Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques

Editor: Elizabeth C. Macknight, University of Aberdeen, UK
Co-Editor: W. Brian Newsome, Georgia College and State University, USA


Subjects: History, Literature

Indexed in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index and Current Contents – Arts & Humanities

Call for Papers: Historical Roots of Contemporary Trans-Atlantic Phenomena


 Available on JSTOR


Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 47 (2021): Issue 1 (Mar 2021): History in the European Year of Cultural Heritage: Where the Past Meets the Future

Intimations of Brexit: Looking Forward to the Past

A special issue of Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques (47.2)
Edited by Antoinette Burton

Introduction: When Was Brexit? Reading Backward to the Present
Antoinette Burton

Postimperial Melancholia and Brexit            
Marc Matera

“To Tell It as We Know It”: Black Women’s History and the Archive of Brexit Britain
Kennetta Hammond Perry 

Quartet in Autumn and the Meaning of Barbara Pym    
Antoinette Burton

Machiavellian Moments and the Exigencies of Leaving
Stuart Ward 

Must Labour Lose? The 1959 Election and the Politics of the People                
Charlotte Lydia Riley

When Cosmopolitans Get Ahead: W. T. Eady’s I.D.B. or The Adventures of Solomon Davis (1887)        
Danielle Kinsey

Brexit, Erewhon, and Utopia                 
Porscha Fermanis

The Dream of Greater Britain                
Dane Kennedy 

Coda — Pandemic Brexit: Cancelling the Political Future
Bill Schwarz

Volume 47 / 2021, 3 issues per volume (spring, summer, winter)

Aims & Scope

Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques (HRRH) has established a well-deserved reputation for publishing high quality articles of wide-ranging interest for over forty years. The journal, which publishes articles in both English and French, is committed to exploring history in an interdisciplinary framework and with a comparative focus. Historical approaches to art, literature, and the social sciences; the history of mentalities and intellectual movements; the terrain where religion and history meet: these are the subjects to which Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques is devoted.


Indexing/Abstracting

Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques is indexed/abstracted in:

  • American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (University of Illinois)
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • ATLA Religion Database (American Theological Library Association)
  • Bibliographie annuelle de l'histoire de France
  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI) 
  • British Humanities Index (CSA/ProQuest)
  • Canadian Essay and Literature Index (Owen Sound Library)
  • Current Contents – Arts & Humanities (Web of Science)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index (Haverford College)
  • French Historical Studies
  • Historical Abstracts (CSA/ProQuest)
  • Humanities Abstracts (H.W. Wilson)
  • Humanities Index (H.W. Wilson)
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (De Gruyter)
  • International Medieval Bibliography (University of Leeds)
  • MLA Directory of Periodicals
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • National Library of Medicine (PubMed)
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers
  • Periodicals Index Online (Chadwyck-Healy/ProQuest)
  • Science of Religion
  • Sociological Abstracts (CSA/ProQuest)
  • Social Services Abstracts (CSA/ProQuestz)
  • Scopus (Elsevier)
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (CSA/ProQuest)

Editor: Elizabeth C. Macknight, University of Aberdeen, UK
Co-editor: W. Brian Newsome, Georgia College and State University, USA

Editorial Board

Jeffrey D.Burson, Georgia Southern University, USA
Antoinette Burton, University of Illinois, USA
Daniel Gordon, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA
Jeff Horn, Manhattan College, USA
Patrick H. Hutton, University of Vermont, USA
Samuel Kalman, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Kelly Maynard, Grinnell College, USA

Linda E. Mitchell, University of Missouri, Kansas City, USA
Jean Pedersen, University of Rochester, USA
Julia Roos, Indiana University, USA

Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting.

The editorial board welcomes submissions for publication in English or French. Authors should submit articles as email attachments, formatted as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format files. Please note that all correspondence will take place via email. Send submissions and complete contact information to the editor, Elizabeth MacKnight.

View Guest Editor Guidelines here.

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.


Ethics Statement

Authors published in Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques (HRRH) certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews, and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions, or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete HRRH ethics statement.

