Abstract The Society for the Study of French History (SSFH) offers an extremely generous range of grants and bursaries to support researchers — and especially postgraduates — in their work. In this edition we offer an overview of the grants available, in addition to two reports from postgraduate research grants and a summary of the 2018 Douglas Johnson lecture. The edition also includes details of the 2018 SSFH conference at the University of Warwick, and the Studies in French History series with MUP. SSFH GRANTS AND BURSARIES Postgraduate Research Grants these awards, each worth £1000, are made annually to enable MA and PhD students registered at a UK or Irish university working on subjects related directly to French history to undertake research trips abroad. Postgraduate Conference Bursaries worth up to £300 each, to help fund travel to any conference, except the Society’s own (for which a discount is already offered to postgraduates). Conference and Speaker Grants the SSFH is also willing to entertain requests for funding assistance for whole conferences, one-off lectures and seminars organized by postgraduates or academics in British or Irish universities, on a subject wholly or partly concerning the history of France. Postgraduate Conference Panels the Society welcomes proposals for the sponsorship of postgraduate panels, on any theme of French history, at overseas conferences (whether annual or one-off events). In support of such a panel, the Society is willing to contribute up to £2000 to cover the travel expenses of the participants. The Ralph Gibson Bursary the Society offers an annual bursary of £3000 to a fourth-year PhD student, to facilitate the completion of a doctoral thesis in French history. Visiting Scholars the Society is willing to consider providing up to £2000 each year to support visits by foreign scholars of French history to UK or Irish institutions, on the condition that the proposed host university is committed to underwriting the essential costs. Further details on deadlines, application procedures and conditions are available from the Society’s website: www.frenchhistorysociety.ac.uk/grants.htm POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH GRANTS The Embroidery Trade in Eighteenth-Century France Tabitha Baker (University of Warwick) My research project examines the relationship between the consumption and professional production of fashionable embroidery for clothing and furnishings in eighteenth-century France (c.1660–1791). As I focus particularly on Paris and Lyon, I was especially grateful for a grant from the SSFH that enabled me to complete archival research in both cities. In Paris I consulted documentation at the Archives nationales, including financial records for the Guild of Embroiderers during the eighteenth century. This information is crucial to my research: a deeper knowledge of the financial position of embroiderers in relation to guilds of related trades allows us to reposition professional embroidery within the hierarchy of urban luxury trades. In Lyon I was able to access sources at the Archives municipales, including the Registres des contraventions that contain legal disputes between professional embroiderers and related trades over the course of the eighteenth century, and two decrees (1778 and 1784) pertaining to the regulation of embroidery production in Lyon. At the Archives départementales I consulted bankruptcy records for Pascal Vial et cie, an embroidery merchant operating in Lyon during the years 1736–82. These records contain account books, order books and commercial correspondence over the course of the century, and constitute a major primary source for investigating the national and international commercial networks in the embroidery trade of this period. Such sources make it possible to examine how the trade supplied an international clientele in cities across Europe, and how embroidery merchants forged commercial links within and beyond France for the sale, commission and production of primary embroidery materials and fashionable embroidered products during the second half of the eighteenth century. The order books for Pascal Vial et cie are also of vital importance to my thesis for their detailed information on customers, orders, prices and delivery timeframes. Both the order books and commercial correspondence reflect changes in fashionable embroidery during the eighteenth century, and provide important evidence of new patterns of consumption and their consequences on the embroidery trade in eighteenth-century France. Thanks to the generosity of the SSFH, the findings from this period of research have enabled me to make significant progress on the comparative dimension of my project. By spending time in both Paris and Lyon I have been able to establish a substantial source base, allowing me to compare the structure of the embroidery trade in the two cities. Changes in Trade Union Strategies influencing the Tokyo and Uruguay Rounds of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade Andrew Waterman (University of Portsmouth) The purpose of my research trip was to gain an insight into the position of the Confédération Générale du Travail position towards the Tokyo and Uruguay Rounds of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT). To do this I spent time in Paris, both in the CGT archives at the Institut d’histoire sociale but also at the Archives départementales de la Seine-Saint-Denis (which also hold the archives of