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Between Science and Utopia

Physical and Astronomical Notions within French and Polish Fourierism

Piotr Kuligowski and Quentin Schwanck

This article investigates the role of physical and astronomical notions in the formation process of transnational political ideologies. It does so by focusing on the striking example of nineteenth-century early socialist movements, particularly Fourierism. Indeed, Fourier’s bold cosmogony enabled him to connect many fields of knowledge, and soon became a powerful vehicle for his ideas on the international scale. The article likewise analyses the ideological process through which Fourierist astronomical conceptions were adopted by foreign socialists, focusing on examples of Polish thinkers such as Jan Czyński and Stanisław Bratkowski who, in drawing on Fourierist ideas and usage of scientific terms, tried to embed his vocabulary in the ongoing nineteenth-century debates about Polish history and, more generally, the burning issue of the independence of the Polish state. Our comparative analysis highlights the contextual influences which contributed to re-shaping such ideas within a new absorbing context.

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Huaiyu Chen

East German sinologists organized an international conference on East Asian studies in Leipzig in October 1955, bringing together scholars from most communist states and several scholars from Western Europe. This conference served to unite sinologists from both the Communist Bloc and West Germany in the early Cold War era. Since the Chinese delegation was particularly honored, this article suggests that China expanded its political influence in East Europe after the Korean War and the death of Stalin, which prompted a tension within the international communist community, especially between China and the Soviet Union. Moreover, this conference demonstrated a strong “modern turn” in the rising field of Asian studies, sinology in particular, because of the rise of the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s.

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Etienne Lock

Cet article est une réfl exion sur la question identitaire telle que portée et exprimée dans l’itinéraire historique du mouvement Présence Africaine. Il met en exergue une dimension fondamentale, voire l’essence même de l’engagement de ce mouvement, jusqu’ici non explorée. Tout en faisant redécouvrir les défi s et de grands événements quiont fait la notoriété de Présence Africaine soutenue par une revue et une maison d’édition, cette réfl exion s’articule aussi autour des débats philosophiques et théologiques au sein de ce mouvement, et se déploie par ailleurs en référence aux indépendances africaines. L’opportunité d’une telle réfl exion s’explique par le fait que la question identitaire reste un enjeu important pour les sociétés contemporaines.

This article examines the issue of identity as expressed in the historical journey of the intellectual movement Présence Africaine. It highlights a fundamental dimension of the commitment of that movement not yet explored in academic research. The current study uncovers the challenges and the great events that shaped the reputation of Présence] Africaine as an African intellectual movement with a journal and a publishing house. It also deals with the identity issue through philosophical and theological debates as well as in reference to the independence era in Africa. The relevance of such a study is due to the topicality of the identity issue for contemporary societies.

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The Leftist “Imagined Community”

The Transnational Imagination of Left-Wing Subversive Organizations in Western Europe

Mikuláš Pešta

This article concerns radical leftist subversive organizations in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s and their transnational shared imagination. It shows that despite the scarcity of direct contacts, there existed a sense of belonging to the same transnational current, the “imagined community.” On selected criteria (Images – Semantics – Practice), the article provides analysis of the shared tropes in self-perception and in the communication. The patterns were shared among the Western European subversive organizations but also imported from the countries of the Global South. The article further presents the lack of eff ort of the subversive organizations to create their own mark and graphic identity, whether consciously or not, to become a part of the “global anti-imperialist front.” It puts into question the utility of the traditional categorization of subversive organizations and discusses the use of the term “terrorism” regarding its self-perception and global context.

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Une lutte à trois

les propriétaires fonciers anglais et la répartition du revenu national dans le Capital (1867)

Mathieu J. Lainé

La lecture des chapitres XXVI-XXXIII du livre I du Capital (1865–1867) montre que Marx prenait les vicissitudes ou les contingences de l’histoire anglaise pour d’authentiques nécessités historiques. Mais elle montre aussi que les propriétaires fonciers forment une classe sociale sui generis, qui joue un rôle décisif dans la théorie de la valeur. De fait, la lecture de ces chapitres permet aujourd’hui de répondre avec certitude à la fameuse question oratoire que se posait Marx au chapitre LII du livre III du Capital (1864–1865): “Was macht Lohnarbeiter, Kapitalisten, Grundeigenthümer zu Bildnern der drei großen gesellschaftlichen Klassen?” (“Comment se fait-il que ce soient les ouvriers salariés, les capitalistes et les propriétaires fonciers qui constituent les trois grandes classes de la société?”) et à laquelle il n’aurait supposément jamais répondu.

