The year 1998 marked the 150th anniversary of the cascading wave of revolution that swept across Europe in the spring of 1848. Like all great upheavals (indeed like all great events, personalities, or works of art), the revolutions of 1848 do not contain their own meaning. Powerful cultural objects—whether events, persons, or cultural creations—are always ambiguous: indeed that ambiguity, according to Griswold (1987a) is a key part of what constitutes their power. Such objects always offer rich and varied, though not unlimited, interpretive possibilities. It is now widely agreed that the meanings of such cultural objects are not fixed, given, or uniquely ascertainable, but instead are created and recreated in different times, places, and settings through a series of “interactions” or “negotiations” between the objects and their socially situated, culturally equipped, and often politically engaged interpreters (Hall 1980; Griswold 1987a, 1987b; Liebes and Katz 1996).