Call for papers : Widowhood from armed conflicts in Europe (19e-20e centuries) Workshop

This workshop is the third and last of cycle of three workshops on the Widows, the widowers and widowhood in Europe in the contemporary period (To have more information on the general project :

This third workshop aims at wondering about the widowhood caused by situations of armed conflicts (world wars between states, civil wars, independence wars, others forms of conflicts such as terrorism…)

The definition of the widowhood is the same as that the one for the previous workshops : The widowhood is not envisaged in its strictly legal definition : it includes for example surviving spouses, married or not.

The questioning is double. It concerns, on one hand, the specificities of these widowhoods. The fact that the death or a disappearance happens in the atypical circumstances of an armed conflict influence the widowhood of the surviving spouse? To what extend this widowhood is different from a widowhood in a more ordinary context? To what extent, also, the mourning of the surviving spouses distinguishes itself from that of the other members of the family (in particular orphan and ascending of the deceased)? The questioning concerns, on the other hand, the differences which exist between these widowhoods. Which differences can we observe between an armed conflicts as a world war and a civil conflict? Which differences can we observe in the territories in war, the belligerent parties and according to the sex also because if the war widowhood was for a long time a strongly sexual reality, it becomes, as the armed conflicts generate more and more  civil victims a mixed experience being able to affect as much the men as the women. However, are these experiences comparable?


The proposals of communication can articulate around the following various thematic axes:

-Laws and Institutions :

What are the legislations and the institutions to help the spouses of the persons killed or disappeared from an armed conflict?…In what context did these legislations and these institutions emerge and did evolve? Were they inspired by previous legislations relative to other atypical  widowhoods? Do we observe similarities between European countries? Did the national legislations mutually influence? How Widows and widowers participate? Can we speak about political instrumentalization of these victims?…

What evolutions for these legislations and institutions? Do we move towards a community law for the war victims in Europe? Does the law take into account the evolution of the conjugal practices (less and less marriages)? Partners are they considered? Does the gender dimension of these legislations (often more thought for women) become blurred?…

– Demography and family practices

To what extent the evolution of the forms of the armed conflicts questions the mainly feminine dimension of the widowhood? Do they exist war widowers? Who are they? What is the demographic profile of the widows (age? maternity?….)

Are the family practices of the war widows and widowers (for example succession, remarriage, parenthood…) different of those of the ordinary widows and widowers, in particular in the care of their children, recognized or not as war orphans? Does this intervention of institutions outside the family modify the intra family relations and the power of the surviving spouses in the management of family heritage or in their educational choices?

-Funeral rites and experiences of mourning

Do the deaths in a context of death of mass and violent cause specific bereavements? Do these bereavements vary from a conflict to the other one?

Are the funeral rites in war context or armed conflicts common from a belligerent country to the other one? Can we collect common points in the practices of missing persons’mourning? Can we speak about specifically European funeral rites compared with the practices on other continents? Do we observe sexual differences in the social practices of the mourning?

The funeral rites tend to homogenize experiences of the mourning which are as well numerous as there is of individuals. However to what extent can we understand analogies in the bereavements of the widows and widowers of armed conflicts? Is there always overlapping of the national mourning and the individual mourning?…

What sources can we use to highlight these intimate processus of mourning? Is a history of the practice of the psychiatrists and the psychologists to the widows and the widowers of armed conflict possible?…


The proposals must give an analysis on an European country other than France or a a compared analysis. They should also include a genrée dimension.

Papers can be submitted either in French or in English


                                           Into Practice


Steering committee

  • Peggy Bette (CERHIO, Rennes 2) and Christel Chaineaud (CAHD, Bordeaux)

Scientific committee :

Peggy Bette (CERHIO, université Rennes 2), Christel Chaineaud (CAHD, université Bordeaux), Martine Cocaud (CERHIO, université Rennes 2),  Magali Della Sudda (centre Emile Durkheim, Sciences Po-Bordeaux), Françoise Leborgne-Uguen (université de Bretagne occidentale-Brest), Yannick Marec (GRHIS, université Rouen), Simone Pennec (université de Bretagne occidentale-Brest), Paulette Robic (LEMNA, Université Nantes), Bruno Valat (centre universitaire Jean-François Champollion-FRAMESPA- université Toulouse 2), David G. Troyansky (Brooklyn College et le Graduate Center, City University of New York ), Olivier Vernier (ERMES, université Nice-Sophia Antipolis), Clémentine Vidal-Naquet (post-doctorante, secrétaire générale du Labex EHNE)

Fabrice Virgili (CNRS-IRICE, LabEx EHNE)


  • Date and Place : Monday 7th of November 2016, Paris


  • Forms of the proposals of communication: text from 2 to 3000 signs in French or in English with name, university or institution. The text must include sources and methods.


  • Deadline of submission: in may 29th, 2016 for the third workshop.


  • The organization of the workshop take in charge the accommodation of the attendees for an overnight stay and the lunch of Monday November 7 th. We will try to repay part of the traveling costs if possible.
  • Thanks for sending your proposal of communication to
  • For more enquiries:


Citer ce billet
Amandine Malivin (2016, 10 avril). Call for papers : Widowhood from armed conflicts in Europe (19e-20e centuries) Workshop. Genre et Europe. Consulté le 16 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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