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ISSN 0315-7997 (Print) • ISSN 1939-2419 (Online)
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"Et Plus Si Affinités"

Malagasy Marriage, Shifting Post-Colonial Hierarchies, and Policing New Boundaries

Author: Jennifer Cole

In 1999 and 2004, a debate exploded within the Malagasy expatriate community in France after Et Plus Si Affinités, a realist style documentary about arranged marriage between Malagasy women and French men, aired on local television. The series chronicled the adventures of three French bachelors who went to Madagascar to find brides. In this article, I use the reactions to Et Plus Si Affinités as a lens through which to examine changes in Malagasy sexual relations as they are inflected by relations between different ethnic groups in Madagascar, particularly how different groups have historically approached sexual and marital relationships between Malagasy women and French men. Drawing on this case study, I argue that studies of transnational arranged marriage need to attend more closely first to historical representations and the way they figure into transnational marriage, and second to how circulating representations mediate women's agency and their ability to achieve their goals.

Separating Church and State

The Atlantic Divide

Americans commonly believe that their country is unique in its commitment to the separation of church and state. Yet by the European measure, the American separation of church and state looks strikingly weak, since Americans permit religious rhetoric to permeate their politics and even cite the Bible in court. In light of these striking differences, this article argues that it is wrong to imagine that there is some single correct measure of the separation of church and state. Instead, northern continental Europe and the United States have evolved two different patterns, whose historical roots reach back into the Middle Ages. In northern continental Europe, unlike the United States, historic church functions have been absorbed by the state. The consequences of this historic divergence extend beyond familiar questions of the freedom of religious expression, touching on matters as diverse as welfare policy and criminal law.

Author: Samuel Kalman

Few scholars today question the binary relationship between imperialism and violence, and French historians are no exception. In recent years, a multitude of studies have appeared concerning the violence inherent in the conquest of the nineteenth-century Gallic empire, the maintenance and defense of the colonial system, and the decolonization process—massacres and torture during the Algerian War, for example. Such works often reflect Etienne Balibar’s definition of “structural violence”: an essential component of a repressive system, maintaining unequal social relations while defending “the interests, power positions, and forms of social domination.”1 This hegemony took various guises at different times throughout the history of French imperialism, operating in tandem with assaults on the indigènes (the term adopted by the authorities for natives). It could involve surveillance and intelligence gathering, security forces, and judicial-penal institutions employed to harass and control the colonized. Yet it also resulted from the forced pacification of native peoples (Alice Conklin refers to this policy as an “act of state-sanctioned violence”) and the imposition of the indigénat—the loose collection of rules that granted extraordinary police and disciplinary powers to the colonial administration, along with the imposition of forced labor and taxation.2 The ultimate defense of this system, and indeed its brutal apogee, emerged during the wars of decolonization, in which tens of thousands of the colonized were killed in Algeria and Indochina, while countless others were subjected to torture and incarceration.

Tocqueville's account of the role of voluntary associations in democracy is discussed in relation to the French government's repressive Law of 1834. The context was one of insurrection in Lyon and the regime of Louis Philippe, itself the product of an insurrection only a few years before, was particularly nervous about conspiratorial associations, which it attempted to ban with the law in question. Because Tocqueville opposed this law, he emphasized the virtues of political association in the text of Democracy in America and ignored certain problematic characteristics of the one association he used to exemplify his general argument, namely, the “free trade association” that convened in Philadelphia in 1831 to oppose the so-called Tariff of Abominations.

Author: Daniel Gordon

Using a comparative method, this article explores the reasons for the absence of a legal ban on Muslim headscarves in the United States. Study of France reveals a culture that values "public space" and "citizenship." The United States places more value on the generic concept of "religion" as the unifying bond among individuals, even of different religious groupings. Cross-religious sympathy is a distinctive feature of American culture and reflected in legal briefs to the Supreme Court. The article suggests that legal concepts are not merely reflections of social institutions but are important social facts in themselves.