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Celebrating revolutions, adjusting definitions



Celebrating revolutions, adjusting definitions


14 June 2021


This paper examines the celebration of the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989 and the celebration of the centenary of the Russian Revolution in 2017 as opportunities for reappraisals of the events and their impact on the historiography of revolutions. As founding events of societies, revolutions are always highly sensitive to the passage of time and to the conjectures, contingencies and needs of the present. Even if their celebration allows scholars to reintegrate their research into the political discourse and thus risk succumbing to presentism and moralism at the expense of historical empathy, it reorients historiography in directions that will define the future course of the study of revolutions. My presentation will focus on the redefinitions of the study of the French and Russian revolutions in 1989 and 2017 and their impact on the genealogy of the historiography of revolutions.

(Edited abstract from organiser’s website)

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