Since Mussolini’s march on Rome in 1922 and Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, fascist and national socialist movements in various forms and shapes have formed formidable threats to European liberal democracies. Although the history of fascism/nazism in Europe has received great scholarly attention, the history of antifascism has remained largely overlooked. In the Nordic countries, like in Europe overall, the post-First World War economic and social crisis and the fear of Bolshevism/Communism made emerging fascist movements appealing alternatives to the traditional political parties in ’weak’ parliamentary democracies. The history of fascism and antifascism in the Nordic countries is not, however, limited to the interwar period, but has remained highly relevant ever since: Practices of antifascism have included street-fighting against fascist groups; the organisation of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations; or the mobilisation of national and international solidarity campaigns for the victims of fascist terror and violence. Antifascism has for example found expression in the fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War and through the organisation of resistance and opposition to the Nazi occupation in Denmark and Norway; and finally through the establishment of the ’anti-fascist consensus’ in Cold War Europe that signalled a general rejection of every form of fascism.
During the last decades this antifascist consensus has increasingly been contested by extremist neo-nazi movements, like the Nordic Resistance Movement, and more generally in the form of an increasing acceptance of the political frameworks of the Far Right in contemporary politics which has significantly changed the political landscape in Europe and the Nordic countries. With the reemergence of fascism in European and Nordic politics the study of antifascism seems especially timely. How has fascism been contested and resisted in the Nordic countries and how can our understanding of past articulations deepen the analysis of contemporary threats to European liberal democracies?
We invite papers that approach the history of antifascism from a range of new perspectives and frameworks (cultural, transnational, comparative). How have different local/national movements, parties, and organisations articulated ’antifascism’ and how have these been connected to similar Nordic and European ideas, practices and movements? How has the opposition to fascism and nazism been turned into a political practice from below and how have they been influenced by Nordic and European movements and networks? How have antifascist protest practices changed or evolved over time and how are contemporary understandings of antifascism/fascism connected to past articulations, uses of history and protest strategies?
Deadlines: Please send an abstract (max 500 words) + short academic bio to the organising committee by 2 September 2016. The accepted proposals will be invited to a workshop in April 2017. The aim of the workshop is to discuss and review the completed papers for an anthology on antifascism in the Nordic countries that will be published by an international publishing house in late 2017/early 2018.
The Organising Committee: