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Call for papers for a panel at the European Social Science History Conference , April 2014
Article mis en ligne le 27 février 2013
dernière modification le 4 octobre 2014

par r-c.
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’Dramatising militant lives. Anarchist biographies/autobiographies’

There is a growing literature on the decline of the traditional ‘great man’ biography and on more recent uses of biography and autobiography by historians (notably, but not only, collective biography or prosopography), as well as on the dangers and difficulties associated with the various forms which the genre can take : as Jacques Le Goff of the Annales school wrote : “Historical biography is one of the most difficult ways to do history”. And yet, landmark works such as Jean Grave’s Le Mouvement libertaire sous la IIIème République, Guy Aldred’s No Traitor’s Gait or Edith Thomas’s Louise Michel, to name just a few, are essential to our factual grasp and understanding of their subject matter, suggesting that (auto)biography is an especially important source and framework for the study of anarchism.

This panel proposes to focus on the biographies of anarchists and the mapping of personal networks (including transnational networks) ; the “biographical illusion” (Bourdieu) and the status of autobiography and other forms of life writing as historical sources ; the intersections (or lack thereof) between militants’ ideological beliefs, the realities of militant life and the reconstruction of both through (auto)biography.

It would also encourage contributions on the overlaps or cross-fertilisations between historians and scholars working in other disciplinary traditions, whether in the social sciences (ethnographic research or social network analysis, the uses of life narratives by psychologists), or indeed in literary studies. The complexities of oral history will also be examined.

Proposals for 20 minute papers should be sent to Dave Berry and Constance Bantman by Thursday, 28 March 2013.


flèche Sur le web : European Social Science History Conference

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