CfP: Genocide and Mass Trauma

International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS)Genocide and Mass Trauma: Rising to the Challenges of Comprehension, Intervention, Prevention and Restitution

The International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) invites paper proposals for its fourth global conference to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, on December 4-7, 2014.

The International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) was founded in January 2005 in Berlin to provide genocide studies with a non-partisan forum through which to present research and analysis on any aspect of genocide as well as other forms of collective violence. Because genocide is a highly contested legal, historical, sociological and political concept, INoGS has since its founding maintained support of research-led analysis rather than politically defined agendas.

Recent symposia on genocide and mass violence, as manifested in the series of Global Conferences organised by INoGS since 2009, have witnessed intensified scholarly engagement with, and debate around, a range of issues of fundamental importance to the field of enquiry, including theoretical approaches to the subject, the legal and ethical bases upon which to approach episodes of exterminatory violence, as well as the need to develop more effective means of preventing mass violence globally. Importantly, scholarship has moved beyond the holocaust-centric view of genocide as concentrated and immediate mass killing, and returned to an approach more sympathetic to the capacious view expounded by Rafael Lemkin, the originator of the term, which takes into account a much wider spectrum of social destruction. There has also been a renewed sense of urgency to develop intellectual tools relevant to the everyday tasks of deterrence, intervention, prosecution, and prevention. From Armenia to Zimbabwe, from the impact of advertising and social media through to xenophobia and weapons of mass destruction, the range of topics relevant to mass violence being researched by scholars, and addressed by activists and practitioners operating in civil society, is wider than ever before.

INOGS’ 4th Global Conference, to be held at the University of Cape Town between Thursday 4th and Sunday 7th of December 2014, seeks to build on this momentum. The organisers invite papers, panels and roundtables on any aspect of genocide and mass trauma. The organisers are especially keen to have presentations from African scholars. Southern Africanists working on topics such as the Marikana massacre, xenophobic violence, mass trauma in Zimbabwe, as well as on collective violence during the colonisation and liberatory struggles in the region are particularly encouraged to submit abstracts. Presentations on broader African experiences of mass violence such as those in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo among others, are expressly welcome. Given that the conference will be held in the immediate wake of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, and in the months leading up to the centenary of the Armenian genocide,  the organisers  encourage papers and panels on these cases. Another theme of particular interest is that of climate change and challenges it poses genocide studies and prevention.

Other topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

Individual cases or comparative analyses of genocide or mass trauma
Colonialism and mass violence
War crimes and crimes against humanity
Representations of genocide in film, literature, art, music and other media
Prevention of collective violence
The politics of apology, reconciliation and restitution
International law, criminal tribunals and the International Criminal Court
Deterrence, intervention and prosecution of mass violence
Gender and mass trauma
Aftermath and legacies of genocide
Genocide denial, justifications and silences
Roles of perpetrators, bystanders and victims
Memorialisation and commemoration of atrocities
Environmental change and the challenges it poses globally
Academic and educational practice within the field of genocide studies
Social inequality, human rights and collective violence
Transitional justice and mass trauma
The arms industry and its role in facilitating conflict

Participation is not restricted to INoGS members. The organisers welcome interdisciplinary and theoretically informed approaches as well as transdisciplinary dialogue. Submissions from scholars, postgraduate students, as well as practitioners and researchers working in government, the ngo sector and other institutions are invited.

Prospective participants need to upload proposals in the form of abstracts of no more than 250 words via the conference website at A biographical sketch of no more than 100 words will also be required. Panel and roundtable submissions need, in addition, to explain the rationale behind the suggestion. Queries relating to this process can be sent to Applicants can expect to learn the outcome of their proposals within four weeks of submission. After their proposals have been accepted participants will need to register online at which contains further information about the conference, fees, accommodation options, travel advice, and other relevant material.

The closing date for submissions is 31 August 2014. Participants registering before 31 July will receive a 10% discount for early registration. See conference website for details.

Queries relating to the conference may be sent either to Mohamed Adhikari at or to Volker Langbehn at:

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