Call for Papers

Workshop on Transnational History of Socialism

26th Mar 2018

Workshop on Transnational History of Socialism

(Second Half of 19th Century to 1914) Call for Papers


Séminaire international organisé dans le cadre du projet EUROSOC (GRR-CSN Université de Rouen – région Normandie, coordonné par Jean-Numa Ducange, avec le soutien du projet PEACE (Université de Caen – Université de Rouen – région Normandie, coordonné par Thomas Hippler et Jean-Numa Ducange)


Comité d’organisation

Andrea Benedetti (doctorant, université de Strasbourg)

Frank-Olivier Chauvin (doctorant, université de Rouen)

Lucie Guesnier (docteure, université de Paris 1)

Elisa Marcobelli (post-doctorante, université de Rouen)

Steffi Marung (enseignante-chercheuse, université de Leipzig)


Comité scientifique

Sylvie Aprile (Université de Nanterre, Institut des sciences sociales du politique)

Gilles Candar (Président de la Société d’études jaurésiennes)

Maurice Carrez (Institut d’étude Politique de Strasbourg, Dynamiques Européennes)

Patrizia Dogliani (Université de Bologne, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà)

Jean-Numa Ducange (Université de Rouen, Groupe de recherches d’Histoire)

Talbot C. Imlay (Université de Laval – Canada, Département des Sciences Historiques)

Xu Juezai (Académie des Sciences de Shanghai, directeur de la revue Annales pour l’histoire du socialisme)

Matthias Middell (Université de Leipzig, Center for Areas Studies)

Marion Fontaine (Université d’Avignon, Centre Norbert Elias)

Thomas Hippler (Université de Caen, Centre de recherche d’histoire quantitative)

Marcel van der Linden (Université d’Amsterdam, Institut International d’Histoire sociale)

Thierry Merel (Directeur du secteur « Histoire et Archives » de la Fondation Jean-Jaurès)

Maria Grazia Meriggi (Université de Bergame, Dipartimento di Lingue, letterature e culture straniere)

Bertel Nygaard (Université d’Aarhus, Institut for Kultur og Samfund)

Arnault Skornicki (Université de Nanterre, Institut des sciences sociales du politique)

Blaise Wilfert-Portal (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, Institut d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine) 


Two centuries after the birth of Karl Marx, European researchers show a renewed interest in socialism studies. However, this has coincided with the unprecedented decline of the traditional workers’ movement.

Frequently, these studies involve an international and transnational dimension. Internationalism can be studied under this light. According to Marcel Van der Linden, to assess and analyse this school of history, the researcher must get out of his own cultural and linguistic sphere and be removed from domestic history [Van der Linden, 2017].

Using new methods, the current seminar aims to study the relations and differences between socialism and socialists of different nationalities. The framework of the nation-state, still predominant in the studies about the transmission and diffusion of the Left ideas, must be transcended to grasp the global challenge [Middell, 2004]. Moreover, refocusing socialism studies in this global direction means finally exceeding the classic Eurocentric vision.

According that, this seminar is interested in all these “transnational” manifestations of socialism : circulation of texts, ideas and socialist actors between the different countries, cross-border labour, transnational movements, and positions of socialists in conflict period. In short, this means any topic that transcends or even clears borders. Specific attention will be given to translation of politic wrights or speeches, a relatively neglected field, so far as this allows for a re-examining of the transmission process in a new light. Populations particularly concerned by transnational practices (one of the most controversial cases of “transnationalism” at the time was the Polish case) deserve specific attention in this respect.

Additionally, these sessions may also address the issue of institutional relations between different nations and empires. Proposing a transnational history makes it possible to study the entanglements and interconnections of socialist institutions and other forms of international solidarity. This can be done through the study of institutions such as the Socialist International, the Bureau Socialiste International and the various international meetings at which socialists tried to put into practice the international dimension of their principles.

As it was proposed by Michel Espagne and Michael Werner, who dedicated their analysis to the diffusion of the German thought in France, it is essential to focus on tools that allow for the diffusion and circulation of ideas and knowledge [Espagne & Werner, 1988]. For too long, however, studies on representations and transmissions has given precedence to ideas ; the material vectors of these transfers, equally important, have been neglected. Studying the circulation of socialist works between various socialist centers (the role of translations being a key element), not to mention the role that grey literature played in these exchanges, may constitute an essential component from this point of view. Studies should also focus on the influence of the national framework to the foreign countries, which induces a diffusionist logic, but must go beyond this perspective taking into account external and reciprocal influences in the process of building an “internationalist thinking”.

