The current Covid19 pandemic has forced us to look at the past for answers for our uncertain future. Among the events that significantly influenced the evolution of human societies are famines. In recent years, there have been important advances that have contributed to the knowledge of the history and memory of famines across the world. Specifically, contemporary European famines (19th and 20th centuries) have received prominent attention from researchers.


This international seminar aims to bring together international researchers in order to deepen our understanding of contemporary European famines. Our objective is to foster comparative perspectives, delving into various topics relating to famine and opening up new pathways for exploring these troubled pasts. We are not only interested in explaining the origin, development and consequences of the famines, but also attending to the
official, social and individual memories that they have generated, as well as their transmission, representation and commemoration. Doing so will allow us to have a more comprehensive and complex understanding of these traumatic experiences, contributing to the knowledge of our contemporary societies and present-day challenges.




We are looking for papers which:


  • Explore famines in Europe in the 19th and/or 20th centuries


Investigate the history or memory of famines from local, national, international and/or transnational levels.


Make use of a wide variety of approaches and methodologies


We invite abstract for papers covering any topic related to the study of this theme, including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Causes of famine
2. Agricultural production and food availability
3. State policies and responses
4. Relief practices
5. Coping strategies
6. Daily life during famines
7. Famine mortality and diseases
8. Memory and trauma


Cormac Ó Gráda (University College Dublin)
Tatjana Tönsmeyer (University of Wuppental)
Stephen Wheatcroft (University of Melbourne)
Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University)


Deadline for abstract submissions: May, 30, 2022
Notification of acceptance / rejection: June, 15, 2022
Conference: 21-23 September, 2022


Submissions address:
More information: