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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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Barricades Revisited – the Commune on Campus from FSM to SDS

Barricades Revisited – the Commune on Campus from FSM to SDS

(p.153) Epilogue Barricades Revisited – the Commune on Campus from FSM to SDS
Sensational Internationalism

J. Michelle Coghlan

Edinburgh University Press

This epilogue examines the Commune’s re-ignition in the 1960s. Returning to Endore’s likening of the uprising to a “free-for-all,” I argue that this conjuration—lacking the top down organization of a party, prone to spring up anywhere unannounced—would survive the reign of McCarthy and the crackdown that did so much to dissipate radical memory and, with it, 1871’s resonance in the U.S. I show how the story of the Commune that would survive the 1950s offered future radicals not so much a program as a promise—a memory of a revolutionary future that might be “vomited up” at any moment. I anchor my discussion in two pivotal eruptions of the Commune on campus: Mario Savio’s invocations of it during the Free Speech Movement demonstrations at UC Berkeley as a model of campus activism and taking “only what is ours,” and its more literal restaging five years later as student protestors at Columbia University turned to 1871 to make sense of their own cultural moment, dubbing themselves “Communards” as they reoccupied this once again vital and viral revolutionary past.

Keywords:   Mario Savio, Free Speech Movement, Mark Rudd, Columbia 1968, Student Movements, Radical Memory, The Paris Commune

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