Call for Papers: Deserted Settlements as Objects of Historical Research – Approaches and Issues

RHN 121/2016 | Call

Organisers: Oliver Auge (Abteilung für Regionalgeschichte, CAU Kiel); Stefan Magnussen (Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes”, CAU Kiel)
20-24 March 2017, Kiel, Germany
Deadline for submissions: 30 November 2016

Call for Papers
for a Session at the Biannual International Open Workshop hosted by the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" (Kiel):
Deserted Settlements as Objects of Historical Research – Approaches and Issues

While processes that led to the creation of settlements are well explored, research on causes for abandonment remains rather uninvestigated. Current explanations are often both regional and interregional, ranging from economic, political and demographical crises to shifts in natural conditions. However, single-disciplinary approaches often struggle to cope with the massive variety of data necessary to establish models for abandonment or desertion of settlements, thus, providing only limited insights into these phenomena.

At the same time, projects have shown that research on deserted places is a tremendously beneficial setting for an institutionalized interdisciplinary cooperation, often providing relevant information for further understanding of the development of historical settlements. Thus, formal integration of disciplines like, f. i., Archaeology, Biosciences, Geosciences, or History provides a rich scientific environment to investigate phenomena of abandonment of both settlements and landscapes, but also cases of failed or absent urbanization. Despite the promises, research on these topics remained in a neglected state for many regions, mostly providing cursory overviews of the region or single sites. This is especially unfortunate, since deserted places are mostly situated in the countryside and often unaffected by recent activities.

The session aims at bringing together scholars from different projects, disciplines and regions to discuss and advance recent developments and approaches to the study of deserted settlements, while also addressing cases of absent or failed urbanization. It will be part of the biannual International Open Workshop hosted by the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" from March 20 to March 24, 2017 at Kiel University (the exact date of the session is determined when registration has finished). We encourage a wide range of scholars of different disciplines, periods and areas to represent their projects and approaches. Participants are not merely asked to present results from their current projects, but rather illustrate and discuss new scientific or theoretical approaches, means towards a further implementation of interdisciplinary work, or how to cope with methodological obstacles.

We kindly ask you to hand in abstracts of no more than 600 words, along with a short CV, as a pdf to Stefan Magnussen ( Applications are due by November 30th, 2016, acceptances will be out by January 2017. A publication of an edited volume based on the contributions is planned. In order to encourage applications from young scholars, the Graduate School is providing travel grants of max. 200€ for up to two PhD students not residing in the districts of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg whose paper is accepted.

You can find further information about the International Open Workshop at or by contacting

Source: H-Soz-Kult