the Parti Communiste Français). In addition to this archival research I conducted semi-structured interviews with national and European trade-union officials and advisors who had been involved at the time of the Tokyo and Uruguay Rounds of the GATT. Previous research trips had allowed me to narrow the focus of my research to the textile industry. By the 1970s this industry was at the beginning of a severe decline, yet it remained a key employer in France, as well as in many other Western European countries with strong levels of unionization. The textile industry was at the same time highly vulnerable to competition from developing countries, largely due to their advantage in terms of labour costs. This makes it a particularly relevant case study for my project. During my stay I was able to take over 2,500 photos of approximately 200 documents. The vast majority of these documents related to the minutes and reports of the CGT’s Central Committee and to the personal archives of former CGT General Secretaries Georges Seguy and Henri Krasucki in the years 1973–94. In addition, the CGT also produced an extensive range of theoretical and economic publications, which together offer a valuable insight into its general outlook and specific views on the textile industry at various stages. Exploring the PCF archives allowed me to gauge the changing levels of Communist influence over the CGT in the 1970s and 80s. Such changes were, in part, indicative of the CGT’s changing attitudes towards European integration, a point also made by a number of the interviewees I met in Paris and Brussels. These interviews helped consolidate my understanding of the CGT’s multi-level strategies of influencing trade negotiations, as well as to form a clearer picture of the transnational networks of trade union activists, officials and advisors through which such influence was exercised. Both the interviews and also the documents accessed at the CGT archives brought to light the names of important actors (whose details are not otherwise readily available), offering new possibilities for future interviews. I am indebted to the SSFH for funding this trip, and deeply grateful to the staff at the CGT archives as well as to my interviewees for their invaluable contribution to my PhD project. SSFH DOUGLAS JOHNSON LECTURE 2018 Professor Malcolm Crook, ‘How the British and French learned to vote’, Institut Français, London, 8 January 2018 (Summary by Andrew W. Smith) On 8 January 2018 the SSFH and ASMCF held their eighth annual Douglas Johnson Memorial Lecture at the Institut Français in London. This successful (indeed sold-out) event was preceded by a committee meeting as well as by the public presentation of our Undergraduate Dissertation Prize. After introductions from the Director of the Institut Français Claudine Ripert-Landler, and from the Society’s President Professor David Andress, our invited speaker Professor Malcolm Crook gave a lecture entitled ‘How the British and French learned to vote’. This was a sweeping and insightful study that considered the practicalities of voting and their wider political and cultural significance, rather than simply focusing on the candidates for election. A fortunate development, in that after the speaker’s own electoral misadventures in the 1970s, a fascination with the process of voting had supplanted his personal ambitions for electoral office. The symbolic image of the ballot box was at the centre of the act of voting, and at the centre of the lecture. One key issue was how that ballot box was approached: by single voters or plural votes, by men and women, in secret or in the open. The ways in which these questions evolved was an important aspect of the changing political cultures of both France and Britain, and showed moments of both interaction and opposition. Professor Crook examined a series of spoiled French ballot papers, which were retained by electoral commissioners centrally to check that the votes had been legitimately disqualified. These ballot papers generally related to legislative elections, and are held at the Archives nationales, with local examples preserved in various departmental archives. From this analysis came a wonderful array of illustrations, annotations, and even essays on why individual voters felt unable to cast a simple ballot. From explanations as to why certain candidates were ‘rogues’ or ‘dirty dogs’, to write-ins for public intellectuals, these were not merely a dereliction of electoral duty, but rather a form of civic abstention. Professor Crook showed ballots from the period of the Dreyfus Affair, with sketches valorising and demonizing both sides. This zeal for or against specific candidates was part of a wider esprit frondeur, which took an active joy in desecrating the ‘quasi-religious’ act of voting. The sanctity of the vote was certainly important. The audience heard, for example, about mock elections held in nineteenth-century French schools that were designed to draw children from the confessional to the ballot box. We also heard about the varied adoption of curtained isolatoires or voting booths (introduced in 1910), which allowed true independence in front of the electoral urn, a development that some conservative opponents worried would prove disruptive. Professor Crook reeled off a litany of critiques: that the booths were too like the confessional, might be confused with a toilet, or might even offer a convenient snug for amorous voters caught up in electoral