Laura Forster (KCL) - 2014-15 Students

Friends of the Commune: Trans-Channel Encounters and Collaboration, 1871-1890

My research is concerned with the impact of the exiles of Paris Commune of 1871 in England in the period 1871-1890. My project intends to make important interventions in two areas of historical scholarship:  the history of British radicalism – particularly English Positivism – and the transnational legacy of the Paris Commune.  The process of political exile after the Paris Commune of 1871 created intellectual relationships between English radicals and refugee Communards. I aim to investigate these encounters and collaborations in order to challenge insular narratives of the evolution of British radicalism which fail to consider the importance of transnational connections. In doing so I will also consider how these connections helped to shape the political memory of the Paris Commune outside of France and create a global Commune experience.

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