Symposium: La Commune N'est Pas Morte...!

A conference disucssing 150 years since the Paris Commune will be held at Dartmouth College, Thursday, October 10th, 2019, with keynote speaker Kristin Ross of New York University. 

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." As historical episode, the Paris Commune perhaps figures indeed as a political and historical parenthesis, emerging from the breakdowns of national and local order of the Année terrible (the Franco-Prussian War and subsequent collapse of the Second Empire) 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 the order of the present: other forms of community, daily life, solidarity and sociability; other modes of agency and of political practices; other ways of being and of thinking (human) history. This event brings together scholars from across the world to discuss the afterlife of the Commune in US print and performance culture; the Commune and the politics of the Capitalocene; the Gilets jaunes movement and political poetics; visualizing the Commune and the rhetoric of bare life; and the historiography of the Commune in the 19th-21st centuries.

Co-sponsored by the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Departments of French and Italian, English, History and the Programme in Comparative Literature.


The symposium schedule is as follows:


MORNING PANEL: 10:00-12:00

JESSICA TANNER, UNC, Chapel Hill (Department of Romance Studies): The Commune in the Age of the Capitalocene

DENIS SAINT-AMAND, Université de Namur (Faculté de philosophie et de lettres): La Commune demeure: L'imaginaire des Gilets jaunes

J. MICHELLE COUGHLIN, University of Manchester, UK (English and American Studies): Reliving the Commune: American Women Radicals and the Figure of Revolution


QUENTIN DELUERMOZ, Université de Paris 13 (Histoire contemporaine): Commune, 1871: Present, Past, and Reverse

WILLIAM CLARE ROBERTS, McGill University (Department of Political Science): A Barricade, Not a Government: Contrasting Views of Association in the Paris Commune

KATIE HORNSTEIN, Dartmouth College (Department of Art History): The Lion of Belfort, Max Ernst's Une semaine de bonté, and Revolutionary Time

JOHN MERRIMAN, Yale University (Department of History): Respondent

KEYNOTE: 5:00-6:00 CARPENTER 013

KRISTIN ROSS, New York University (College of Arts and Science): The Seventh Wonder of the Zad