and social media platforms for sustaining and increasing a network of concerned policymakers and engaged scholars in the common search for humanity after atrocity.
4. Complete the following Google Form to submit your abstract by March 31, 2022: Abstract Submission Form
5. We’ll notify all submitters of the program committee’s decisions by April 15, 2022.
6. For details about the conference, visit the conference website. The conference is sponsored and hosted by the Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kean University. It’s co-sponsored by The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace & Conflict Resolution, George Mason University; Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; College of Public Affairs, University of Baltimore (information)