Annual Conference Talk: Alessandro Stanziani, Periodisation and the Culture of Histories: The Bolchevik Revolution

From 7 to 9 December 2017, the Annual Conference 2017 “Chronologics: Periodisation in a Global Context” of the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung took place at the Maison de France, Berlin.

The conference was convened by Thomas Maissen (Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris), Barbara Mittler (Heidelberger Centrum für Transkulturelle Studien, Forum Transregionale Studien), and Pierre Monnet (Institut franco-allemand de sciences historiques et sociales). It brought together scholars from various disciplines and countries with the purpose to uncover some of the dynamics behind particular cultural and historical uses of periodisation schemes, as concepts for ordering the past, and thus to reconsider these terminologies.

During the Conference, Alessandro Stanziani presented a paper on “Periodisation and the Culture of Histories: The Bolchevik Revolution”. He argued that, following the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union struggled to disrupt the relation between archival organization and the domination of ruling classes. Yet new hierarchies, and new periodisation schemes, emerged as the organization of archives was related to the conceptualization of modes of production, especially in relation to Central Asia.


Alessandro Stanziani is Professor at the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) and Senior Researcher at the CNRS (Centre National des recherches Scientifiques), Paris. He is a Global Historian whose research foci include the history of Russia and the Indian Ocean, the history of labour and slavery, as well as the history of capitalism. He is the author of four monographs, ten edited volumes, and more than one hundred articles. His books include Rules of exchange: French capitalism in Comparative Perspective, 18th-20th Centuries (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Bâtisseurs d’Empires. Russie, Chine et Inde à la conquête du monde (Liber-Seuil, 2012).


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