Call for papers

XVI Nordic Labour History Conference 2025
Labouring lives at the intersection of institutions, structures, and experiences

Workers of the Finlayson factory in Tampere. Photo: Picture Collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency.
Workers of the Finlayson factory in Tampere. Photo: Finnish Heritage Agency.

Deadline for session and paper proposals: October 31, 2024
Notification of acceptance: November 29, 2024

The XVI Nordic Labour History Conference, taking place at Tampere University, Finland from 7th to 10th May 2025, continues the trajectory set forth by previous conferences in Copenhagen 2022 and Reykjavík 2016 of broadening the scope of labour history with new approaches. This includes defining what constitutes labour, examining where labour occurs and under what conditions, reconsidering the notions of the working class and ‘the worker,’ and acknowledging diverse forms of labour organising, collective action as well as working-class culture.

Operating under the thematic umbrella of Labouring lives at the intersection of institutions, structures, and experiences, the conference seeks to spotlight different factors that have shaped the lives of workers in the Nordic region and beyond. We will explore the challenges faced by the Nordic welfare state and social democracy, as well as disruptions in the labor market. Additionally, we will address topics such as labour coercion, gender equality, and the evolving perspectives within the histories of colonialism and indigenous peoples that prompt a reexamination of labour history. We are also keen to explore methodologies and embrace new opportunities presented by digital tools in the historical study of labour.

The conference invites contributions from both established and emerging fields within the realm of labour history. It will feature the following recurring tracks (find details behind the links):

Within or outside these tracks, proposals are invited for 90-minute sessions, including three papers and discussion with possible commentators. Session proposals should include the session title, a brief abstract (maximum 1000 words), and the names of all participants with their contact information. The person submitting the proposal can chair the session or provide the name of a chairperson. The conference also welcomes proposals for individual papers, from which the organizers will form sessions. Each paper proposal should include a title, a 300-word abstract, the name/s of presenter/s, and contact information. All abstracts should introduce the object of the study, aims, and scope, as well as source material.

Paper and session proposals within the thematic tracks will be reviewed by the conference organising team in collaboration with the coordinators responsible for each track. Paper and session proposals outside the tracks will be reviewed by the organizing team.

We encourage researchers proposing sessions within or outside the tracks to collaborate and exchange ideas well in advance to ensure session coherence. Each session should ideally include contributions from three different countries. Accepted individual papers will be grouped into sessions with attention to both topic and cross-Nordic exchange. Please note that each participant can deliver only one presentation at the conference.

The conference’s primary language is English, but we also consider proposals for sessions and papers in Nordic languages.

Please submit your proposal through this form by 31st October 2024.