CFP – Facing Familiar Violence. A 4EU+ International Conference

Facing Familiar Violence: Women’s Creative and Literary Practices in Central and Southeastern Europe in the 20th and 21st Century

The conference is part of the project “Displacements: Gendered-based Violence, Women’s Writing and Creative Practices in Modern Central and Southeastern Europe (4EU+ mini grant).

Organizers: Mateusz Chmurski (CEFRES/Sorbonne), Eva Krásová (FF UK), Iwona Kurz (IKP WP UW) and Clara Royer (Sorbonne)
Time and place: November 9-10, 2023 – CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Proposal deadline: July 15, 2023
Languages of the conference: French, English

Eligibility: The call is targeted primarily yet not exclusively at colleagues from 4EU+ Alliance universities. Contributions focusing on at least two personal trajectories of women writers/creators are especially welcome. Young researchers are warmly encouraged to apply.

Using a transnational and interdisciplinary approach, we will explore literary and artistic trajectories of Central European women, confronted with the polysemic category of displacement (exile, disorientation, dislodgement…) and potential paths of emancipation it may bring in a region that has been torn between different imperial structures, marked by mass violence (Shoah, forced migrations, war crimes…) and where culture has always been permeated by a strong dialectical relationship between norms and transgressive gestures.

The conference will focus on the experience of violence and strategies of (non)responding to it in their work. Among manifestations of violence, different forms will be considered: from sexual and physical to economical and symbolical force or abuse. We would like to confront in particular the issue of violence: at home – in everyday and familiar environments of mothers and fathers, and other family members –, as well as in familiar milieus such as the church or school, as the institutions acting at the junction of the public and private spheres, close to home and family matters. Here, the question of norms and normativity becomes vital as domestic violence is not only a mirror but it also produces “norms” of behavior and may have a normative effect on the society.

“Displacement” is to be understood here, in more metaphorical than literal sense, as the discrepancy between the very experience and the way it finds out – or not – its expression in the visual or literary work: How do creative women invent the language to speak about violence? How do they decide on what aspects of endured violence to make public, visible and audible, out of the unrevealed matter? What form of individual testimony or social diagnosis, if appropriate, do they make at the same time? What traces does the violence leave in their biographies and work?

We invite scholars and PhD students of different methodological orientations (gender studies, philosophy, history, literature, arts…) to address these issues as seen through the life and work of female artists in Central and Southeastern Europe of the 20th and 21st century. The region of our interest is set between (and often submitted to) imperial powers: broadly from Austria to Ukraine, and from Baltic states to the Balkans. Hence, the questions of belated yet intense modernisation processes; overlapping traditional and modern power structures and gender roles; crossing of Eastern and Western, but also Southern-European influences and inspirations will be an important context to seize common to the cultures of the observed cultural area.

Possible themes and contexts include:

  • experience of violence at home;
  • artistic strategies of expressing the intimate experience – and to making it public;
  • art and artistic practices as a possible tool of agency and/or resistance;
  • domestic violence as a mirror of social and political structures.


Proposal file: Proposals should include a title, an abstract of approximately 300 words and a short bio (including relevant publications). Please send your application by July 15, 2023 to the following addresses:



  • EUR’ORBEM (CNRS-Sorbonne Université)
  • Centrum genderových studíi a Ústav české literatury a komparatistiky, Filosofická fakulta, Univerzita Karlova
  • Instytut Kultury Polskiej, Wydział Polonistyki, Uniwersytet Warszawski