The Tours Congress and the birth of the French Communist Party (1920-2020)

Guia Migani's picture
Call for Papers
April 26, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, European History / Studies, French History / Studies, Italian History / Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies

The Tours Congress. 1920-2020


The Tours Congress (25-30 December 1920) represents a crucial moment for the Left and the French political environment. After the Great War and the Russian Revolution, the future is matter of intense debates: reform or immediate revolution, adhesion to the III International or compromise with the “radical” parts of the bourgeoisie and with its parties, links with the labor unions, class struggle or patriotic union, internationalism, pacifism or militarism, opposition to the colonial imperialism or defense of national interests in behalf of the “civilizing” mission, these were the options among which to choose. The resolution adopted by the majority of the participants in Tours was in favor of the creation of the communist party, while the Longuet and Blum currents kept the old party and the name SFIO (Section française de l’Internationale ouvrière/French Section of the Workers’ International)

Which are the inspirations, from the Marxist theory or other intellectual movements, what is to retain and how to pass to action in the society? Which are the significations of this congress, considered as a founding moment? Which is its role in the French society and its influence on the international plan? Which have been the actors, the ideals and the aims?

In order to reassess all these elements, and in occasion of the centenary of the Congress and more than 50 years after the pioneer works of Annie Kriegel, the historians of the Tours University organize an international conference aimed to explore three main axes


1/ The Tours Congress: history, issues and actors


2/The local environment: Tours and its surroundings 1920


3/The memory of Tours Congress: divisions and changing compositions of the left parties


Organisers: Robert Beck and François-Olivier Touati



Place: Tours University, Arts and Human Sciences Faculty

Dates: 3-5 December 2010


Applicants should submit an abstract in English or French of no more 500 words and a short CV by 26 April 2020 to  and


Selected applicants will be informed by 24 Mai 2020.



Scientific Committee


Ludivine Bantigny

Thomas Beaumont

Paul Boulland

Gilles Candar

Julien Chuzeville

Sophie Cœuré

Michel Dreyfus

Vincent Duclert

Romain Ducoulombier

Rémi Fabre

Jacques Girault

Pascale Goetschel

José Gotovitch

Anne Jollet

Jean-Marc Largeaud

Guia Migani

Jean-Yves Mollier

Pascal Ory

Claude Pennetier

Silvio Pons

Michel Rapoport

Timothy Rees

Peter Schöttler

Benjamin Stora

Brigitte Studer

Serge Wolikow



Contact Info: 

Guia Migani, Associated Professor, University of Tours