Translation English – French I, II and III
Contemporary France II
Advanced oral and writing skills in French
Globalisation: Theories, Discourses and Practices
Programme Leader for Business Management & a Language
Programme Leader for Liberal Arts & Sciences
Examinations officer, UG Languages
Find me on campus Room: 03 LC 03
During Semester 2 I will be on research leave
This book is a study of political exile and transnational activism in the late-Victorian period. It explores the history of about 500 French-speaking anarchists who lived in exile in London between 1880 and 1914, with a close focus on the 1890s, when their presence peaked. These individuals sought to escape intense repression in France, at a time when anarchist-inspired terrorism swept over the Western world. Until the 1905 Aliens Act, Britain was the exception in maintaining a liberal approach to the containment of anarchism and terrorism; it was therefore the choice destination of international exiled anarchists, just as it had been for previous generations of revolutionary exiles throughout the nineteenth century. These French groups in London played a strategic role in the reinvention of anarchism at a time of crisis, but also triggered intense moral panic in France, Britain and beyond. This study retraces the lives of these largely unknown individuals – how they struggled to get by in the great late-Victorian metropolis, their social and political interactions among themselves, with other exiled groups and their host society. The myths surrounding their rumoured terrorist activities are examined, as well as the constant overt and covert surveillance which French and British intelligence services kept over them. The debates surrounding the controversial asylum granted to international anarchists, and especially the French, are presented, showing their role in the redefinition of British liberalism. The political legacy of these ‘London years’ is also analysed, since exile contributed to the formation of small but efficient transnational networks, which were pivotal to the development and international dissemination of syndicalism and, less successfully, to anti-war propaganda in the run up to 1914.
This chapter explores the transfers between French and British trade unionism between 1880 and 1914, and the transnational elaboration of syndicalism in this period. The role of press exchanges and informal personal networks of influential militants is emphasized, as is the fact that influences between French and British militants travelled both ways - not simply from France to Great Britain, as is often assumed. Discourses on these cross-influences by contemporaries are also examined, in order to show that the transnational dimension of syndicalism was perceived and discussed at the time, often in terms of national character. The notable differences between these two brands of syndicalism are also examined, especially regarding the role of the state and the place of antimilitarism.
The political activities of the 450 or so French-speaking anarchists exiled in Great Britain between 1880 and 1914 have recently been the subject of diverging historiographical assessments. The terrorist motive, which the movement's contemporaries were so concerned with, has been taken up by several studies. Yet a transnational approach brings out a very different interpretation: that of a group with a predominantly informal organisation (against the myth of the "anarchist International"), overwhelmed with basic material preoccupations, and more inclined to strategic thinking concerning the revolutionary potential of trade unions than to terrorist pursuits. In the light of this analysis, it is therefore more fruitful to describe London's "French quarter", not as a terrorist outpost, but rather as a node of networks and transfers for the international anarchist movement.
This article reviews three recent books on the history of the late nineteenth-century French anarchist movement—one by the French historian Vivien Bouhey and the other two by American scholars, Alexander McKinley and John Merriman. It replaces these works in the context of a renewed interest in the study of the anarchist movement, as an early example of transnational terrorist organisation, and as a relevant field of application for the historiographic concepts of network and transnationalism. In conclusion, it highlights the differences between French and US approaches to the study of anarchism, and evidences the limits of the ‘transnational turn’ in this particular historical field.
This article is a study of the transnational activism of the French anarchist militant Emile Pouget (1860–1931), from his early days in the 1880s as an agitator and as the editor of the scathing anarchist weekly Père Peinard, through to his key role in the spread of revolutionary syndicalism in France and beyond. Against dominant representations focusing on his substantial journalistic and organizational propaganda exclusively within national boundaries, it suggests that Pouget did start off as a locally-minded militant in the 1880s, but later became aware of the great importance of international organization. This contribution depicts Pouget’s year of exile in Britain (1894–1895) as the turning point leading to a greater international emphasis in his activism. Through Pouget, the usually unheeded transnational ramifi cations of belle-époque anarchism and syndicalism are highlighted, as well as the relevance of militant biography for the study of transnational networks and ideological dissemination.
