Noting that "[r]apes committed during armed conflicts are often assumed to have a kind of inevitability," the organizers state as a conference goal to promote the historical study of the phenomenon:
The intention is not to claim in advance that it constitutes either a supreme form of wartime violence or a forgotten one, but rather, by taking account of the actors, the actions and the occasions on which rape occurred, to pose the question of its place in war. The idea is also to chart the visibility of rape both at the time and afterwards. The question will be posed of how rape could on some occasions symbolize the entire conflict and summarize the atrocities for which the enemy was condemned while on other occasions it was passed over in silence by both the private and the public narratives of the war.
As detailed here, organizers hope to focus on 5 themes:
►The circumstances of war.
► Customs and practices.
► The importance of the imaginary.
► The aftermath.
► How to write this history.
Interested persons should send a paper proposal of up to 360 words plus a short bio to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline's June 1, 2008.
(credit for photo of Korean women subjected to slavery at Japanese hands from Seoul Times; thanks to Legal History Blog for the head's up)