The seminar also aims to question differences of opinion within political families and between nations on the question of internationalism, one of the main problems of the socialist thought. Just as historiography has attempted to conceptualize an “Era of Revolutions” [Hobsbawm, 1962] can we not speak of an “Era of Socialism” that goes beyond the European framework? Thus we can also expand analysis to socialists in exile [Aprile, 2010], voluntary or not, who have been able to get closer to foreign socialist elements. Contributions should be careful not to neglect the discourse and representations of socialist internationalism confronted with practices.

A special place will be reserved for contributions relating to peace and pacifism, key elements of socialist language and practice. This has been studied mainly on a country-by-country basis, but there is a need to take into account the transnational dimension of process.

Proposals must be concerned with history of socialism but can also be about another aspect of the political and ideological spectrum in a comparative perspective.


 APRILE Sylvie, Le siècle des exilés Bannis et proscrits, de 1789 à la Commune, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2010.

DOGLIANI Patrizia, « Socialisme et internationalisme », Cahiers Jaurès, n° 191/1, 2009, p. 11‑30.

DUCANGE Jean-Numa et FONTAINE Marion (dir.),  Georges Haupt, l’Internationale pour méthode », Cahiers Jaurès, n° 203, janvier-mars 2012.

ESPAGNE Michel et WERNER Michael (textes réunis et présentés par), Transferts. Les relations interculturelles dans l’espace franco-allemand (XVIIIe-XIXe siècles), Paris, Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1988.

FORMAN, Michael, Nationalism and the international Labour Movement, the idea of the Nation in Socialist and Anarchist Theory, University Park, Pennsylvania State University press, 1998.

GEYER, Martin et PAULMANN Johannes, The Mechanics of Internationalism: culture, society and politics from the 1840s to the First World War, Oxford, University Press, 2001.

GRANDTNER, Margarete, ROTHERMUND Dietmar et SCHWENTKER, Wolfgang (dir.), Globalisierung und Globalgeschichte, Vienne, Mandelbaum Verlag, 2005.

HAUPT, Georges, L’Historien et le mouvement social, Paris, Maspero, 1980.

HOBSBAWM, Eric J., L’ère des révolutions, Paris, Fayard, 2011.

JOUSSE, Emmanuel (dir.), Actes du colloque « 1914. L’Internationale et les internationalismes face à la guerre », tenu à Paris le 24 et 25 mars 2014, Cahiers Jaurès, nº 212-213, 2014 et nº 215-216, 2015.

MIDDELL Matthias, « Histoire universelle, histoire globale, transfert culturel », Revue germanique internationale [En ligne], 21 | 2004.

RASMUSSEN, Anne, « Tournant, inflexions, ruptures: le moment internationaliste », Mil neuf cent. Revue d’histoire intellectuelle, no 19, 2001, p. 27‑41.

VAN HOLTHOON, Frits et VAN DER LINDEN, Marcel (dir.), Internationalism in the Labour Movement 1830-1940, Brill, Leiden, 1988.

VAN DER LINDEN, Marcel (dir.), The Formation of labour movements, 1870-1914, Brill, Leiden, 1990.

VAN DER LINDEN, Marcel, Workers of the World. Essays toward a Global Labor History, Leiden et Boston, Brill Academic Publishers, 2008.

VAN DER LINDEN, Marcel et al., « Labor history, tournant de ‘l’histoire globale’ et marxismes », Actuel Marx, 2017/2, n° 62, p. 181-196.


Practical arrangements:


Proposals are expected to be received before May 10th  2018 :


Responses will be sent before May 25th

Work languages are: French, English and German

Travelling and accommodation expenses will be covered.


À part la séance du 30 mai, le programme des autres séances sera organisé en fonction des réponses à l’appel. Les réponses seront transmises avant le 25 mai.

Les langues de communication lors de ces séances sont le français, l’anglais et l’allemand.

Les frais de déplacement, logement, et restauration seront couverts.

Dates prévisionnelles et thématiques des séances (les thèmes sont susceptibles d’élargissement en fonction des propositions)


30 mai 2018 : Université de Rouen. Réunion du projet EUROSOC – première séance du séminaire avec Marcel Van der Linden (Amsterdam), « Pacifisme, internationalisme, transnationalisme ». (Responsables : Frank-Olivier Chauvin et Elisa Marcobelli)

28 septembre 2018 : École Normale Supérieure (Ulm). « Traduire la politique en Europe au XIXe siècle » (Responsables : Jean-Numa Ducange et Blaise Wilfert-Portal)

6 novembre : Université de Strasbourg. « Les ‘institutions’ socialistes internationales » (Responsables : Andrea Benedetti et Lucie Guesnier)

7-8 décembre : Université de Leipzig (Allemagne). « Quelle histoire transnationale du socialisme avant la Première guerre mondiale ? » (Responsable : Steffi Marung)

Début 2019 (date à définir) : conclusions du projet EUROSOC à l’Université de Rouen. Perspectives du projet PEACE.