Call for paper for a session at the International Society for Cultural History Conference – Tallinn 26-29 June 2019
Séance à la chambre des députés en 1907 or Jaures à la Tribune, René-Achille Rousseau-Decelle. Palais-Bourbon, Paris, 1907.
Representation(s) of the representatives
Portraits of representatives in Parliaments during the long 19th century
Whether they were appointed peers, hereditary peers, or elected through equal or weighted, direct or indirect, tax-based or universal suffrage, or other forms of suffrage that came to be at the time, representatives, sessions after sessions, contributed to craft the laws that shape the nations. Members of Parliament, Peers and Senators alike had to merge their individual identities with their status, in order to fulfill their functions of representing the people, even though in some cases, it is a people they had nothing in common with or even little concern for.
Still an exclusively male political club in the 19th century, Parliaments attract more and more the focus of voters and disenfranchised people, especially in countries where the existence of the representation is a recent phenomenon. In this age of growing mass distribution of all kinds of media, newspapers, pamphlets, novels, caricatures, the character of the representative, amid the creative modeling of a great diversity of social figures, progressively emerge, fully clad and charged with political and social symbolism.
This session aims at discussing the ways representatives came to be portrayed during the 19th century, as a group and as individuals. How much can be gathered about the lives of representatives from these descriptions, depictions and even imitations? How critical were these portrayals of the political role of representatives? What do they tell us about the places these political figures frequented and the social interactions they had? Or how archetypal or monolithic is the character of the representative and how much these national constructs have in common with their counterparts in other nations?
Abstracts (max 300 words) and a short CV should be send to email@example.com before 21st December 2018.
Doctoral student – University of Helsinki
Member of Calliope (ERC Starting Grant)