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Modern Revolutions and the Idea of Europe

12th Annual Conference of the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe.

Athens 9 – 12 September 2021

Revolutions and rebellions have been a constant feature of the history of the modern age. Examples abound from the “Glorious” and the “Industrial” to the French and the American Revolutions; from the Haitian to the Greek Revolution and the Revolutions of 1848; from the Russian Revolution to the Mexican, the Chinese and the Iranian Revolution; from the anti-colonial uprisings of the twentieth century to the “velvet”, “rose” and “orange” revolutions of the twenty-first century. As moments of rupture and radical change, revolutions accelerate historical time, challenge existing hierarchies and mark the advent of new social, political and cultural formations and constellations; they unite and divide. Revolutions also constitute critical processes for the reconfiguration of conceptions of Europe. Ideas about Europe can be discovered at the intersection of political discourses, structures of power, geopolitical perspectives and identity projects. The history of modern revolutions offers a prime opportunity to re-examine and re-think European historical realities and recover the making of ideas about Europe in the modern age; revolutions have been central to discussions about Europe’s pasts and futures, and have shaped the continent’s political and cultural heritage.
The conference focuses on modern revolutions as social, political, cultural and intellectual events, and as transformative processes. It turns a critical eye on the conceptualization of the term “revolution”. It investigates the evolving ideas, perceptions and images about Europe in the context of revolutionary politics. It explores how modern revolutions have affected discourses about Europe.

News vom 12.03.2021

Draft Programme

Thursday, 9 September

Venue: École Française d’Athènes
Online platform: tbc

09:30 –10:30: Opening/Welcome

10:30 – 12:30: Panel 1: Languages, Concepts, Rhetoric (chair: tbc)

Sara Sermini, “What is to be done? The language of rebellion from Russia to Europe”

Andreas Theophilis and Dimitris Rozakis, “Rebellion, revolution and legitimacy”

Mehmet Dosemeci, “Movement, revolution, disruption”

Sam Kuijken, “The Comte de Ferrand’sthéorie des révolutions: a conceptualization of revolutions by a forgotten mind of the French counter-revolution”

Agoston Nagy and Honick Henrik, “From ‘revolutio’ to ‘forradalom’: a conceptual history of ‘revolution’ in the Hungarian social-political vocabulary of the first half of the 19th century"

12:30 – 13:00: Coffee/Tea Break

13:00 – 14:00: Keynote 1: Sylvie Aprile, L’exilcommeexpérience et laboratoire de l’idéeeuropéenne

 Lunch Break: 14:00 – 15:00

15:00 – 16:30: Panel 2: Spaces, Trajectories, Networks (chair: tbc)

Elisavet Papalexopoulou, “Sociability and secrecy: spaces for women’s political participation in the Age of Revolutions”

Camille Creyghton, “Fraternity as a political ideal in trans-European networks of exiles in the 1840s”

Ulrich Tiedau, “The Centenary of the Belgian Revolution in Britain, 1930”

16:30 – 17:00: Coffee/Tea Break

17:00 – 19:00: Panel 3: Afterlives of the French Revolution (chair: tbc)

Sanja Perovic: “When is radicalism? Revolutionary lives in translation”

Erica Joy Manucci: “When is radicalism? Writers and translators in Italy in the 1790s”

Nicolai von Eggers: “The republican roots of communism: The French Revolution and French radicals in the 1830s”

Jean-Numa Ducange: “What is a ‘revolution’? Understanding the German and Austrian revolutions (1918-1919) in the light of the French Revolution”

 19:00 – 21:00: Reception at the ÉcoleFrançaised’Athènes


Friday, 10 September

Venue: École Française d’Athènes
Online platform: tbc 

09:30 – 11:30: Panel 4: (Hi)storytelling: The Idea of Revolution in European Contemporary Literature (chair: tbc)

Angelo Arciero, “Arthur Koestler: ‘If Europe went down, survival became pointless’”

Patricia Chiantera, “Gramsci, Cantimori, Malaparte and the “unfulfilled revolutions”

Alessandro Dividus, “A matter of monopolies: George Bernard Shaw’s critic of the European intelligentsia”

Milena Massalongo, “What European people lack but cannot miss: Bertolt Brecht and Alfred Döblin”

