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Posts Tagged ‘Nineteenth Century’

For a volume edited by Wolfram Pyta and Rüdiger Voigt, I wrote a contribution addressing the intersections of gender and power during the French Second Empire.

Die Öffentlichkeit weiblicher Arkanpolitik. Kaiserin Eugénie im Zweiten Kaiserreich

[The Publicity of Female Arcane Politics: Empress Eugénie in the Second Empire]

Focusing on Empress Eugénie de Montijo, the essay considers the question of female power in the Second Empire (1851-70) from a twofold perspective. On the one hand, I gauge the actual scope of her political agency – as Napoléon III’s wife, potential future regent, and mother of the crown prince, as a public figure, and as a well-connected and willful political actor in her own right. On the other, Eugénie’s real impact is contrasted with its contemporary imagination during the Second Empire and the Third Republic, which regularly framed the Empress as a paradigmatic figure of uncontrolled and irrational female influence behind the scenes and as a prime reason for the Empire’s eventual demise.

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After a remarkably smooth editing process, Popular Agency and Politicisation in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Beyond the Vote, has now been published in the Palgrave Studies in Political History series. Edited by Diego Palacios Cerezales (Madrid) and Oriol Lujàn (Barcelona), the volume encompasses contributions on a wide variety of political practices and spaces, opening new perspectives on the politicization processes that shaped nineteenth-century Europe.

Most chapters were first discussed in the Conference Beyond the Vote: New Perspectives on 19th Century Politicisation, held in Madrid/online in January 2021.

My own chapter, titled

Plebiscites on the Streets: The Politics of Public Acclamation in Early Nineteenth-Century Europe

addresses the dynamics of performative displays of enthusiasm and disdain in public confrontations between rulers and ruled.

While acclamations remain a familiar phenomenon today, they tend to be understood as an atmospheric, rather than a functional, element of political life. In consequence, the historical variability of their practice and impact remains understudied. Building on a survey of current research, this contribution addresses the forms, functions and situations of acclamation in Europe during the Age of Revolutions.

Focusing on the tensions between the practice’s symbolic holism – suggesting a direct expression of the communities’ undivided will – and its underlying complexities as a mode of collective action, it argues that acclamations gained a historically unique impact during the (post-)revolutionary period. While other opportunities for political articulation and participation remained sharply constrained, these public vocalizations presented one of the very few available modes of regular political engagement. At the same time, public interactions between rulers and ‘the people’ gained new performative significance against the background of experiences of political upheaval and regime change.

A consideration of a wide range of case studies from across the continent shows how practices of acclamation and their reception became part of a transnationally entangled contestation of political legitimacy, constituting an ephemeral, but momentous mode of popular politics.

Many thanks to the editors for their hard work in getting this excellent volume together.

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On Friday, 21 October, I will be part of the workshop “Ruling the Assembly. Procedural Fairness, Popular Emotion, and the Access to Democracy, 19th-20th Century”, held in the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam.

The organizers, Anne Heyer (Leiden), Anne Patterson (Nijmegen), and Henk te Velde (Leiden), seek to explore how politicians and citizens in the 19th and 20th century tried to resolve the tension between reasonableness and accessibility of political debate, both in and outside Western European parliaments. Political practices are central to this analysis. What did political newcomers have to do in order to be listened to? What meaning did parliamentary rules have for citizens participating in public political discussions? And above all, how did they develop norms and practices for the conduct of democratic politics? To answer these questions, they develop a political-cultural approach in which the rules of political debate are not self-evident, but rather the subject of an ongoing political struggle about the democratisation of the political system.


Programme

9.30-10.00: Registration

10.00-10.30: Introduction: Two Traditions of Deliberation? Henk te Velde, Leiden University

10.30-11.15: Keynote | Public Politics and Public Spheres in the Making of Democracy, Jon Lawrence, University of Exeter

11.15-11.30: Coffee break

11.30-12.15: The Art of Making Oneself Heard: Political Audibility in and beyond Europe’s Second Chambers in the Late Nineteenth Century, Josephine Hoegaerts, University of Helsinki. Discussant: Maartje Janse, Leiden University

12.15-13.30: Lunch

13.30-14.15: In All Seriousness: Laughter in Bismarck’s Reichstag, Theo Jung, Freiburg University. Discussant: Ido de Haan, Utrecht University

14.15-15.00: Gatherings of Laughter: Public Meetings in the Early Stages of Democratization, Belgium, 1872-1893, Martin Schoups, Ghent University. Discussant: Adriejan van Veen, Radboud University

15:00-15.30: Coffee break

15.30-16.15:  Ruling the Rally in the Name of Democracy: Political Parties and ‘Popular’ Voices in West Germany’s Electoral Communication, 1940s to 1960s, Claudia Gatzka, Freiburg University. Discussant: Carla Hoetink, Radboud University

16.15-16.45: Learning from the Outside: Parliament’s Response to Popular Meetings in Germany and The Netherlands, 1870-1914, Anne Heyer, Leiden University & Anne Petterson, Radboud University

16.45-17.00: Conclusion

17.00-18.00: Drinks


Attendance is free. More information on registration can be found here.

