La commune n’est pas morte

Nous avons le plaisir de relayer l’appel à contribution pour le numéro spécial de la revue Nineteenth Century French Studies, intitulé « La commune n’est pas morte… », coordonné par Robert St. Clair et Seth Whidden, et qui paraîtra en mai 2021.

« 150 years on, in a context of environmental, economic, and socio-political crises spanning the planet, the legacy of the Paris Commune demands our attention as a model, a horizon, and perhaps an alternative to the on-going emergencies of everyday life in capitalist post-modernity, in the so-called aftermath of the “end of History.” Indeed, what remains of the post-War geopolitical consensus in the West finds itself strained to a breaking point: apparatuses of liberal democracy appear discredited as they increasingly resemble regimes of governance accountable to private interests rather than forms of representational government, and as discourses and sites of identity and community are reduced to the zero-sum horrors of ethno-nationalism.

By urgently calling on us to imagine a different world, the Paris Commune retains in its enduring, unsettling timeliness. As historical episode, the Commune figures as a political and historical parenthesis, emerging from the breakdowns of national and local order of the Année terrible and lasting all of 73 days. But as revolutionary event, it leaves in its wake an enduring image of history as an incomplete struggle, and of politics as the immanent possibility of the autrement contained within the socio-political structures and hierarchies of other forms of community, daily life, and sociability; other modes of agency and of political practices; and other ways of being and of thinking human history.

But just what was—or is—the Paris Commune, and how can we articulate its pertinence for our time? Was it a dramatic historical singularity, or the result of the long rhythms of the geo-political, economic, and cultural history of the city of Paris? Image of the People self-consciously reclaiming a “right to the city” (Lefebvre, Harvey), or hopelessly disorganized revolt whose bloody dénouement was all but inevitable? The final form of class-struggle in which the dispossessed demonstrated the reality of their “equaliberty” (Balibar), or yet another episode of civil war whose roots reach back to 1789? Challenge to the nation-state qua political form, or the tragic example of the power of the state in its most unsophisticated guise? Poetry of the past or enigma of the future (Marx) whose experimental form, spirit, and political legacy can be found in October 1917, Shanghai in 1967, Paris in May ’68, Zuccotti Park and Tahrir Square in 2011, La Nuit debout in 2016?

It is to rethink and reassess these questions, problems, narratives, and horizons that Nineteenth-Century French Studies welcomes proposals for contributions to a special issue to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. »

Voir le détail de l’appel ici.