Can’t We All just Get Along?: Tolerance versus Persecution – deadline 1 April 2019

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Date(s) - 4 June
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Call for Papers: History Lab Annual Postgraduate Conference

Tuesday 4th June 2019

“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”: Tolerance versus Persecution

Hosted by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Deadline for submissions: 1st April 2019

Religious, political, ethnic, and social persecution are not new to us in the twenty-first century. From the persecution of the French Huguenots in the seventeenth century to the pogroms of the nineteenth and twentieth century, extreme forms of persecution have permeated our political and cultural landscape for centuries. In light of more recent examples of religious forms of persecution, particularly issues around immigration and the ‘othering’ of immigrants, persecution clearly remains a significant and resonant topic today. However, it is often claimed that we live in a more tolerant society, in which people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and social classes can ‘get along’. Similarly, recent histories of pre-modern society emphasise ‘neighbourliness’ between those of different faiths over suspicion and conflict. A key theme of this conference will be questioning what is meant by ‘tolerance’ and how can we study it. To what extent are extreme forms of persecution outliers to a more universally tolerant society, which promotes acceptance, individuality, and cohesion?

The keynote speaker will be Dr Lars Laamann (SOAS), who researches the narcotic culture and popular religion in late imperial China. His book, Christian heretics in late imperial China: Christian inculturation and state control, 1720-1850 (2006), charts the treatment of Christianity as ‘heresy’ and explores the relationship between faith, culture, and the state.

We welcome papers that explore the following themes in any time period:

  • Religious toleration
  • Neighbourliness
  • Community cohesion and community action
  • Social justice campaigns
  • Criminal persecution
  • Persecution and the use of ‘othering’
  • Political persecution
  • Persecution and the use of violence.

Please submit 300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers or any queries you may have to ihrhistorylab@gmail.com with ‘History Lab Conference’ in the subject title by 1st April 2019. Accepted proposals will be notified by 6th May 2019. The conference is free for all panellists and attendees, and lunch and refreshments will be provided. There will also be a number of travel bursaries available to panellists attending from universities outside of London.