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Call for papers for the14th Annual Conference of the Graduate Centre for Europe (GCfE) at the University of Birmingham Voices of Change: Presents, Pasts and Futures of Activism and Protest in Europe”.


University of Birmingham (UK), 21-22 May 2020.


In recent years, Europe has witnessed the rise of various protest movements: Extinction Rebellion, the Yellow Vests in France, “Stop the Coup” protest in the UK, to name but a few. These protests were fuelled by the deterioration of the social, political and environmental situation in Europe and the rest of the world, as well as by citizens’ increasing demands for social, political and environmental justice.

What are the impacts of protests on European politics? How do the developments of new technologies affect protest movements? How does the inclusion of diverse social categories influence demands for change? How do contemporary protest movements reimagine solidarity between various groups? How does artistic creativity contribute to activism? To what extent does the history of protest movements in Europe shape the new generation of activists? What is the relationship between past, present and future protests? The conference wishes to address these and other related questions in response to the changing voices of activism and protest across Europe.

We invite contributions from academic as well as non-academic backgrounds; these may include Political Sciences, Economics, History, European Studies, Law, Languages, Literature, Art, and Natural and Life Sciences. Topics may include but are not limited to:

·         Claims and causes: Feminism and gender politics, post-colonialism and decolonial movements, anti-racist struggles, environmental and food activism, identity and citizenship, workers’ rights, equality and social rights movements, etc.

·         Actors and agents: Young people, students, academic engagement, minorities, migrants, hacktivists, artists, etc.

·         Means and media: Technology and social media, the arts (visual, written, spoken), demonstrations, flash mobs, sit-ins, etc.

As a centre run by a steering committee of postgraduates, we particularly encourage postgraduates and early career researchers to apply. Moreover, in light of this year’s conference theme, we also encourage activists to apply, to feature both academic and practical perspectives. Contributions are not limited to the presentation of traditional academic papers and we very much welcome other kinds of participation.



A limited number of bursaries will be available to assist with travel and accommodation expenses. If you would like to present at the conference, please submit an abstract or a description of your proposed contribution of no more than 300 words, along with your contact details and a brief biographical note, to by Monday 16 December 2019.

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