Please note that our journal is entirely thematic. We only accept submissions that pertain to particular themes that correspond with the Calls for Proposals below.
Pre-modern Radicalisms / Radical Pre-modernisms
Issue number 130 (January 2018)
Abstract Deadline: April 1, 2016
Issue editors: Duane J. Corpis, David Kinkela, and Kaya Sahin
The demarcation of historical epochs into distinct, bounded periods is never a neutral decision. Periodization imposes particular defining characteristics that fix specific periods and typically organizes those characteristics into hierarchies. At times, periodization divides historical pasts into incommensurable units. Other times, it articulates developmental teleologies privileging the present as the inevitable endpoint of linear historical change. Our key theoretical models often reinforce a distinction between the “modern” and the “pre-modern,” while for many, the “early modern” marks the shifting temporal bridge, when critical material, political, social, cultural, and epistemic shifts took place, from primitive accumulation to the “great confinement.” Since radical history generates knowledge aimed at transforming our shared present into a more just, equal, and sustainable future, it often speaks directly to contemporary conditions. In the persistent search for the origins of modern phenomena (capitalism, revolution, democracy, slavery, the state, the individual, the market), the political connections between modernity’s precursor and our present become more familiar and self-evident. But it is the self-evident nature of this continuity, which threatens to exclude original and insightful ways to rethink past, present, and future forms of engaged political struggle as well as the historically diverse ways that power dynamics, hierarchies, inequalities, and exclusions were produced and reproduced.
This CFP invites paper proposals that open-up self-reflexive, politically engaged dialogue about the usefulness and necessity of imagining pre-modernity through the framework of radical history. Where and when can we find radical histories in the pre-modern past, and what models have pre-modernists in particular developed to radically re-think historical narratives, methods, and theories? Recently, historians have interrogated the often rigid categories framing the prehistory of modernity’s own narratives, including the “feudal,” the “traditional,” the “communal,” the “local,” the “pre-capitalist,” “pre-colonial,” and “pre-national.” They have also challenged the academic priorities, professional politics, ideological and intellectual presumptions, and national/nationalist narratives constituted by historical periodization. Rather than prescribe their meanings, we seek contributions that will investigate, interrogate, and reimagine the intersection between radical and pre-modern history.
Some, though by no means all, of the questions we would like contributors to consider include:
- What would a radical history of the pre-modern past look like, especially if “radical” presumes a break with and from the past?
- Does the pre-modern/modern divide (re)produce Eurocentric analytical disparities between world regions, such as the temporally modernizing “West” and static and tradition-bound “non-West,” and how can historians critique and overcome such ideologically driven historical narratives?
- How can politically engaged pre-modernists better integrate their intellectual and political interests?
- Can we trace the histories or genealogies of subjects with contemporary political relevance (e.g., race, gender, sexuality, capitalism, imperialism, nationalism) within a longer and deeper historical temporality, without falling into the trap of a search for origins or an excessively teleological narrative that evacuates important alternatives, differences, and discontinuities?
- How and why has pre-modern history been deployed in contemporary popular culture, media, and/or political rhetoric?
Procedures for submission of articles: By April 1, 2016, please submit a 1-2 page abstract summarizing the article you wish to submit as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Issue 130 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. By May 1, 2016, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article to undergo peer review. The due date for completed articles will be September 1, 2016.
Articles should be submitted electronically with “Issue 130 Submission” in the subject line. Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to send high-resolution image files (jpg or TIFF files at a minimum of 300 dpi) and secure permission to reprint all images. After undergoing the peer review process, those articles selected for publication will be undergo final revisions by authors, which will be due February 1, 2017, and the article will appear in January 2018 in issue 130 of the Radical History Review.
Abstract Deadline: April 1, 2016