Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Famine and Mass Violence: An International Conference

Famine and Mass Violence: An International Conference
Location: Ohio, United States
Conference Date: 2008-09-07
Date Submitted: 2008-07-16
Announcement ID: 163209
Famine and mass violence frequently go hand in hand. Unfortunately, scholars of famine and scholars of mass violence often deal with different questions resulting in a wide lacuna in research and the methodology for analyzing connections between famines and violence. Famine specialists mostly deal with socioeconomic questions, with people as economic subjects, with the working of markets and speculation, food distribution, or deficiencies of state intervention. Entangled in the availability vs. entitlement debate, they care less for power relationships or war-related situations, although famines often occur during wartime or civil conflict. Genocide experts view certain famines as state-organized. Such scholars are interested in motivations of violence, lack of relief efforts, escape prevention, or special policies victimizing refugees. They may miss out on the participatory dimension of famines: social and economic networks, profiteering, or family relations. This conference seeks to bring together both famine experts and genocide specialists to engage in a dialogue with each other, first during the conference and later in a collective volume resulting from the meeting.

To register for the conference, please send your name and contact information to judaic@ysu.edu.

Conference Program

Famine and Mass Violence: An International Conference
September 7-9, 2008
Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH

2 pm Welcome
Shearle Furnish, Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

2:15 pm Keynote Address: Famine and Mass Violence
(Christian Gerlach, University of Berne)

3:20 pm Break

3:45 pm Panel I: Famine and Colonial Exploitation

“Rinderpest", Drought and Scorched Earth: The Relationship between Natural Disaster, Famine and Conquest in Germany's African Colonies (Dominik J. Schaller, Heidelberg University)

9:00 am Panel II: Famine as a Weapon: Policies of Famine

Famine and Violence, Famine as Violence in Russia of the early 1920s (Natalia Reshetova, University of London) Case study: Food policy and mass crimes: Lithuania under German occupation 1941-1944. (Christoph Dieckmann, Keele University)

10:30 am Break

10:45 am Panel III: Famine as a Weapon?: The Question of Intention

Stalin's Terror and the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33: Camouflage for Genocide? (Henry Huttenbach, City College of New York) On famines, genocide, and jumping to conclusions (Mark Tauger, West Virginia University)

12:15 pm Lunch

2:00 pm Panel IV: Social Impact of Famine: Violence and Its Absence

The 1847 food riots in Prussia (Hans Bass, Bremen University of Applied Science)
Fighting Hunger: Food in Wartime Japan (Katarzyna Cwiertka, University of Leiden)

3:30 pm Break

3:45 pm Panel V: Social Impact of Famine: Survival Strategies

"Too little to keep them alive and too much to let them die": Nazi Starvation Policy and Jewish Coping Methods in the Ghettos of Nazi Occupied Europe (Helene Sinnreich, Youngstown State University)

5:15 pm Break

5:45 pm Panel VI: Social Impact of Famine: Socialist Rule and Political Participation

Primitive Accumulation, Famine, and Mass Repression, 1937-39 (Wendy Goldman, Carnegie Mellon University) Hunger and State Violence in the PRC during the Great Leap Forward (Klaus Muehlhahn, Indiana University)

9:30 am Starvation and Structural Violence

Structural violence and women's survival during famines: gender, caste, work and hunger in nineteenth century India (Leela Sami) The Daily Catastrophe: Structural Violence and Mass Starvation in the 20th and 21st century (Andreas Exenberger, University of Innsbruck)

10:45 am Break

11:00 am Concluding Roundtable Discussion

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