The Uses of History in Romani Studies: Theory and Practice

Archive Research Seminar at the University of Liverpool, 29-30th May 2013

Call for applications

Early career researchers of Romani background (BA, MA, PhD) are invited to apply for a 3 day academic seminar on the uses of historical methods and sources in Romani Studies.  The seminar will focus on planning and implementing research projects using archives and a wide variety of historical approaches (such as transnational, social, cultural, or oral history).  Through lectures and practical exercises, participants will gain hands-on experience of working with archival sources and planning longer-term research projects.  Participants will give presentations about their own research interests. The workshop will include talks with historians, librarians, specialists in archive management, and museum professionals, who together specialize in a wide range of historical and geographical areas, ranging across the modern history of Western Europe and the Mediterranean to Germany and East Central Europe.

As an example, we will work with the Gypsy Lore Society Collections held at the University of Liverpool Library.  We will re-evaluate these archival collections, both as a body of knowledge to be deconstructed by scholars wishing to challenge the romanticising tendencies of nineteenth-century ‘Gypsiology’, and as one possible resource for historians interested in new approaches to researching the history of Roma and Gypsies in Europe since the nineteenth century from a local and transnational perspective.

The workshop will also include sessions on public history, and the connections between history, archives and human rights, for example with a talk at the Federation of International Human Rights Museums, established by Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum in 2010 to explore how museums around the world can engage with sensitive and controversial histories and challenge racism, discrimination and other human rights abuses.

This workshop will provide a basis for future collaboration between the organizers and participants on grant applications and joint research projects.

Lectures and seminars:

Professor Eve Rosenhaft, historian (Germany and Holocaust Studies), Department of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Liverpool

Professor Henriette Asséo, historian, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Centre de recherches historiques), Paris; author of numerous studies of Gypsies in France and Europe and co-author, with Idit Bloch and Juliette Jourdan, of the documentary film Mémoires tsiganes, l‘ autre génocide (Kuiv Productions – Mémoire magnétique, 2011)

Dr. David Fleming OBE, Director of National Museums Liverpool, on the Federation of International Human Rights Museums

Dr. Ilsen About, historian; post-doctoral researcher at Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l‘Homme, Université Aix-Marseille.

Dr. Celia Donert, historian; lecturer in the History Department, University of Liverpool

Mrs Katy Hooper, Special Collections Librarian, University of Liverpool Library

Dr. Alex Buchanan / Dr. Margaret Procter, Archive Studies, University of Liverpool



Students of Romani background enrolled in a BA, MA or PhD programme in the humanities or social sciences; early career researchers no more than 5 years after PhD.  Anthropology, Sociology, Gender Studies, Political Science, Demography, History, Law, Public Policy, or Social Theory are all eligible fields. The languages of the workshop will be English and French.  Participants should have a good command of English; there is no requirement for participants to speak French.


Candidates should fill in the form attached. They should provide a 500 word resumé (excluding bibliography) in English of their research interests and a short biographical description (max 250 words) of themselves (see form). BA students are encouraged to submit a letter of motivation along with the form attached. Applications should be sent via email to both and

Organisation and funding

  • Celia Donert, Historian, Liverpool
  • Eve Rosenhaft, Historian, Liverpool
  • Henriette Asséo, Historian, Paris
  • Ilsen About, Historian, Aix-Marseille

The seminar is funded by the European Academic Network on Romani Studies  Accommodation, travel and meals will be covered by the organisers.


Candidates should submit their applications by Friday 22 March 2013.  Six participants will be selected by the organizers. All candidates will be notified by 12 April.

Download the Call for application and the Application form.

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