Sedition and revolt in modern european political thought

As part of the ANR project CURR « Cultures of Revolts and revolutions in Europe » (coordinated by Alain Hugon, CRHQ, Caen) – devoted to the analysis of cultural material of any kind (written, oral, iconographic) developed and disseminated during protest movements in Europe, expressing a desire for rupture with the established political order from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the Enlightenment – the question over the recollection of these events, whether successful or suppressed, was the focus of discussion at a conference organized in December 2015 (Formes et usages de la mémoire des révoltes en Europe, Madrid, Casa de Velázquez).

This international gathering highlighted the contrasting uses of memory: in some cases, the memory of past events played a performative role in justifying, or even acting as an impetus for new protests. Conversely, a willingness to suppress or deny the recollection of movements has bean repeatedly observed, either by the protagonists of revolts or the authorities working to erase the traces of a rupture with obedience. A reminder of episodes and revolt were also noted in certain forms of discourse – not only historiographical, but also legal or political, notably in correspondence or other writings circulating within government circles – for preventative measures.

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