CfP: National Liberation, World Revolution: Anti-Colonial Networks and the Origins of Global Communism, 1914-24

Call for papers, deadline 15 September 2021
International workshop hosted by the Institute of Contemporary History, New University of Lisbon, on November 26-27, 2021   


The end of the First World War and the Russian Revolution inaugurated a period of unprecedented global effervescence. Europe has often been regarded as the epicentre of these agitations and the Moscow-centred international communist movement as their protagonist. However, the upheavals of these years galvanised a variety of actors, including anti-colonialists and anarchists, as well as activists linked to the Communist International but who retained significant ideological and political autonomy. This was especially true in the pre-Stalinist period. Unrest spread to the Americas, Africa, and Asia too, where nationalism intersected in complex ways with class conflict. While Moscow attempted to channel this ferment, alternative hubs for transnational activism emerged, often on the basis of pre-existing networks of anti-war and anti-colonial solidarity. Locations such as Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Tashkent, Berlin, Paris, and Shanghai became important coordinating centres where the Communist International coexisted a plethora of movements. These cities became loci of socialisation for radicals from different countries and political traditions. They thus helped forge new identities, including incipient Third Worldist sentiments. The ideological and geographical contours of global activism in these years were thus more diverse than has often been assumed. This conference seeks to map this complexity and its long-term significance, with special focus on non-European places and actors. 

Practical informations

The workshop will take place at the Institute of Contemporary History (IHC) of the New University of Lisbon, Portugal, on November 26-27, 2021. Sessions based on 30-minute papers. The event will have a hybrid format and will accommodate online presentations. Ideally, however, we encourage speakers based in Europe to try to make it to Lisbon and meet in person. We are in the position to offer a limited amount of travel subsidies for those who cannot secure institutional support for the trip.  

Submission guidelines

Abstracts (200 words) should be sent

before September 15

to along with a short biographical note. Participants should receive a confirmation of acceptance no later than 20 September.

Selection committee

  • Dr Arturo Zoffmann Rodriguez. Junior research fellow, Institute of Contemporary History (IHC), New University of Lisbon (UNL)
  • Dr Daniel Kent Carrasco. Research fellow, Institute of Historical Research (IIH), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)