Iceland Call for Proposals

Europe’s Past, Present, and Future: Utopias and Dystopias

University of Iceland | Reykjavik, Iceland
June 24-26, 2021

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We have heard increasing concern from our members about the prospects of carrying out an in-person conference in June 2021. With infection numbers climbing, many countries are putting new restrictions in place; budget cuts and travel restrictions also make it extremely difficult for many people to imagine flying to Iceland next summer. It is still unclear how long this situation will last and when a vaccine might become widely available, and the health and safety of our conference attendees is our top priority. Given these uncertainties, and in close consultation with the Program Committee and the Local Organizing Committee, the CES Executive Committee has decided to move the 2021 event fully online. 

The Council for European Studies (CES) at Columbia University invites proposal submissions for the 27th International Conference of Europeanists on the theme of Europe’s Past, Present, and Future: Utopias and Dystopias. The conference will be held at the University of Iceland on June 24-26, 2021.

The 50th anniversary of the founding of the Council for European Studies will be celebrated at our conference in Reykjavik in June 2021. At the conference, we will reflect on the various ways in which Europe as a place, an idea, a people, an Empire, a utopia, and a dystopia has manifested itself. 

As we emerge from the global COVID-19 crisis, Iceland will provide the ideal spot for this reflection, given its centrality to trans-Atlantic space, a core concept to the founders of CES. It represents the utopia of the European social model, and yet, at the same time, it was at the dystopian heart of the financial crisis. Iceland also sits precariously at the juncture of tectonic plates, perhaps a geological metaphor for ongoing shifts, slides, clashes, and ruptures in the deep structure of Europe. 

2020 arguably has offered a pause for fundamental thought about the past(s) and future(s) of Europe, which we will gather and showcase at the conference. Among these themes, we expect reflection on the ongoing changes in the boundaries of European citizenship, the fragile institutional arrangements of the European social model, the postcolonial rethinking of Europe in the world, the effects of Black Lives Matter on the continent, the population dynamics that define who is European, Europe’s changing relationships with other regions and parts of world society, including the Global South, and changes in the configuration of global hegemony. These and many other topics will come to the fore in Iceland. Having supported fifty years of research, CES is poised to advance these debates in various ways through cross-disciplinary global scholarship that always deals with Europe in a comparative, and historically informed perspective.

We invite proposals for panels, roundtables, book discussions, and individual papers on the study of Europe, including its various expansions and contractions over CES’ fifty-year history. We encourage proposals in the widest range of disciplines, and particularly welcome panels that combine disciplines, nationalities, genders, scholarly career stages, and other pertinent identities. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, CES is especially open to engaging participants from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities.

Practical Information:

All proposals may be submitted from September 15-October 25, 2020. Applicants whose proposals were accepted for the (cancelled) 2020 conference will be given a priority in the selection process; however, we kindly request that you resubmit your paper/panel on the 2021 submission portal. We also welcome new submissions, and we strongly encourage full panel submissions. Participants may find it useful to connect with like-minded scholars through the growing number of CES research networks. Participants may present in a maximum of two paper sessions and one book panel/roundtable.

  • To submit a proposal, click here.
  • For detailed instruction on how to submit, click here.
  • For more information about the conference venue, click here.
  • For Conference FAQs, click here.

Contact us via email: events@douglasces-europe-org

Erik Bleich, Chair
Middlebury College

Jason Beckfield, Co-Chair
Harvard University

Adrian Favell, Co-Chair
University of Leeds

Rósa Magnusdottir, Co-Chair
Aarhus University

Sigrún Ólafsdóttir
Local Organizing Committee Chair
University of Iceland

CES’s annual International Conference of Europeanists would not be possible without the generous contributions from our sponsors and partners. We earnestly thank the following institutions, publishers, and universities around the world for their support!


Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Related Articles