January 26-30, 2022, are the new dates for the Nordic Labour History Conference. The decision to postpone the NLHC2020 was made by the organising committee in consultation with the Nordic Labour History Network due to the following concerns:
- Until recently it still seemed realistic to gather in Copenhagen in November 2020, since the number of covid19 cases in Denmark had been continuously low all summer. However, during August, new covid19-outbreaks happened in several Danish cities, which prompted for instance the Norwegian authorities to implement new travel restrictions on their citizens going to Denmark. We have also heard from participants in other Nordic countries that many universities have implemented a ban or severe restrictions on travel and conference activities for their employees.
- These new outbreaks also meant that the restrictions on gatherings in Denmark have not been lifted as expected and are not likely to be lifted any time soon. Consequently, we would not be able to fit even half of the participants at the conference venue, Arbejdermuseet. This would mean a major logistic challenge, since we would have more than half of the participants join online instead of physical presence.
- This situation would most likely also imply that the participants present at the actual conference venue would be only or primarily the Danish participants, which undermines the whole perspective of Nordic and international socialising among colleagues. Furthermore, as we have all experienced during the pandemic, online meetings and even seminars can function (more or less) but we do not believe that an actual conference with more than 160 participants and parallel sessions can fruitfully be conducted online.
- Finally, several participants had to withdraw their papers because they have not been able to access the empirical material needed in their research process due to the lock downs. So even if they could join online, they are not able to finish their papers in time.
Thus our decision to postpone was not least reached in order to protect the coherence of the program, ensuring that all of our colleagues who were accepted for the conference get the chance to finalise their research as well as participate in person.
We realise that the decision to postpone can cause inconvenience to participants who had still planned to attend with physical presence. However, going through with the conference in November 2020 under the current circumstances is simply not meaningful, and we would risk seeing a great program fall apart – as well as we would miss out on all the wonderful presentations that our colleagues have not been able to finish due to lack of access to empirical material.
Thus we hope for your understanding and look forward to see you all in Copenhagen on January 26-30, 2022, at which point in time the covid19-pandemic will hopefully have been contained sufficiently for us to perform our research and meet physically.
In the meantime, The Nordic Labour History Network and the organising committee of NLHC2020 are planning online activities – smaller seminars on selected Labour History topics – to facilitate our international exchanges until we can meet again. More information about these online seminars will follow soon. We will also set new dates for submission of elaborated abstracts and full papers and inform you.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to the NLHC2020, please do not hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org