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Remembering early modern revolutions: England, North America, France and Haiti

June 17, 2017
Department of Humanities, University of Roehampton

Wolfson room 1
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House
United Kingdom

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The ‘turn to memory’, as Geoffrey Cubitt has described it, has been a major feature of recent historiography. This one-day conference will explore the memory of the major revolutions of the early modern period (England 1649 & 1688/9; North America 1776, France 1789 and Haiti 1791-1804). By addressing these events collectively, the conference will explore the interconnectedness of these revolutions in the contemporary mind. It will highlight the importance of invoking the memory of prior revolutions in order both to warn of the dangers of revolution and to legitimate radical political change. The conference will also unpick the different ways in which these events were presented and their memory utilised, uncovering the importance of geographical and temporal contexts to the processes of remembering and forgetting.

The conference will engage with the role of revolutions in shaping national narratives and foundational myths; exploring the instrumentalisation of memory by powerful and marginal groups, in both national and transnational contexts; and discussing acts of collective and individual remembering and forgetting, both public and private. Examining both personal and collective remembrance, exploring private recollection and public commemoration, this conference seeks to uncover the rich and powerful memory of early modern revolutions.

The conference format will be for short and informal 10 minute presentations based on longer (c. 3-4000 word) pre-circulated papers. Please send  enquiries to the conference organiser, Professor Ted Vallance (

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June 16, 2017, 9:00am BST

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