This chapter charts four decades of anarchist presence in London through the prisms of space and perception. Through its rich history of exile, London had by the end of the nineteenth century become a connotated space, a palimpsest. The most literate and educated anarchist exiles were certainly conscious of walking in the footsteps of illustrious refugees, as evidenced by regular references to the generations of revolutionaries who had preceded them in London. These nodded primarily to the post-1848 waves, as journalists noted for instance that the anarchists congregated in one of the rooms of St Martin’s Hall, where the International Working Men’s Association had been set up in 1864, or inscribed themselves in the Communards’ lineage: ‘One street in the French quarter has conquered fame: it is Charlotte Street and, on this road, one house deserves the honours of history: it is that of Victor Richard, the faithful friend of Vallès and Séverine’. This historical perspective also informed the eyes of beholders, although they were more likely to stress the different character of the anarchists, and especially the discontinuity with the previous, morally noble generations of exiles and the peak of French presence in London: How many French [in London]? A lot less than one may think. One should not assume that the streets of Soho and Fitzroy have regained since the recent explosions the very special character which they had after the Commune. A few rare French shop-fronts among the shop-fronts, a few vaguely familiar figures in Charlott-Street [sic] and in Wind-mill-Street [sic] and that’s it. The importance of this historical lineage means that the London years of the French anarchists can be read both in continuity and in contrast with the preceding waves of revolutionary exile, including from the point of view of outside observers who constantly compared the anarchists with their illustrious predecessors. Their growing hostility and the polemics provoked by the anarchists’ presence – suspected as well as seen – turned London into a contested space. The novelty which this presence represented must also be stressed, in order to convey the sense of puzzlement expressed by contemporaries – and by the exiles themselves – upon seeing or even just imagining these hundreds of individuals recreating an anarchist ‘Petite France’ in the streets of Soho and Fitzrovia. Their dismay stemmed from the fear of anarchist terrorism, because of the well-established reputat
The French and British trade union organisations of the 1880-1914 period are usually presented as antagonistic, British trade unionism being financially powerful and predominantly conservative, connected in turn with the Liberal Party and the Labour Party set up in 1893, while French unions were numerically weak, fiercely independent from political power, and preached revolutionary methods. This opposition is epitomised by the contrast between the powerful and conservative Trade Union Congress and, on the other hand, the CGT, the French trade union confederation set up in 1895, with its adamant rejection of political alliances formalised by the iconic 1906 Charte d’Amiens. These oppositions are often taken to reflect profound differences in the political orientations of skilled workers (with the contrast between France’s radical artisans and Britain’s labour aristocracy), and in the maturity of industrial development (between France’s decentralised and workshop-based production system and Britain’s more advanced industrialisation). In spite of these partly debatable alleged ideological and socioeconomic differences, the years between 1880 and 1914 saw an intense exchange of ideas and tactics between France and Britain, as trade union organisation and ideology underwent rapid changes on both sides of the Channel. The British organisations evolved from the reformist and elitist culture of the mid-Victorian social consensus into larger, more democratic and combative “new unions”.1 In France, the trade union movement remained very weak during the 1880s, until the development of the CGT and its formal rejection from parliamentary politics at the turn of the century, triumphant at first, then increasingly problematic.2 In both countries, these years witnessed a succession of periods of strength and decline, in ideological and numerical terms. For these two rapidly-changing movements, developments occurring across the Channel provided both an example and a counter-example through which they could define and reinvent themselves. This chapter maps out these ideological transfers within the revolutionary branch of the international labour movement, insisting on the personal networks underpinning these exchanges and on the processes of reinterpretation and adaptation such cross-influences required. It focuses on the “ideological” level, rather than the grassroots and organisational levels3: it is a study in transnational exchanges of ideas and debates, which leaves a
Anarchismes et anarchistes en France et en Grande-Bretagne, 1880-1914 : Échanges, représentations, transferts Cette thèse analyse les relations et les collaborations entre les mouvements anarchistes français et britannique entre 1880 et 1914. À rebours des travaux réduisant l’internationalisme anarchiste à des institutions formelles peu efficaces et polémiques, ou considérant le mouvement dans une optique strictement nationale et donc tronquée, les transferts idéologiques et militants entre ces courants sont détaillés. Le rôle et la densité des réseaux informels et des multiples canaux rendant possibles ces influences croisées sont soulignés, et notamment l’impact des colonies anarchistes françaises installées outre-Manche. L’importance de cet axe franco-britannique s’observe notamment à travers l’essor de la propagande anarcho-syndicaliste de la fin des années 1880 à la Grande Guerre, dans la mise en place de pédagogies libertaires ou de campagnes de protestations internationales. À travers le cas apparemment marginal des anarchistes, cette étude transnationale ouvre également de nouvelles perspectives pour une étude comparée de l’intégration ouvrière en France et en Grande-Bretagne dans les dernières décennies du long XIXe siècle. La réception du mouvement libertaire dans les deux pays offre enfin des perspectives privilégiées pour analyser les sociétés française et britannique de la fin du siècle à travers le prisme d’un groupe dissident et stigmatisé. Anarchisms and Anarchists in France and Great-Britain, 1880-1914: Exchanges, Representations, Transfers This thesis analyses the relations and the interactions between the French and the British anarchist movements from 1880 to 1914. It seeks to counteract the prevalence of studies which reduce anarchist internationalism to polemical and inefficient formal institutions, or consider the movement in a strictly national – and therefore truncated – context. The ideological and militant transfers between these movements are emphasised. The role and density of informal networks, and the many channels making such cross-influences possible are brought to light, especially through the impact of the French anarchist colonies living in Britain. The importance of this Franco-British connection can be observed through the rise of anarchosyndicalist propaganda from the late 1880s to the Great War, the implementation of libertarian pedagogic ventures or international protest campaigns. Through the seemingly marginal
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