9 december 2019

International Conference organized by NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in collaboration with IMIS University of Osnabrück

NIOD, Amsterdam, December 9 2019

Since its foundation in May 1945 the NIOD in Amsterdam has studied war and genocide in their societal context, originally focusing on the experience and legacy of the Second World War. The present NIOD research program War and Society specifically studies the beginnings, developments and (long term) effects of wars and mass violence on societies and the individual. It aims to further academic insights and to inspire societal reflection on the challenges we face in our time.

Some of the most pressing current challenges are the various crises of mass displacement  caused by extremely violent conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the consequences of which are affecting societies locally and globally. In the public debate, these phenomena often are perceived as immediate threats (like fear of terrorism) or instant humanitarian emergencies. We feel the urge to take up Peter Gatrell’s question ‘how to write displacement into the history of genocide’ and complement it with the history of war: how can we write displacement into the history of war and genocide in order to reach a better understanding of our current world?

This conference thus aims at connecting research on war, mass violence and genocide with migration research hoping to deepen the dialogue between two disciplines that often look at similar phenomena but from different perspectives. Talking across disciplines may help unlock empirical, epistemological and methodological synergies and advance research on forced migration and its aftermath. Linking up with the Institute for Migration Studies (IMIS) of the University of Osnabrück NIOD hopes to create a strong point of departure to invite scholars to explore integrated perspectives on war and displacement.

Location: NIOD, Herengracht 380, Amsterdam.

Please register here for the academic workshop.

Program Academic Workshop

09.30-10.00 Welcome Frank van Vree, Director NIOD

Panel 1 Citizenship:
10.00-10.20 Keynote: Rebecca Bryant
10.30-12.00 Discussant: Peter Romijn

  • Dima de Clerk, Dealing with enduring acculturation and negotiating return: The case of Christian IDPs in southern Mount Lebanon
  • Eugene Michail, Living with Refugees: Historical reflections on local community responses to the recent ‘refugee crisis’
  • Anne Irfan, Refugee 'citizenship' under the UN regime: UNRWA and the Palestinians

12.00-12.20 Poster pitches

12.20-13.15 Lunch

Panel 2 Cultural Identities
13.15-13.35 Keynote: Kasia Nowak
13.45-15.15 Discussant: Avi Sharma

  • Vannessa Hearman, Displacement as life-long trajectories: Analysing the experiences of the East Timorese ‘boat people’ in Australia
  • Iro Aghedo, Displaced by Insurgents, Despised by the State: The Double Tragedy of Internally Displaced Persons in Abuja, Nigeria

15.15-15.30 Coffee/tea break

Panel 3 Methodologies
15.30-15.50 Keynote: Christoph Rass
16.00-17.30 Discussant: Daan de Leeuw

  • Lukas Hennies and Sebastian Huhn, Forgotten NS-Victims and the Negotiation of Mobility Within the Post-World-War-II Migration Regime
  • Charlie Rumsby, The experience of rooted displacement among de facto stateless Vietnamese children in Cambodia
  • Justin Schon and Adam Lichtenheld, The Consequences of Internal Displacement on Civil War Violence: Evidence from Syria

17.45-18.00 Closing remarks Ismee Tames, followed by drinks


  • Angela Boone, The hostile treatment of German and Austrian Jewish refugees in the Netherlands in the period 1945-1951
  • Linda Ennen, Negotiating Displacement and Migration - Current Research Projects
  • Theresa Leimpek, Insurgent Demographic Engineering: A New Perspective on Civilian Displacement in Conflict
  • Jasmin Palamar, The treatment of former Nazi-forced laborers in a mental hospital in Osnabrück, 1945-1951
  • Jessica Wehner, Transnational Rememberance of Nazi Forced Labor and Migration

Please register here for the academic workshop.

For more information and registration for the public seminar on December 8, 2019, see here.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs), seen here inside a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) tent, in Beto Timur. 03/07/2008. Beto Timur, Timor-Leste. UN Photo/Martine Perret. www.un.org/av/photo/