Inclusion and Exclusion. New Perspectives in History and Sociology

10th Annual Seminar of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS)

Inclusion and exclusion represent pervasive and recurrent phenomena in present and past societies, and thus are of concern to scholars from different disciplines. Especially in recent decades, both phenomena have been gaining more attention in history and sociology, spreading in academic debates beyond disciplinary borders and reaching the public sphere and the political arena as well. Historical reconstructions, studies on social inequalities, and public policies have thus profited in referring to inclusion and exclusion as central analytical categories or even as more generally inspiring terms. Nonetheless, their epistemic potential still appears far from being completely explored in empirical and theoretical analysis, and – as ongoing research confirms – inclusion and exclusion assume a pivotal position on the international research agenda in and between both history and sociology.

The 10th BGHS Annual Seminar Inclusion and Exclusion: New Perspectives in History and Sociology, to be held from 5 to 7 July 2018 in Bielefeld, aims to engage young scholars in an open debate on these trends from an interdisciplinary perspective. We would like to raise and discuss issues that relate to theoretical, methodological, and empirical challenges of approaching these phenomena both in their past and still ongoing developments with specific, but not exclusive, reference to the following questions:

  • What specific forms do inclusion and exclusion assume in spatially and temporally changing contexts, for example in premodern and modern societies, through different historical ages, facing global challenges such as environmental changes, migration?
  • To what extent do processes of inclusion and exclusion form two sides of the same coin, with regard to social differentiation, inequality, poverty, wealth concentration?
  • What mechanisms drive inclusion and exclusion, and how do processes unfold with regard to structural categories like race, class, gender, ethnicity, body, and dis/ability, but also concerning aspects of membership, belonging, and participation in different social spheres?
  • How are power relations involved in producing and reproducing inclusion and exclusion, in the fields of economy, (formal and informal) labor markets, law, political systems, nation building?
  • How are inclusion and exclusion perceived in different cultural contexts? How are they expressed in narratives and discourses? And how are they challenged, by forms of resistance or social movements?
  • What is the role of a researcher in revealing or obscuring inclusive and exclusive processes?

The conference, which will be held in English, is intended for junior researchers at any career stage.

The CfP and further information regarding the BGHS Annual Seminar are available at:

Organizing committee: Edvaldo de Aguiar Portela Moita, Sisay Megersa Dirirsa, Dominik Hofmann, Susan Krause, Johanna Paul, Daniele Toro.

Call for Papers (PDF).