Call for papers – 45 years after the decriminalization of homosexual acts in Austria: Continuities and disruptions in the treatment of homosexuality/ies in the 20th century

CfP: 45 years after the decriminalization of homosexual acts in Austria: Continuities and disruptions in the treatment of homosexuality/ies in the 20th century

DATE: Thursday, 23rd June – Friday, 24th June 2016 

LOCATION: University of Vienna, Juridicum (Dachgeschoß)

DEADLINE: 1st February 2016


In the course of the 20th century, the persecution of same-sex acts found its atrocious culmination under the Nazi-regime as well as its end in Austria through the reform of the Criminal-Code in 1971 (‘Kleine Strafrechtsreform’) – at least the general criminalization of homosexual acts ended. This reform, however, did not erase the discrimination of homosexual men and women entirely from the Criminal-Law. Four new articles were introduced, allegedly to “protect” society from certain forms of sexuality which were still deemed indecent. Until today, there are people with a criminal record due to same-sex contacts.

In 2016 the reform of the Austrian Criminal-Code dates back 45 years. On the occasion of this anniversary, the University of Vienna will organize an international conference which aims to examine historical aspects of this persecution, its continued effects and the respective culture of commemoration. Comparisons with international developments that affected the Austrian society and its legal system will be taken into focus as well as current debates about equality issues of LGBTQ. We understand these questions to be embedded in a broader outlook on the handling of minorities in the 20th century,  the opportunities for political interventions and the role of (new) social movements. 

Five central topics will be discussed at the conference:

  1. The history of persecution
  2. Normalization and Decriminalization
  3. Memorial-cultures and -politics
  4. Current debates and aftereffects
  5. Activism and future perspectives

We invite proposals for papers and pre-organized panels addressing these five topics from the perspective of law, medicine, the humanities and the social sciences including but not limited to history, political science, sociology, anthropology, psychology, education and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. We also invite individuals and groups who were/are politically active in this field to propose papers.  


German and English


  • Contact information (name, e-mail, academic affiliation if applicable)
  • Abstract including the title of the presentation (max. 3.000 characters including blank spaces)
  • CV (max. one page)

Pre-organized panels should consist of three to four papers. They require a panel-title and a panel-abstract (max. 3.000 characters including blank spaces).

Please note that a presentation should not exceed 20 minutes.

Please send your proposal via e-mail to the contact below.


Johann Karl Kirchknopf

phone: +43-1-4277-41336

Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte
Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1
1010 Vienna

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