The Afterlives of Revolutions (closed)


Editors: José Neves and Rita Lucas Narra (Institute of Contemporary History — NOVA FCSH / IN2PAST, Portugal)


Political and social revolutions are events frequently studied by the discipline of History. However, contributions by historians to the study of the posthumous lives of these events are rarer. This call aims to elicit proposals for articles and essays that focus on the memorialistic trajectories of revolutions. Case studies, historical comparisons, or theory-based approaches may be proposed.

How have political revolutions been studied, and how has their history been written? How has the same revolution been described and analysed by different authors and schools of thought? How has the same author or school approached different revolutionary processes? And what are the differences and continuities between the ways historians have configured revolutions, on the one hand, and, on the other, the ways journalism, testimonial literature, literary fiction, or cinema have represented revolutionary events?

The journal Práticas da História also encourages the submission of proposals for articles and essays that focus on how political discourse, commemorative politics, and historical staging have dealt and are dealing with past revolutions, as well as the discussion of issues such as the mobilization of examples, icons, or concepts of past revolutions by revolutionary action. The problem of the inscription (or not) of revolutions in the organics of the regimes that succeed them or, finally, the identification of the beginning/end of a revolution, may also be addressed.

We also welcome proposals that, through case studies, conceptual and typological analyses, or theoretical reflection, analyse questions such as: the boundary between the idea of revolution and the ideas of rebellion or revolt; the extension of the idea of revolution from the political domain to others, which is evident in expressions like “cultural revolution”, “sexual revolution”, “industrial revolution”, or “scientific revolution”.

Finally, we call for proposals that contribute to the understanding of how the idea of revolution (and its relation to history and the experience of historical time) has been thought of in political theory, conceptual history, and philosophy, and those that ask about the place that all these topics occupy in the theory of history and related fields. What are the historiographical limits of the concept of revolution? What challenges do periods taken as pre-modern pose to the notion of revolution and its use by historians? And does this notion know changes of degree or nature when confronted with the history of non-Western contexts?

These are some of the topics that motivate the organisation of a special issue of Práticas da História, to be launched in 2024, on the 50th anniversary of the African anti-colonial revolutions and the Portuguese anti-fascist revolution that put an end to the Portuguese Empire and the Portuguese dictatorship of the Estado Novo.

Proposals (maximum 500 words) must be sent by 1 July 2023 to the email address Proposals must be accompanied by a short biographical note. The acceptance or refusal of the proposal will be communicated by 15 July 2023. Proposals that are accepted must be submitted by 30 October 2023.