Premodern Radicalisms, Radical Premodernisms

An issue of: Radical History Review

Premodern Radicalisms, Radical Premodernisms
Journal Issue Pages: 204 Volume 18, Number 1 Number: 130 Published: January 2018 An issue of Radical History Review
Over the forty-odd years since the inception of Radical History Review, the pages of the journal have been populated primarily by the voices of historians who think of themselves as modernists; the majority of the articles published in the journal—save for a few notable exceptions—cover the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Indeed, despite key theoretical innovations that have sprung from journal’s pages over the years, we have tended to reinforce the distinction between the “modern” and the “premodern,” suggesting that the pre- or early modern periods marked the shifting temporal bridge, when critical material, political, social, cultural, and epistemic shifts took place, from primitive accumulation to the “great confinement.” In addition, the politics of the premodern seem somewhat distant to the structural inequity brought about by capitalism, slavery, the state, and the market of the modern period, which has defined much of the writing that has appeared in RHR. With this in mind, we aim in this special issue to revisit radical premodernities together with premodern radicalisms and to seek a rapprochement between our often presentist political and cultural agendas and the history of the premodern past.

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