CfP: At War without Weapons

The Italian-Austrian Front 1915-1918
International Research project
At War without Weapons
2-3 February 2017
Maison de la recherche, 28 rue Serpente 75006 Paris
Call for Papers

Proposal are expected until 25th November 2016 
This conference is the second venue organized within the research program on the Austrian-Italian front: the
first one entitled “Soldiers and daily war on the Isonzo” took place in Padua (19-21 May 2016). The second
component of the program is devoted to strictly Austrian-Italian aspects of the experiences of unarmed
populations, specifically with a reflection on three categories: prisoners, refugees, and civilians near the
frontline areas. The conference proposes to articulate in a bilateral perspective the experiences of these three
categories of persons around public and private, local as well as regional or national issues.
The first two cases – prisoners and refugees – can be examined through the testimonies of the people
concerned themselves or through the administrative treatment they are subject to. How does the coexistence
between civilian population – locals and refugees – and between Italian and Austro-Hungarian captives and
civilians evolves? Here arises the question of the structuration of cross perceptions, elements of change in the
social organization, and modes of coexistence induced by human transformations at regional, local, or family
Concerning the captive population specifically, it can be looked at both in a closed environment – the camp – as
in open or semi-open environment — at work for instance. No single approach is favored a priori: notebooks,
individual stories, prosopographic or local case studies.
The study of the situation of refugees –more specifically taking into account the populations of Italian-speaking
regions of the Empire – in the areas where they are displaced allows several levels of analysis: public policy
and State propaganda, reports of civil or military regional authorities, municipal or parish chronics,
autobiographical narratives of displaced persons.
The last case, that of civilians remaining in areas of combat or in their vicinity, can be observed from different
angles, including the transformations of everyday life, adapting to the environment, changes in lifestyles,
economic circuits, situation of the combatants – more generally of the military administration – in this new
landscape. This observation can be made on both sides of the front, on the Isonzo as on the Piave, and in
Proposal are expected until 25th November 2016 and must be sent to:
Etienne Boisserie (, Catherine Horel ( and Marco Mondini
Conference languages: French, Italian, German, English.

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