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For an interdisciplinary volume on silence edited by Mahshid Mayar (Cologne) and Marion Schulte (Bielefeld), I wrote a chapter on the way Europeans have historically framed the question of ‘talkative’ and ‘taciturn’ nations.

Even today, we often think of authoritarian and dictatorial regimes in terms of ‘silence’, while parliamentary and democratic politics are linked to the category of ‘voice’. Retracing the historical emergence of such conceptualizations during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, my chapter aims at a reconsideration of these familiar, but reductive binaries.

Exploring French, German, and British discourses on the question why some nations are more talkative than others brings to light a fundamental shift in the understanding of communication around the turn of the nineteenth century, when explanations in terms of national character were gradually superseded by a point of view linking taciturnity and talkativeness to specific political regimes.

This gradual reorientation from a spatio-cultural to a temporal framing coincided with a distinct politicization of the question of communication (and its absence) which still resonates today. Placing our current understanding of the significance of voice and silence into a wider historical perspective thus contributes to a reconsideration of the meanings of communication in the modern world.

  • Talkative and Taciturn Nations. Ethnographic and Political Perspectives in European Discourses on Communicative Cultures (c. 1750–1850), in: Mahshid Mayar und Marion Schulte (eds): Silence and its Derivatives. Conversations Across Disciplines. London 2022, 87–108.

The chapter can be downloaded here. The whole volume is to be found here.

Many thanks to the editors for their meticulous organization of the publishing process.

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On August 18, 6 pm, I’m presenting my research on the first German national parliament and its role in the revolution of 1848/49 at the Cemetry of the March Revolution in Berlin.

Please note that due to expected weather conditions the venue has changed. More information can be found here.

0425_Verlegung-Vortrag-Theo-Jung.jpg

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I’m offering a PhD position in modern European history (3y, with a possible 1y extension) for any project on the ‘long’ 19th century at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg.

Deadline: 22 October, 2022.

Details in German and English may be found here.

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In a volume edited by Susanne Kitschun of the Berlin Cemetry of the March Fallen and Elisabeth Thalhofer of the Rastatt Memorial to the Freedom Movements in German History, I’ve published a short contribution on current perspectives in the historical scholarship regarding the revolutions of 1848/49. In it, I point to ongoing debates about the revolutions’ ‘democratic’ character on the one hand and about their transnational entanglements on the other as two areas in which much progress has been made in recent years. Both debates also offer new bridges between historical understanding and ongoing public debates about the current shape and development of European politics.

Die Aktualität einer umkämpften Vergangenheit. Neuere Forschungsperspektiven auf die Revolutionen von 1848/49

[The Topicality of a Contested Past. New Approaches to the Revolutions of 1848/49]

The volume builds on the founding conference of the network 175-year-anniversary network for the revolutions of 1848/49 held in Rastatt last year (a report in German here). It includes contributions by Peter Steinbach, Michael Parak, Constanz Itzel, Felix Fuhg, Dorothee Linnemann, Susanne Kitchun, Andrej Bartuschka, Elisabeth Thalhofer, Katerina Ankerhold and Lea Braun.

The whole publication is available online here.

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Depoliticization before Neoliberalism: Contesting the Limits of the Political in Modern Europe

All too often, depoliticization is reduced to a very recent phenomenon, an effect of ‘Neoliberalism’. In a workshop to be held in Nijmegen on April 1-2, 2022, organized by Adriejan van Veen (Nijmegen) and myself, we aim to place the concept in a wider historical perspective. On the basis of a broad spectrum of European cases from the late eighteenth century until today, depoliticization no longer appears as a monolithic and autonomous process, but rather as a complex bundle of practices and discourses contesting the boundaries of the political sphere.

For further information on the themes and questions we will be addressing, please refer to our call for papers here.

[Edit April 28, 2022: Oliver Weber wrote a detailed report on our workshop for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung titled “Entpolitisierung. Hinter unserem Deich sind wir keineswegs sicher”. It is available online here.]

Guests are more than welcome to attend, either off- or online (via zoom). Please contact the organizers for registration and further details.

