Labour call for papers

Call for sessions and papers on Labour and Working Class History for the Thirteenth European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), Leiden, The Netherlands, 18 – 21 March, 2020

On 18-21 March 2020 the 13th European Social Science History Conference will take place in Leiden (The Netherlands) – The ESSHC brings together scholars interested in explaining historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences. The conference is characterized by a lively exchange in many small groups, rather than by formal plenary sessions. It is organized in a large number of networks that cover specific fields of interest.

One of the largest networks of the ESSHC is Labour. We think that progress in Labour History is being made by analysing global developments in labour relations and labour struggles, including the influence of these global developments on local and national contexts and vice versa. It also remains essential to take into account other constituent elements of working class identities besides class, such as gender, ethnicity, religion, age and nationality. Labour can also provide an analytical lens to study the interconnectedness of political, economic, and cultural developments, and specific issues such as management strategies, colonial relations, factories and other sites of production (plantations, mines, households), slavery, free and unfree labour, formal and informal labour activism, etc. Moreover, labour history provides essential insights into pressing contemporary issues such as globalization, social inequality, migration, and precariousness.

The Labour Network welcomes any session or paper proposal dealing with all topics and periods in labour and working class history. For a detailed list of the criteria that we will follow in our selection, see the annex 1 below. Please, read it carefully when preparing your proposal.

The Labour Network seeks to broaden its temporal and geographical scope, and therefore encourage sessions and papers from all time periods and all regions. We welcome the organisation of conference sessions that move beyond the traditional conference panel, such as film screenings, book panels etc. Roundtable discussions that present and discuss important books, articles, changing institutional and educational structures and other concerns within labour history are also encouraged.

The conference language is English.            

Since the coherence of sessions will be an important criterion, propositions of full sessions with three to five papers will be easier to accommodate in the conference programme than single papers. However, we do accept single paper proposals, both in order to include them in proposed sessions and to compose a limited number of new sessions. Moreover, while most sessions choose the panel format, other types of sessions are encouraged. We also have a preference for sessions with a comparative character, geographically and/or chronologically. Also, we advise you to seek alliances with other ESSHC-networks, propose joint sessions and/or specify any other networks that are related to your theme in your proposal.

We heartily encourage young scholars, such as PhD and master students, to organize sessions and propose papers within the Labour Network. We remind you that the Jan Lucassen Prize for the best paper at the ESSHC of a junior scholar will be awarded again in Leiden  (see

Proposing sessions or papers only works by pre-registering on our website.

To propose a panel session (2 hour timeslot): panel organizers need to pre-register for 3 to 5 participants. Add full names and addresses of all paper authors and of a chair and/or discussant. To propose an individual paper: pre-register through the conference website, indicating ‘Labour’ as your network of preference.

See for full details: The deadline for proposing abstracts is 15 April 2019.

Further information on the ESSHC is available from the conference website at

For specific questions about the Labour Network, please contact the chairs: Görkem Akgöz (, Peyman Jafari ( and Hanne Østhus (