Call for papers – Women in the Holocaust


Submission of proposals for the conference closes on 31 May 2024

Call for papers – Women in the Holocaust


Dialogforum 2024: Mauthausen, 13–15 September 2024

Visitor Center of the Mauthausen Memorial, Erinnerungsstraße 1, 4310 Mauthausen, Austria


The Mauthausen Memorial and WHISC - Women in the Holocaust - International Study Center at Moreshet Mordechai Anielevich Memorial Holocaust Study and Research Center, Givat Haviva, Israel are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the Second International Conference on Women in the Holocaust.

The conference will take place on 13–15 September 2024 in Mauthausen, Austria, at the Visitor Center of the Mauthausen Memorial. The working language of the conference will be in English.


The Conference  

The Women in the Holocaust conference will be held in Austria, a country which was already part of the German Reich at the beginning of World War II. It was the home of prominent perpetrators of the Holocaust such as Adolf Eichmann, Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Franz Stangl – all of them being born in Upper Austria, where, as Gauleiter August Eigruber happily announced, the Mauthausen concentration camp was installed in 1938. Having one of the toughest camp conditions in the Reich, Mauthausen, its branch camp Gusen and their over 40 subcamps became the mass grave of at least 90.000 prisoners. In total, around 190.000 persons were imprisoned in the camp complex from 1938 until 1945, approximately 10.000 being female.

WHISC is the only comprehensive study center that focuses on the study of the fate of women – Jewish and non-Jewish – in the Holocaust in a multidisciplinary manner.  

The study of women and gender relations in the Holocaust represents a challenge for historiographical research, which until the last third of the 20th century accepted gender-hegemonic concepts as a given and presented the past as the "history of great men". The diverse roles that women played in history were thus excluded. The categories of "woman" and "man" were simultaneously essentialized and the binary gender order was accepted unquestioningly as a supposedly natural given.

The Women in the Holocaust conference would therefore like to address questions of the historicity of such gender orders and explore the role of women during National Socialism according to Gisela Bock as perpetrators, victims, followers, bystanders, members of the resistance and helpers. It confronts the question of how to fruitfully integrate the histories of occupation, antisemitism, and ethnic racism, as well as issues of competing victimhood in the various countries with a focus on a women-specific perspective. There also are scholarly challenges involved when one considers the intersectionality of race, class and gender as well as other categories of difference, and the impact, tensions, and traumas they have produced.

The Women in the Holocaust conference promotes scholarly discussion and debate on the various divides, connections, and intersections that can be found in Holocaust and Gender Studies about women during the National Socialist period.

The Women in the Holocaust conference aims to probe and challenge disciplinary boundaries to advance multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary inquiries into the subject of women in concentration camps and other repressive institutions.

Conference organizers invite proposals examining the connection of Holocaust Studies to a variety of other research fields and disciplines, including, but not limited to, the social sciences, culture, memory studies, the arts, theology, philosophy and education. We welcome proposals for papers that challenge both established and new disciplinary approaches to the study of the Holocaust, including proposals that address and incorporate the histories of migration (including refugees and displaced persons) focusing on women in the Holocaust and beyond.


We especially encourage the participation of younger scholars at the beginning of their careers as well as the participation of more established and experienced scholars.


Conference Streams

  • Female Prisoners in Camps and other NS-Institutions ("work education camps", Gestapo Prisons etc.)
  • Female Perpetrators
  • Female Resistance
  • Female Remembrance
  • Female Liberators
  • Medicine and medical Corps in the Camps focusing on Women
  • Other Related Topics about Women in the Holocaust


 Conference Organization

All conference panels will be held in plenary sessions. There will not be parallel sessions for lectures, but there will be workshops and guided tours in parallel sessions.

Conference panels will be moderated and will consist of presentations by three to four participants. Conference organizers will determine the make-up of each panel.



There are no conference fees. The organizers will bear all expenses including travel* and hotel costs for those accepted as speakers and will also provide refreshments and light meals during the conference, as well as two dinners.

There will be two short historic trips on the third day of the conference. Participants will get a participation certificate. Also there will be the opportunity of publishing of selected papers.

*Please note that only 2nd class tickets can be reimbursed for rail travel. No mileage allowance can be claimed for journeys by car. The 2nd class train ticket for this route counts as an equivalent. If it is only possible to travel by plane, please agree the flight costs with the organizers in advance. Only economy flights can be reimbursed.


Submission of Conference Proposals

Scholars who want to participate in the Women in the Holocaust conference should submit a proposal. Each proposal should include a title, an abstract of at least 250, but no more than 300 words (in English), and a short CV/Bio for the Author (no more than 250 words long).

Proposals for full panels (Moderator, plus three [3] or four [4] panelists should include the title of the panel, the title of each panelist’s paper, plus the title of each person’s paper, an abstract of at least 250, but no more than 300 words (in English) for each paper, and a short CV/Bio for each author (no more than 250 words long for each CV/Bio).


Conference Deadline Dates

  • Submission of proposals for the conference closes on 31. May 2024 
  • Summition Form Here  (Just in case you can't access the form , submit your papers here )                                                    


Conference Committee

Yaakov Asher (Israel)
Dr. Batya Brutin (Israel)
Prof. Beverley Chalmers (Canada)
Elisa Frei, MA (Austria)
Dr. Gregor Holzinger (Austria)
Prof. Carol Rittner (USA)
Prof. Lily Zamir (Israel)

For further information please visit our websites: