CFP : “Citizenship until further notice ? Refugees and revocation of nationality in the 20th century », Prague, République tchèque — LIMITE : 30/​06/​2019

Infos pratiques

  • Organisateurs du panel : Claire Zalc (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris) et Michal Frankl (Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
  • Adresse de soumis­sion :
  • Date limite de soumis­sion : 30 juin 2019
  • Date de la mani­fes­ta­tion : 19 – 20 novembre 2019
  • Lieu de la mani­fes­ta­tion : Villa Lanna, Prague


Statelessness has been recog­nized as one of the major maladies of the 20th century. Historians, lawyers, polit­ical philoso­phers and others took a crit­ical aim at the the exclu­sionary power of the nation state and decried the posi­tion of those stripped of their pass­port and rights. A state­less refugee, without state protec­tion and possibly relying on a “Nansen pass­port”, become the symbol of exclu­sion from polity. The revo­ca­tion of citi­zen­ship was no incon­se­quen­tial step and could equal to deci­sion about life and death.

Yet the processes and deci­sion making behind becoming state­less were mostly studied on a national level, for instance for refugees from Nazi Germany or the denat­u­ral­iza­tions by Vichy France. Moreover, the schol­ar­sphip leaned towards European and – with the trou­bled excep­tions of the Soviet or Romanian dena­tion­al­iza­tion – mostly “Western” nation states with only a limited amount of compar­a­tive research exploring the phenom­enon glob­ally, in its colo­nial dimen­sions, and over a longer temporal span. The work­shop will bring together scholars to discuss mass dena­tion­al­iza­tion in the 20th century from a compar­a­tive and transna­tional perspec­tive, combining macro- as well as micro­his­tor­ical approaches.

In partic­ular, the orga­nizers invite partic­i­pants to analyze the two-​fold rela­tion­ship between the dena­tion­al­iza­tion and produc­tion of refugees : either through the revo­ca­tion of citi­zen­ship by their home country after escaping abroad, or the creation of refugees through dena­tion­al­iza­tion of citi­zens and thus making them refugees in their own country. The work­shop aims to examine the impact that the crys­tal­liza­tion of citi­zen­ship as both an iden­ti­fying cate­gory and polit­ical instru­ment had on inter­na­tional and internal migra­tions — notably through the loss of citi­zen­ship – as well as how the migra­tions of the perse­cuted rede­fined the terms and forms of national belonging.

Particular atten­tion will be devoted to situ­a­tions in which citi­zen­ship was rede­fined and revoked based on group-​derived criteria, inde­pen­dent of the real behavior of the person. Ascriptions of “loyalty” seem crucial to under­stand how racial, social and polit­ical discrim­i­na­tion was embedded in a system­atic and bureau­cratic profiling of who conformed to constructed national identities.

We wish to examine how these exclu­sionary measures were strength­ened by, and inter­sected with gender inequal­i­ties, perse­cu­tion poli­cies as well as the rise of the welfare state and the nation­al­iza­tion of welfare services. We are inter­ested to learn more about the prac­tical, mate­rial and symbol­ical aspects of revo­ca­tions of citi­zen­ship as re-​drawing of the borders of the nation and as attempts to reestab­lish the perceived connec­tion between terri­tory, popu­la­tion and state.

We encourage partic­i­pants to examine the loss of citi­zen­ship from below and to engage in close reading of denat­u­ral­iza­tion files and other related docu­ments. Such docu­ments offer a perspec­tive on the agency of indi­vidual actors, the language used and argu­men­ta­tion strate­gies deployed, and a richer picture of the complex inter­ac­tion between state, indi­vid­uals and other social actors. Where rele­vant, partic­i­pants can share orig­inal docu­ments they wish to discuss in an inter­ac­tive session.

The work­shop will be conducted in English. Abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short CV should be directed to Wolfgang Schellenbacher, by June 30, 2019. Applicants will be noti­fied by July 31. Accommodation and travel reim­burse­ment will be provided to active participants.

The work­shop is supported by the Czech Science Foundation, project “Citizens of the No Man’s Land”, no 18 – 16793S and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France) TREMPLIN project, no 18-​ERC1-​0003 – 01.