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Title: The historical militancy of Madeleine Rebérioux, 1920-2005
Authors: Crabtree, Ellen Patricia
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The thesis critically examines the life of French historian Madeleine Rebérioux (1920 – 2005), through the unstudied connections between academic, political and social engagement. Embedded in militancy through her academic interest in Jean Jaurès and French socialism, Rebérioux’s diverse engagement was remarkable. A leading figure of the anticolonial left in the 1950s and 1960s, Rebérioux was excluded from the French Communist Party in 1969 before later becoming president of the Ligue des droits de l’homme in the 1990s. I have developed the epistemological term ‘historical militancy’ – namely the transaction between being a professional historian and being a social movement activist – in order to assess Rebérioux’s copious archives, bequeathed to the French state after her death. How did Rebérioux’s activism shape her historical interpretation of the past? Likewise, to what extent did Rebérioux’s nuanced view of history frame injustice in her intellectual interventions in French society? Using three case studies, the research scrutinises how Rebérioux used collective action as a vehicle for militancy: from ephemeral anticolonial groups like the Comité Audin, academic activist networks such as the Collectif intersyndical universitaire and action during May ’68 through to well-established national organisation the Ligue des droits de l’homme. This critical analysis of Rebérioux’s archival papers indicates, for the first time, how Rebérioux sat at the heart of a complex web of overlapping campaign-networks. Her activism forms an unbroken thread woven into polemical political moments of the Fourth and Fifth Republics, offering a unique window on historians’ practical engagement outside of their professional academic discipline as well as a new understanding of the culture of left-wing political militancy.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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