passion. Turnout, too, was something that evolved in both France and Britain. In both countries, turnout increased dramatically at the end of the nineteenth century, a level largely maintained until a drop-off in the most recent three decades. Professor Crook suggested a sense of decline in civic society rather than any death of ideology as the most plausible reason for patterns of intermittent voting from the 1980s to the present. Voting as a social ritual suffers when other social rituals fell away, remaining more resilient in smaller communities even as it falters amidst urban anonymity. This idea of anonymity was an important theme of the lecture, and the power it implied for individuals was palpable. One 1898 ballot paper boasted about being souverain anonyme d’un jour (anonymous king for a day), expressing firmly held and strongly felt beliefs about the system as a whole. With accounts of vote counting and with the tension of abstention, the act of voting became woven into the fabric of French and British lives. Ultimately this question of sovereignty, of citizens and subjects, also offers a means of drawing distinctions between French and British voters. Both sets of electors had to learn to vote, yet this process was often marked by public discussions both broader and messier than a printed name or clean cross on a ballot paper. SSFH CONFERENCE 32nd Annual Conference: ‘Political Economy and Cultures of Inequality’, University of Warwick 9–10 July 2018 Organizers: Pierre Purseigle, Penny Roberts and Charles Walton Public concerns about inequality have grown in recent years. They do so at a time when historians are turning their attention increasingly to political economy. Thomas Piketty’s Le capital au XXI siècle (2013) has been especially influential in sparking debates over the history of inequality and political economy, and it is to these debates that this conference seeks to contribute. How have political and economic cultures come together to create, reinforce or contest inequality? How has inequality been conceptualized in France and the francophone world? And what impact have wealth inequalities had on politics and culture? In addition to papers on these themes, there will also be papers and panels on a wide range of topics in French history from the early medieval to the contemporary periods. Invited speakers include: Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel (Sciences Po) and Jackie Clarke (University of Glasgow) and Michael Kwass (Johns Hopkins University). There will also be a round table on the conference theme, a special panel in honour of seiziémiste Mack Holt and another in memory of Richard Bonney, one of the founding members of the Society and its journal. Further details are available from the SSFH website: http://frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/conference.htm STUDIES IN MODERN FRENCH HISTORY This series, published by MUP in collaboration with the Society for the Study of French History, aims to showcase innovative monographs relating to the history of the French, in France and in the world since c.1750. Each volume speaks to a theme in the history of France with broader resonances to other discourses about the past. Authors demonstrate how the sources and interpretations of modern French history are being opened to historical investigation in new and interesting ways, and how unfamiliar subjects have the capacity to tell us more about the role of France within the European continent. The series is particularly open to interdisciplinary studies that break down traditional boundaries and conventional disciplinary divisions. Members of the Society for the Study of French History are entitled to a 35% discount on orders for personal use on all Studies in Modern French History series titles. Recent and forthcoming titles include: Catholicism and Children’s Literature in France: The Comtesse de Ségur (1799–1874) Sophie Heywood ISBN 9780719084669 Aristocratic Families in Republican France, 1870–1940 Elizabeth C. MacKnight ISBN 9780719085017 The Routes to Exile: France and the Spanish Civil War Refugees, 1939–2009 Scott Soo ISBN 9780719086915 Émile and Isaac Pereire: Bankers, Socialists and Sephardic Jews in Nineteenth-Century France Helen M. Davies ISBN 9780719089237 The Republican Line: Caricature and French Republican Identity, 1830–52 Laura O’Brien ISBN 9780719089350 From Empire to Exile: History and Memory within the Pied-Noir and Harki Communities, 1962–2012(Winner of the 2017 RHS Gladstone Prize) Claire Eldridge ISBN 9780719087233 Robespierre and the Festival of the Supreme Being: The Search for a Republican Morality Jonathan Smyth ISBN 9781526103789 Terror and Terroir: The Winegrowers of the Languedoc and Modern France Andrew W. M. Smith ISBN 9781784994358 The Stadium Century: Sport, Spectatorship and Mass Society in Modern France Robert W. Lewis ISBN 9781526106261 In Pursuit of Politics: Education and Revolution in Eighteenth-Century France Adrian O’Connor ISBN 9781526120564 Nobility and Patrimony in Modern France Elizabeth C. Macknight ISBN 9781526120519 Series editors: Professor Máire Cross (University of Newcastle): email@example.com Dr David Hopkin (University of Oxford): firstname.lastname@example.org © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of French History. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
French History – Oxford University Press
Published: May 9, 2018
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