CfP: Echoes of revolution 1848, 1918. Revolution, nationalism, and socialism

Weekend conference: ‘Echoes of revolution 1848, 1918. Revolution, nationalism, and socialism’
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 February 2018
Venue: School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Organised and hosted by UEA School of History in conjunction with the journal Socialist History and the Institute of Working Class History, Chicago.

As the old European powers approached exhaustion in the Great War, a wave of revolutionary struggles broke out across the continent, from Ireland to Russia. Mass movements articulated class, social and national aspirations as states fragmented and empires, dynasties and rulers were toppled. But relations between these movements and their component parts were anything but simple. National claimants contested for control of disputed territories in the name of self-determination. Class and social movements struggled with one another over who should rule in the successor states, and in whose interests. These struggles left a lasting legacy which helped shape European politics for decades.

As a pivotal year in European history, 1918 begs comparison with other pivotal years, in particular 1848, in which many similar social and national aspirations came to the fore. This conference will look at and compare movements for radical social and political change of those revolutionary years. We are seeking papers of 5000 to 10000 words to be presented at the conference on any aspects of revolution, nationalism and socialism anywhere around the world during, around or across the years 1848 and 1918. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Socialist History. Attendance at the conference will be free of charge, but we ask that anyone wishing to attend registers in advance.

Proposals for papers and any enquiries should be submitted to Francis King. E-mail:

Deadline for proposals for papers: 15 December 2017

CfP: Beyond 1917: Socialism, Power and Social Change

We invite proposals for an academic conference to be held May 13-14, 2017 at Oxford University, United Kingdom, addressing the following themes:

With the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, socialism attained state power for the first time in history. After more than a century or theorizing socialism as an alternative social order, as a paradigm of social critique, and as an ideal crowning a broad political constellation aimed at ‘forging democracy’ (G. Eley), Lenin’s seizure of power marked a contentious landmark. Among others, the parliamentary social democratic parties of central and northwestern Europe disputed the Bolshevik claim on the intellectual heritage of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as well as their promise to fuse theory and practice in the pursuit of ‘real’ social change. This conference takes this epochal and controversial moment as its starting point to consider the various attempts to combine socialism and power, in the widest sense of both words. It invites papers from diverse disciplines (history, politics, sociology, philosophy, cultural and media studies, etc.) that address efforts to empower socialism by intellectual, emotional, cultural, political and violent means in the twentieth century.

1917 was a European and global event that reconfigured the possibilities for social change in large part by reconceptualizing the relationship between socialism and power. The new questions and challenges raised by this conjuncture were answered in different places in strikingly different ways, from the USSR to the ‘Nordic Model’ to the movements of the Global South and the postwar New Left to the Chinese way to socialism. Power featured differently in these and other programs for a socialist society. Taking critical stock of these blueprints and visions and how they wrestled with the rupture of 1917 is one of the primary aims of this conference. Conversely, papers might consider the potentialities for such a rupture that predated 1917. Contributions may approach power from the perspective of political and/or military dominance, cultural capital or hegemony, theoretical interventions, gender and racial hierarchies, emotional regimes, or dominant myths, memories, and remembrances — to name a few possible frameworks. We especially invite papers that are comparative, transnational, or global in scope clustered around the four themes of 1) socialist visions of power, 2) socialism and power, 3) socialism in power, 4) legacies of power.

Please send an abstract of 300 words with a short CV to the organizers by October 15, 2016 to:

We expect to have limited funds available to cover travel and accommodation costs. The conference will involve around 15 speakers.

Contact Info:
Jakub Beneš, Oxford University,
Christina Morina, German Studies Institute, University of Amsterdam,