CfP The Janus Dilemma, University of Edinburgh, 28 May 2020
The Janus Dilemma: Watershed Moments in History from 1848 to the Present
University of Edinburgh, 28 May 2020
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions. He presided over passages, doors, gates and endings, as well as transitional periods between war and peace. He was usually depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions, one towards the past and the other towards the future.
Inspired by Janus, we propose to examine watershed moments in history from 1848 to the present. We will explore how economic, social, political and cultural crises sparked changes in the temporality between the past and the future. We will also question whether, as Antonio Gramsci famously put it, moments of crisis and change indicate that “the old is dying and the new cannot be born”. By drawing on a wide variety of contexts, methodologies and regional expertise, we hope to develop new perspectives on how and why watershed moments take place, and how we might analyse them as historians.
This conference is aimed at PhD students and early career-researchers in any area of modern history. Topics for consideration include (but are by no means limited to) the following:
Revolutions and counterrevolutions
Times, temporalities and change
Constitutional and legal history
Subcultures, subaltern studies
Colonialism and decolonisation
Gender and sexuality
Race, slavery and Empire
Global, nation and identity
Organising committee: Kate Ballantyne, Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Marina Moya Moreno and Calum Aikman on behalf of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.