Rethinking International Communism, Conference Call for Papers

Thomas Beaumont Announcement

Rethinking International Communism Conference: History and Legacies

Friday 2- Saturday 3 September 2022

Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.

The AHRC-funded research network Rethinking International Communism aims to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds who are engaged in the study of international communism and the Communist International. Taking stock of recent trends in the literature, and examining new research agendas, the network provides a forum to reflect upon the past, present and future of Comintern studies.

This two-day conference in Liverpool invites participants to contibute to this reassessment of the history and legacies of the Comintern. We welcome papers of 20 minutes duration which explore any aspect of Comintern history, and/or which address the legacies of the Communist International in the post-1945 era.

The conference keynote address will be delivered by Professor Brigitte Studer, University of Bern.

While for many years the history of the Comintern tended to trace a familiar path, with discussion dominated by the 'centre-periphery' debate, in more recent years scholarly attention has been drawn to new problems, inspired by new approaches and methodologies. Pathbreaking research has been undertaken in the fields of anti-colonialism and anti-racism, and into the efforts of various Comintern organisations, and individuals, to construct a new international proletarian culture as a necessary step towards global revolution. Researchers too have continued to transform our understanding of the language, symbolism and practices of internationalism within national communist movements and parties. Increasingly, the old paradigms for making sense of the Comintern are proving inadequate. Bringing together a range of scholars across disciplinary boundaries, this conference aims to provide a step toward a new global reassessment of international communism.

Despite the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, communist internationalism did not cease. Yet, the Comintern's disciplined organisational model, and its 'scripts for revolution' appear to have been rapidly jettisoned by those seeking to effect radical political and social change. However, in this field too, scholars have increasingly emphasised important continuities. In contrast to the historical curiosity to which it has long been relegated, researchers have in recent years opened up new paths for understanding both the short and longer term legacies of the Communist International. This has notably the case in the study of various specific political, social, cultural and aesthetic campaigns and movements in the post-1945 era which, at least in part, owed their existence to Comintern organisations and activists.

300 word abstracts and a brief 1 page cv should be submitted to by Friday 6 May 2022. 



Contact Information

Organisers: Dr Thomas Beaumont (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) and Dr Tim Rees (University of Exeter, UK)

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