CALL FOR PAPERS: Decolonization Perspectives on Truth and Reconciliation

People from the four directions coming together in one mind, dreaming the future. Detail from Sámi belt. Duojár/artist: Ingvald Guttorm. Photo: Tore Johnsen.


You are invited to submit a paper for the research conference “Reconciliation without the Majority? Civil Society Contributions to Truth and Reconciliation in the Settlement of the Norwegianization Policy”, convened at VID Oslo, Norway, May 4th to 6th, 2022. Accepted papers will get a time slot on May 6th. The working language is English. (Bokmål versjon av call for paper her.)

Thematic focus: We call for papers that from a decolonization perspective, contribute to the emerging conversation about what truth and reconciliation in the aftermath of assimilation policies and colonization may or should entail, illuminating historical and contemporary concerns.

Context: The ongoing TRC in Norway (2018-2023) investigating the Norwegianization policy and injustices against the Sámi, Kvens/Norwegian Finns and Forest Finns, and similar TRC experiences from Canada, South Africa, and other Nordic countries, constitute an important context for the conference.

Multi- and crossdisciplinarity contributions grounded in disciplines as history, theology, anthropology, sociology, social pedagogy, law, etc. are welcomed.

Regional foci: Papers from researchers from Norway are given priority, while space for a limited number of Scandinavian, Canadian and South African contributions is facilitated.

Publication: Papers presented will be considered for publication. Two options are explored: publication in English in Volume II of peer-reviewed publications in the ReconTrans project (Volume I out in Dec 2021 / Jan 2022 at AOSIS[1]) and/or publication in Norwegian in the Norwegian peer-reviewed journal Kirke og Kultur.

Deadlines, submission process, and conference presentation:

You will need to indicate your intention to submit a full paper by email with the title of the paper, authors, and abstract. Deadlines for submitting abstracts and full manuscripts are indicated below.

  • Jan 5th, 2022: Submission of abstract (appr. 250 words) along with a CV (no more than two pages)
  • Feb 1st, 2022: Selection of abstracts for presentation finished
  • April 22nd, 2022: Submission of manuscript (appr. 5 500 words).
  • Each paper presented May 6th is given a 20 min time slot with time for 5-10 min feedback.

Abstract and manuscript are submitted as word documents to

Papers are selected for presentation by a committee of international researchers from the ReconTrans project.

More about the context and the conference theme

A parliamentarian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2018-2023) investigates the Norwegianization policy and injustices against the Sámi, Kvens, and Forest Finns in Norway. The process concerns not only the affected indigenous people and national minorities, but also the Norwegian majority society.

The assimilation policy under scrutiny arose from particular notions of being Norwegian that generated social, cultural, and political gravitational forces that never completely disappeared. What does this imply for people-to-people reconciliation in Norway? What are the responsibilities and contributions of the church, the broader civil society, and the research community? And what can be learned from similar experiences in the South African, Canadian and Nordic contexts?

The conference “Reconciliation without the majority? Civil society contributions to truth and reconciliation in the aftermath of the Norwegianization policy”, convened in Oslo May 4-5, 2022, seeks to take the public conversation on such questions further – through equal dialogue, rooted in the practice field and ongoing research.

Organized as cooperation between KUN/VID Tromsø and the Church of Norway, the conference is additionally the third research conference of ReconTrans, an international research project exploring “reconciliation” as a transformative concept and practice associated with TRCs.

While the first two days of the conference are focussing on the Norwegian truth and reconciliation process, the third day, convened on May 6, explores the potentials of “decolonization” as a conceptual lens for breaking new ground on matters related to the conference theme.

A multi-disciplinary approach is assumed, and researchers of history, theology, anthropology, sociology, social pedagogics, law, etc. are welcome to present their papers. While the research community in Norway is the main target group, international participation is wished for, and international researchers are encouraged to apply.

Coordinator of call for papers
Assoc. Prof. Bernd Krupka,
Center leader, KUN/VID Tromsø, VID Specialized university

[1] Guðmarsdóttir, S., Regan, P. & Solomons, D. (eds.), Trading Justice for Peace? Reframing Reconciliation in TRC Processes in South Africa, Canada and Nordic Countries, AOSIS, Cape Town. In press.