Call for papers: 14th Genealogies of Memory

The call for applications for the 14th international academic conference within the Genealogies of Memory “Gentry, Nobility, Aristocracy: the Post-feudal Perspectives”, organised by the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) is now open! Application deadline is 19 May 2024. The conference will take place in a hybrid format on 25–27 September at the Faculty of Neophilology of the University of Warsaw.

The vital and complex role of the landowning elites in the political, economic, and cultural history of Europe has been extensively researched, resulting in a wealth of literature. However, the question of how this role has been remembered since the dissolution of these elites as a social class, and what the implications of this memory and legacy are for contemporary European societies, has only recently been addressed by sociologists, historians, and anthropologists.

Thus, how has the memory of the landed gentry, its role and status, changed over the decades? Do the cultural memories, values and identities of different social groups provide access to post-feudal social mechanisms and structures? How are different aspects of the nobility ethos perceived in contemporary social life, art and culture? These are just a few of the selected topics that will be discussed during the event.

The opening hypothesis of the conference is that post-feudal social structures, which were a consequence of the power dynamics between the landowners and peasants, can be examined through a perspective of the longue durée. The existence of landowners as a class was brought to an end by political decisions and revolutionary movements, or gradually transitioned into social and political systems based on more democratic principles. This led to various legacies from the past, modes of remembrance, and finally, legal and economic circumstances. These diverse trajectories serve as a reminder of the East-West dichotomy in Europe, as in part of Central and Eastern Europe the end of the landowners’ domination came with bloodshed and violence, as part of the making of the ‘Bloodlands’. However, our aim is to go beyond this dichotomy and see whether schemes other than East-West can be employed to understand the diversity of the gentry, nobility and aristocracy history in Europe.

Theme: “Gentry, Nobility, Aristocracy: the Post-feudal Perspectives”
Date: 25–27 September 2024, Warsaw
Application deadline: 19 May 2024.

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