Thursday 9th March, MB3202, 5-6.30pm (paper begins at 5.15pm)

Dr Constance Bantman (University of Surrey)

‘Jean Grave and French Anarchism (1870s-1930s): A Reassessment’.



“Les Temps Nouveaux? It was Grave’s paper, and that’s all one needs to know”.

This talk will propose a biographical approach to the study of anarchist activism, applied to one of the most influential figures in the French and international anarchist movement between the late 1870s and the First World War: the activist Jean Grave (1854-1939). Adopting a relational approach delineating Grave’s formal and informal connections, it focuses on the role of print in this relational activism, through the three papers which Grave edited between 1883 and 1914, Le Revolte, La Revolte and Les Temps Nouveaux. It also highlights Grave’s transnational entanglements and links with progressive circles in France. This, in turn, provides a basis to reassess the nature and functioning of the French anarchist movement during its “heroic period”, by stressing its transnational ramifications and inclusion in progressive campaigns and punctual coalitions. As Grave’s life and militant career are so closely bound with the Paris area, this inquiry also offers a fascinating portrait of a highly prolific, yet largely ‘immobile’ transnationalist.