Voluntary Action History Society 7th International Conference: ‘Voluntary Action in Changing Times: Creating History or Repeating It?’

Date / time: 13 July - 15 July, All day

Voluntary Action History Society 7th International Conference: ‘Voluntary Action in Changing Times: Creating History or Repeating It?’


Call for papers and panel sessions (deadline for submission: 31 January 2022)

The Voluntary Action History Society’s postponed 7th International Conference will now take place at the University of Liverpool, UK, between 13th and 15th July 2022. The conference will return to the University, site of our successful and convivial 25th Anniversary Conference in 2016.

The Conference will explore the historical development of voluntary action in its diverse forms and varied settings and will access a wide range of methodologies. We are looking for papers which will provide evidence, insights and linkages between past development and future challenges.

We are looking for papers which:

  • approach voluntary action history from local, national, international and transnational perspectives
  • explore subjects in a range of time periods, from the Middle Ages (or earlier) to the near-history of the twenty-first century
  • make use of a variety of methodologies, both traditional and innovative
  • are accessible to a broad audience of practitioners, activists, amateurs and academics

and which deal with subjects such as the following:

  • the moving frontier between state and voluntary action
  • organisational development and management
  • the increasing hybridity of voluntary organisations
  • philanthropy, mutual aid and self-help
  • community economic development
  • social justice and social change
  • bad behaviour and the dark side
  • expressive behaviours
  • volunteering as leisure
  • archival research: issues of preservation and access
  • teaching voluntary action history.

This list is indicative: we are open to proposals dealing with topics not listed above.

Format of the conference

Our intention is to hold the conference in the traditional way, face-to-face in Liverpool, but we are currently exploring alternatives in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. These include a hybrid face-to-face and online conference and a fully online conference. We will await developments before we make a final decision and will keep potential attendees informed.

Submitting an abstract

If you would like to propose a paper, please submit an abstract of around 300 words and a brief biography by e-mail to mzimmeck@btinternet.com no later than 31 January 2022.

We will be happy to consider proposals for panels of up to four papers on a similar subject, although if this is your intention, please submit an abstract for each of the proposed papers.

If you previously submitted a proposal which was accepted in 2020 and/or 2021, you do not need to resubmit unless you wish to update your proposal. You might like to indicate any preferences for the method of delivering your paper (e.g. that you would only be able to give your paper online). We will endeavour to take these preferences into account.

If you have any queries or if you wish to discuss a proposed paper’s suitability, please e-mail Meta Zimmeck at mzimmeck@btinternet.com

Attending the event

Booking will open once the programme is finalised. Please note that all speakers must register for the conference. For more details please visit www.vahs.org.uk.

Image Details: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CC3704,_Canning_Volunteer_Fire_Brigade