A close reading of chapters XXVI–XXXIII of Capital, vol. I (1865–1867) shows that Marx (mis)took the contingencies of English history for genuine historical necessities. But it also shows that landowners form an actual social class in Capital, one that plays an actual role in Marx’s own theory of value. In fact, reading these chapters allows us to confidently answer that famous rhetorical question Marx first asked himself in chapter LII of Capital, vol. III (1864–1865): “Was macht Lohnarbeiter, Kapitalisten, Grundeigenthümer zu Bildnern der drei großen gesellschaftlichen Klassen?” (“Comment se fait-il que ce soient les ouvriers salariés, les capitalistes et les propriétaires fonciers qui constituent les trois grandes classes de la société?”). Unlike what we are sometimes led to believe, Marx actually answered that question.

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Klaus Neumann

Following the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s murder on 25 May 2020, memorials in remembrance of individuals implicated in colonialism or slavery have come under increasing attack. This article discusses and contextualizes challenges in 2020 to the memorialization of Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898) and Emily Ruete née Salama bint Said (1844–1924) in Hamburg, where the legacy of the German colonial past is particularly palpable. The article argues that proposed solutions—be it the demolition of the city’s main Bismarck monument, its restoration and the erection of a counter-memorial adjacent to it, or the un-naming of a street named after Ruete—potentially erase the complexities and contradictions of the lives of historical actors, are often informed by a desire to quarantine the past, and, just as often, fail to engage with its continuation in the present.

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Thomas Klikauer, Norman Simms, Marcus Colla, Nicolas Wittstock, Matthew Specter, Kate R. Stanton, John Bendix, and Bernd Schaefer

Heinrich Detering, Was heißt hier “wir”? Zur Rhetorik der parlamentarischen Rechten (Dietzingen: Reclam Press, 2019).

Clare Copley, Nazi Buildings: Cold War Traces and Governmentality in Post-Unification Berlin (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020).

Tobias Schulze-Cleven and Sidney A. Rothstein, eds., Imbalance: Germany’s Political Economy after the Social Democratic Century (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021).

Benedikt Schoenborn, Reconciliation Road: Willy Brandt, Ostpolitik and the Quest for European Peace (New York: Berghahn Books, 2020).

Tiffany N. Florvil, Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2020).

Ingo Cornils, Beyond Tomorrow: German Science Fiction and Utopian Thought in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2020).

Christian F. Ostermann, Between Containment and Rollback: The United States and the Cold War in Germany (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2021).

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Madeline Woker, Caroline Ford, and Jonathan Gosnell

Owen White, The Blood of the Colony: Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020).

Andrea E. Duffy, Nomad’s Land: Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the Nineteenth-Century Mediterranean World (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

Charlotte Ann Legg, The New White Race: Settler Colonialism and the Press in French Algeria, 1860–1914 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021)

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A “Capital of Hope and Disappointments”

North African Families in Marseille Shantytowns and Social Housing

Dustin Alan Harris

This article traces the history of specialized social housing for North African families living in shantytowns in Marseille from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s. During the Algerian War, social housing assistance formed part of a welfare network that exclusively sought to “integrate” Algerian migrants into French society. Through shantytown clearance and rehousing initiatives, government officials and social service providers encouraged shantytown-dwelling Algerian families to adopt the customs of France’s majority White population. Following the Algerian War, France moved away from delivering Algerian-focused welfare and instead developed an expanded immigrant welfare network. Despite this shift, some officials and social service providers remained fixated on the presence and ethno-racial differences of Algerians and other North Africans in Marseille’s shantytowns. Into the mid-1970s, this fixation shaped local social assistance and produced discord between the promise and implementation of specialized social housing that hindered shantytown-dwelling North African families’ incorporation into French society.

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Decorating Mothers, Defining Maternity

The Invention of the French Family Medal and the Rise of Profamily Ideology in 1920s France

Hannah M. Stamler

This article offers a detailed analysis of the symbolism and early operation of the Family Medal, a maternity award created by the French government in 1920. Launched at a time when the women’s rights were fiercely debated and when politicians feared for the longevity of the “French race,” this article claims the medal as a revealing tool of state efforts at gender and racial retrenchment. Honoring mothers who were moral and metropolitan, the medal represented an early attempt at institutionalizing a conservative and racialized vision of motherhood that would find fuller expression in the 1939 Family Code, itself a blueprint of Vichy family law.