Venue: Vergader- en Conferentiecentrum Soeterbeeck Elleboogstraat 2 5352 LP Deursen-Dennenburg

Workshop Program

Friday April 1

Introduction (9:30 – 9:55) Theo Jung and Adriejan van Veen

Keynote (9:55 – 10:40) Ido de Haan

Panel 1: Timeless Realms: Art and Religion beyond Politics (10:45 – 12:30)
● Tamar Kojman: Constructing an Apolitical Realm after the 1848/9 German Revolutions
● Jan-Markus Vömel: Unpolitical Islam? Stategies of De-Politicization Surrounding Islam in Turkey
● Klara Kemp-Welch: Antipolitics and Art in Late-Socialist East-Central Europe

Lunch (12:30 – 14:00)

Panel 2: Perspectives on Political Abstention (14:00 – 15:45)
● Oriol Luján: Articulating Political Unease in 19th Century Europe: Abstention and Blank Vote as Forms of (De)Politicization
● Adriejan van Veen: Passive Citizenship? Civil Society and Political Abstention in the Netherlands, 1780–1840
● Zoé Kergomard: Depoliticizing “Apathy”? Institutional Reactions to Non-Voting in France under De Gaulle (1958–1969)

Coffee (15:45 – 16:15)

Panel 3: Discourses of Competence and Functionalism (16:15 – 18:00)
● Ruben Ros: Technocratic Anti-Politics in Dutch Interwar Political Culture (1917–1939)
● Koen van Zon: Depoliticisation through Participation? Consultation and Consensus Formation in European Community Policy-Making, 1960s–1980s
● Wim de Jong: Politicizing the Police? The Problem of Depoliticization in the Public History of Democratic Municipal Policing in the Netherlands, 1945–2019


Saturday April 2

Panel 4: Protecting the System from Politics (9:00 – 10:45)
● Mart Rutjes: Depoliticizing the Will of the People: Limiting the Franchise for Political Opponents in the Netherlands 1780–1800
● Stefan Scholl: Doubly Politicized? Semantical Struggles around the Relation between Economics and Politics in the Weimar Republic and National Socialism
● Anna Catharina Hofmann: An Administered Society? Planning and (De-) Politicization in the Late Franco Dictatorship, 1964–1973

Coffee (10:45 – 11:05)

Panel 5: Ruling by Ideas and Dreaming of Rational Government (11:05 – 12:50)
● Matthijs Lok: Moderation and Depoliticization after the Revolution: the Case of the Idéologues
● Eva Visser: Planning the Technate. The Apolitical Politics of the 1930s’ Technocratic Movement
● Jussi Kurunmaki and Jani Marjanen: Ideology, Politicization and Depoliticization in Parliamentary Rhetoric

Lunch (12:50 – 14:00)

Final discussion (14:00 – 15:00)

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2023/24 will mark the 175-year anniversary of the revolutions of 1848/49. As a first step toward the planning for the commemoration of these events, a workshop in Rastatt brings together participants from many of the major German museums, memorials, and scholarly networks focusing on the history of the revolutions.

  • Gedenkort Friedhof der Märzgefallenen
  • Erinnerungsstätte für die Freiheitsbewegungen in der deutschen Geschichte, Rastatt
  • Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie e.V.
  • House of European History
  • Stiftung Bundespräsident Theodor-Heuss-Haus
  • Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
  • Förderverein Erinnerungsstätte für die Freiheitsbewegungen in der deutschen Geschichte e.V.
  • Historisches Museum Frankfurt
  • Offenburger Salmen
  • Bundesarchiv

Together with my colleague Dr. Heléna Toth (Bamberg University), I’ve been asked to present an overview over recent developments in historiographical research on the topic. Building on my own research, I will sketch some of the ways in which the revolutions of 1848/49 have been linked to the “Age of Revolutions”, placing them in wider transnational, European, and global contexts. In addition, we will discuss the place of the revolutions within the framework of the long-term history of “democracy” and “democratization” in Germany, Europe, and beyond.

The workshop will take place in Rastatt on November 4 and 5 of this year. More information about the program and registration (all are welcome) may be found here.

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To mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the German Empire, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Orte der Demokratiegeschichte and the Otto-von-Bismarck foundation last year held a workshop on the Empire’s political culture. Its contributions, which were made available in a preliminary version online earlier this year (here), have now been published in extended form in the Weimarer Schriften zur Republik series at Franz Steiner Verlag.

My own contribution, titled

Cultures of Dispute in Imperial Germany

adresses the changing practices and organizational forms of political meetings. It shows how these slowly transformed from an arena of controversial debate to a more monologous form, focused mainly on the demonstration of the strength and energy of different political parties. Sketching the changing dynamics between speakers, audience, and outsiders, I argue that a more detailed analysis of the varying modes of (not just verbal) participation and interaction such venues encompassed can shed new light on the ways the society of the Kaiserreich dealt with political plurality.

Many thanks to the editors.

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