On the 27th and 28th of March, the Framespa laboratory (CNRS and Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès) will be holding an international workshop on the cultural history of captivity and scientific mobilization.

This call for submissions relates to the following topics:

  1. Scientific and cultural mobilization

The main aim will be to continue investigating the different forms and types of scientific and cultural mobilization, focusing on either the least explored aspects (auto-mobilization; indirect mobilization; mobilization of women; management of civilian scientific skills by the army; creation of institutions – such as Institut d’Optique…) or the aspects that are not well-known in France (foreign experiences, apart from those of the Anglo-Saxon world during World War II).

This mobilization can be studied through the disciplines (scientific or literary), by placing the war(s) in their historical context, including in the long term and taking into account not only what science has contributed to war, but also what war has contributed to the disciplines (apart from the already well-known periods), including those that do not have an immediate operational component.

  1. Science and culture in confinement situations (captivity, deportation, internment, prison)

Multiple questions will be favored here. The first one relates to the scientists, the academics, the literary men or women in captivity. What do they do in the cultural and/or scientific domain? How do they keep their discipline alive in the camps (ways of expression, practices, means, organizations)? Without excluding significant individual cases, the main focus will however be on global assessments, surveys and typologies.

We will also ask ourselves whether these prisoners with a particular profile are treated differently. Do they develop a scientific or cultural sub-culture of captivity that reappropriates, more or less, the codes of scientific and cultural life, managing to transcend national rivalries, or, on the contrary, reproducing them?

The question of cultural and scientific transfers during the war will be particularly scrutinized, as well as a comparative approach between disciplines (what are the disciplines that are most amenable to being worked on in captivity?).

We will also be interested in the prisoner scientist mobilized and in the camp, camp that can be seen as a reservoir of scientists, or an experimentation or observation ground.

Lastly, we will ask ourselves whether the camp was a lasting stage in the formation of scientific, cultural and literary networks.

  1. Science and culture under the uniform

Not all scientists were mobilized for their skills in science, real or assumed. Does that necessarily imply that they abandoned all scientific or cultural practices that constituted their professional identity, on the front, in the barracks, in their different duties, at the hospital or while on leave?

  1. Perception, construction, memory of the war in the scientific and cultural world

A summary on the long term reception of the experiences and productions related to times of war will allow to measure their role in the construction of disciplinary identities as well as individual and collective memory of the protagonists and societies involved.


Submissions should fit in the temporal framework of one or multiple wars having taken place between the French Revolution (inclusive) and the modern day. The geographical framework is global, and can have different scales (local, national, international, colonial). Science is here referred to in its most generic meaning and includes therefore all intellectual disciplines, including human and social sciences. Culture will also be treated with a broad approach including all aptitudes, knowledge and representations specific to a given group and all the practices through which they manifest. Submissions relating geographical areas and experiences outside Europe and non-Anglo-Saxon areas (already well-known) are particularly welcomed. The contextual framework is that of one or multiple periods of war against a foreign enemy, including situations of military occupation or exile. The subject of civil war is not covered.

Submission procedure

Submissions must be addressed to caroline.barrera@univ-jfc.fr and cantier@univ-tlse2.fr before September 15th, 2019. They must include:

  • The title of the submitted talk.
  • A summary of maximum one page indicating what sources were scrutinized, which methodology was followed, the question that was dealt with and the main subjects considered.
  • The institution you are affiliated with.
  • Your contact details.

Sponsorship for the participants:  the workshop organization committee will pay for meals during the workshop (2 lunches, 1 dinner) and 1 to 2 nights at a hotel (breakfast and tourist tax included). Transport will be at the expense of the participants.

Proceedings publication: the proceedings of the workshop will be published, either as a special issue of an academic journal, or as a collective book.