Adriano Vinale, “The New Italian Epic: destituent narrative of European 20th-century revolutions”

Coffee/TeaBreak (11:30–12:00)

12:00 – 14:00: Panel 5: The Haitian Revolution and Europe (chair: tbc)

Miriam Franchina: “Thinking of Haiti in early 19th-century Italy”

Raphael Hoermann: “‘Only the rights of the European man’? Anti-colonial critique of European revolutions in Black Atlantic narratives of the Haitian Revolution”

Florian Kappeler: “Haiti as a model for Europe: Fragments of a narrative, 1800–1980”

Jonas Ross Kjærgård: “The Haitian Revolution and the Danish Romantic imaginary”

Lunch Break: 14:00 – 15:00

15:00 – 17:00: Panel 6: The Greek Revolution of 1821 (chair: Miltos Pechlivanos)

NasiaYakovaki and S. Pilouri, “On Europe and its meanings”

Aristides Hatzis, “The enlightened, civilized, rule-governed wise Europe: the image of Europe in the Greek Revolutionary Press (1824-1827)”

Alexandra Sfoini, “Uses of Revolution in Greek and European discourse during the Greek Revolution of 1821”

Andreas Tzanavaris, “British Conservatism and the Greek Revolution: The case of George Waddington”

Marina Kotzamani, “Passers collectivity and revolution”

Coffee/TeaBreak (17:00 – 17:30)

17:30 – 18:30: Keynote 2: Annelien De Djin: Egalitarian Revolutions

Saturday, 11 September

Venue: Hellenic Open University
Online platform: tbc

09:30 – 11:30: Panel 7: Transnational and Global Perspectives (chair: tbc)

Gavin Murray-Miller, “Europe’s revolutionary tradition in transnational and global context”

MatthijsTieleman, “The fallen Continent: A critical appraisal of Europe by the Dutch and American patriots, 1775-1787”

Chiara Corazza, “In the folds of this European civilization and one of its rejected parts: W. E. B. Du Bois gaze on Europe and the revolutions”

Vincent Benedetto and Frank Olivier Chauvin, “French socialism facing revolutionary movements in Constantinople at the beginning of the 20th century (1908-1923)”

Carolina Rito, “Unfinished revolutions: Contested narratives of the Portuguese Revolution”

Coffee/TeaBreak (11:30 – 12:00)

12:00 – 13.30: Panel 8: Rethinking 1848 (chair: tbc)

Marion Loeffler, “Reverberations of 1848: Subaltern Western margins”

James Morris, “Europe in the Wallachian Revolution of 1848”

Ignacio Garcia de Paso, “Revolution has sowed its seeds also around here: Empire and the global 1848 revolutions”

Lunch break: 13:30 – 14:30

14.30 – 15:30:  Keynote 3: Balasz Trencesnyi, title tbc

Coffee/TeaBreak (15:30 – 16:00)

16:00 – 17:30: Panel 9: Conservative Revolutions (chair: tbc)

Iason Zarikos, “Do conservatives revolt? Of Europe, kings and new beginnings”

Matthijs Lok, “Moderate monarchism and conservative Europeanism in the post-revolutionary era”

Carolina Armenteros, “The Conservative origins of Italy’s liberal monarchy: Joseph de Maistre and the origins of the Risorgimento, 1804-1861”

17:30– 18:00: Conference Conclusions:


Closing reception at the Hellenic Open University


University of the Peloponnese, École française d’Athènes (EFA), Institut für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie/Centrum Modernes Griechenland (CeMoG), Freie Universität Berlin, Hellenic Open University (Public History MA program), Institute for the Study of Ideas of Europe (ISIE), University of East Anglia.

Conference Scientific Committee

Tassos Anastassiadis (EFA/McGill University), Matthew D’ Auria (University of East Anglia), Fernanda Gallo (Cambridge University), Efi Gazi (University of the Peloponnese), Georgios Giannakopoulos (Academy of Athens Postdoc/King’s College London), Kate Papari (University of the Peloponnese, Freie Universität, Hellenic Open University Press), Miltos Pechlivanos (Freie Universitӓt), Peter Pichler (Karl-Franzens University Graz), Jan Vermeiren (University of East Anglia).

Local Organizing Committee

Efi Gazi, Georgios Giannakopoulos, Kostis Gotsinas, Kate Papari

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