CfP: Fascism and Antifascism in Our Time: Critical Investigations

Call for papers, deadline: 15 July 2017


The Hamburg Institute for Social Research (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung / HIS) and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung / bpb), in partnership with Rutgers University (USA), cordially invite you to the international conference “Fascism and Antifascism in Our Time: Critical Investigations”. The conference will take place on 1 - 3 November 2017 at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research in Hamburg and in Lüneburg / Germany.

The spread of nationalist and authoritarian movements in Europe and around the world has prompted debates about a return of global fascism. At the same time, many countries are witnessing civil society activities opposing such movements. Politicians and activists from both camps endorse like-minded actors across borders. Do these developments suggest that we are living in a time comparable to the 1930s, when the decisive marker in national and international politics was the one between fascism and antifascism?

The conference investigates the contemporary relevance of fascism and antifascism by bringing together scholarly experts on these historical movements and actors in civil society. It will discuss the interrelatedness of fascism and antifascism, illuminate their global networks and local trajectories, analyze central characteristics and ideas, and trace shifts in discourses and practices of remembrance. Other focuses are memory politics, phenomenology, and current adaptations as well as the aesthetic dimensions and artistic practices associated with fascism or antifascism.

The overarching aim of the conference is to explore whether and how the histories of fascism and antifascism offer insights into the rise of authoritarian regimes today. What makes a fascist regime? What is the line separating authoritarianism from fascism? Can we identify “tipping points”? How should a civil society react to these challenges? Do antifascist movements of the 20th century offer a role model? How can insights into such historical connections benefit proponents of a democratic civil society?

The conference addresses scholars, practitioners of civic education, artists, and activists involved in projects dealing with fascism, antifascism, authoritarianism, and the advancement of democracy. Projects on politics and practices of remembrance are especially welcome. Your involvement can be professional or voluntary / non-professional. We look forward to applications from all countries, especially from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Applicants are expected to be proficient in English and attend the entire conference.

Please send your CV and a motivational letter (300–500 words) describing the nature of your involvement with the above-mentioned topics and why you wish to participate in the conference to The deadline for submissions is 15 July 2017.

There is no conference fee. For those who travel from outside Germany, travel expenses will be reimbursed up to 800 Euro (up to 300 Euro from within the EU, up to 500 Euro from other European countries, up to 800 Euro from overseas). Accommodation for participants in the central conference hotel will be provided free of charge. The conference language will be

The conference is held in cooperation between the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn, the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, and Rutgers University, New Jersey. As part of the programme “Mapping Memories” (, it is generously supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

At a glance:

Conference: “Fascism and Antifascism in Our Time: Critical Investigations”

Date: 1 - 3 November 2017

Venue: Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung, Mittelweg 36, 20148 Hamburg

No conference fee
Free accommodation
Travel costs will be reimbursed up to 300 / 500 / 800 Euro

Conference language: English

Contact (only via E-mail):
Victoria Romano, Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung,