Nordic labour history conferences have been organized by the labour history institutes of the Nordic countries since 1974. The last conference took place in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 2016 and the participation and variety of sessions and papers illustrated the renewed interest in labour history in the Nordic countries. The conference led to the founding of Nordic Labour History Network and a more systematic cross-nordic cooperation, showing that the field is vivid and growing.

The next Nordic Labour History Conference – taking place at the Workers’ Museum (Arbejdermuseet) in Copenhagen, November 25-29, 2020 – will continue the efforts from Reykjavík of expanding the field with new approaches to what can be interrogated as labour history: What counts as labour, where does labour take place and under what conditions, who constitute the working class and indeed ‘the worker’, what can be recognized as labour organizing and workers’ associations.

The title of the conference – Labouring Lives and Political Protest Across and Beyond the Nordic Countries – is meant to encourage this expansion of approaches by pointing to the specificities of labour as such, of labour organizing, of workers’ associations and parties, of collective bargaining practices and traditions, of the lived lives of workers, of convergences of and segregations between workplace and home, labour and free time, of various forms of political protest, activism and dissidence, as well as the spatial and temporal geographies of labour within, but not limited to a Nordic context. Labour and workers travel beyond sectoral and national borders and thus labour history inquiries must travel too.

The Nordic Labour History Conference 2020 (NLHC2020) encourages contributions from both established and emerging fields of study within labour history. Throughout the NLHC2020 the following tracks will be recurring (further description of each track is provided in the last part of the CfP, which you find here):

  • Feminist Labour History
  • Precarious Work Historicized
  • Free/Unfree Labour
  • History of Fascism and Anti-Fascism
  • Communist lives
  • Histories of Migrant and Itinerant Labour
  • History of Collective Bargaining
  • De-industrialization
  • Vagrant and Entrepenuerial Labour
  • Political Activism Post 1945