A Period of Global Revolutions (Mid-1900s until mid-1920s). Foreshadowing the 20th century or ending a long revolutionary tradition?

Call for abstracts, deadline 31 December 2017

A Period of Global Revolutions (Mid-1900s until mid-1920s). Foreshadowing the 20th century or ending a long revolutionary tradition? Young Scholars Workshop

Host/Organizer: Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger, Institute for Social Movements / Prof. Dr. Klaus Weinhauer, Bielefeld University, Faculty of History
Institute for Social Movements, Bochum
Date: 24-5-2018
Deadline: 31-12-2017

Historical research still neglects the period of global revolutions which stretched roughly between the mid-1900s and the mid-1920s. Revolutions have traditionally been anchor points of national historical master narratives. Whilst in some we have seen the regionalisation and even localisation of research on those revolutions, the transnationalisation of the research on the many revolutions that happened in the world between 1905 and the mid-1920s has not happened so far. There is, however, much is to be gained from studying the revolutions in common that were taking place in different locations on the globe during that time period and that were often interconnected. To this effect, a comparative and transnational approach is necessary. In order to provide a comparative and transnational perspective, it will be necessary to reflect on the meaning of the concept ‘revolution’ and what it meant in different spatial and chronological contexts. Are all the uprisings and protest events that happened during this period adequately characterised by the idea of ‘revolution’. What other concepts might be beneficial in understanding social and political protest?

By focusing on relevant world regions, we aim at putting together a focused special issue on the transnational dimensions of this revolutionary period in global history that shall be published by an internationally acclaimed historical journal.

As a first step, an English language young scholars workshop (PhD and early Postdocs) will be held on 24 May 2018 (Bochum, Institute for Social Movements).

Our concept is guided by three considerations:

First, we ask whether the time phase under scrutiny marks a culmination point as well as an endpoint? May we say, that political hopes, fears and utopias in Europe which all were related to a proletarian revolution and which were rooted in the nineteenth century came to a climax and, at the same time, an endpoint? Or was this period the beginning of revolutionary struggles that were part and parcel of both the global Cold War and the anti-colonial struggles of the second half of the twentieth century?

Secondly, we are interested to know, to what extent the revolutionary movements had to face competition of other culturally and politically diverse social movements? Did transnational or translocal connections matter in their respective settings?

Thirdly, we believe that several methodological approaches to the history of this revolutionary period can only gain by learning from each other and by entering into dialogue – we have in mind here classical social history approaches, cultural history approaches, urban history approaches, global history approaches and others more.

Young scholars (PhD and early Postdocs) please send your abstract (max. 1,000 words) at any time but not later than 31 December 2017 to:
Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger (stefan.berger@rub.de) and Prof. Dr. Klaus Weinhauer (klaus.weinhauer@uni-bielefeld.de).

We have applied for funding of travel and accommodation costs but cannot confirm such funding yet. We will inform applicants about our decision about their proposals by late January 2018.


Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger, Institute for Social Movements, Clemensstr. 17-19
D-44789 Bochum, Germany, email:stefan.berger@rub.de
Prof. Dr. Klaus Weinhauer, Bielefeld University, Faculty of History, Postbox 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany,
email: klaus.weinhauer@uni-bielefeld.de