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Sensational InternationalismThe Paris Commune and the Remapping of American Memory in the Long Nineteenth Century$
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J. Michelle Coghlan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411202

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411202.001.0001

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Radical Calendars: The Commune Rising in Postbellum Internationalism

Radical Calendars: The Commune Rising in Postbellum Internationalism

(p.79) Chapter 3 Radical Calendars: The Commune Rising in Postbellum Internationalism
Sensational Internationalism

J. Michelle Coghlan

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter uncovers the spectacular afterlife of the Commune as the cornerstone of radical internationalism as a lived practice in the postbellum moment. Tracing the ways annual festivals and celebrations of the Commune, complete with oratory, tableaux-vivants, and dancing, united an array of American radicals, I show how these performances of memory drew on the audacious internationalism of the Commune uprising to create both a counter-calendar and a counter-memory of the Commune’s failure. Reading Lucy Parsons, Voltairine de Cleyre and Emma Goldman’s writings on the Commune alongside and against both this cycle of leftist remembrance and the cycle of anxious reprinting these festivals received in mainstream U.S. newspapers makes, I argue, the remarkably vibrant and radically internationalist cultures of leftist memory in the long nineteenth century at once more visible and more audible, allowing us to hear beyond the limits of print as an archive of radical memory and lived feeling.

Keywords:   U.S. Internationalism, Radical Memory, Victoria Woodhull, Lucy Parsons, The Life of Albert Parsons, Voltairine de Cleyre, Emma Goldman, Commune celebrations, “Paris From Empire to Commune”, Performance studies

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