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Introduction: The Global E.P. Thompson

  • Gabriel Winant (a1), Andrew Gordon (a1), Sven Beckert (a1) and Rudi Batzell (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article introduces the present Special Theme on the global reception and appropriation of E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963). It aims to interrogate Thompson’s legacy and potential vitality at a moment of renewed social and intellectual upheavals. It emphasizes the need for an interdisciplinary and global reflection on Thompson’s work and impact for understanding how class, nation, and “the people” as subjects of historical inquiry have been repeatedly recast since the 1960s. Examining the course of Thompson’s ideas in Japan and West Germany, South Africa and Argentina, as well as Czechoslovakia and Poland, each of the following five articles in the Special Theme is situated in specific and different locations in the global historiographical matrix. Read as a whole, they show how national historiographies have been products of local processes of state and class formation on the one hand, and transnational transfers of intellectual and historiographical ideas, on the other. They highlight the remarkable ability of Thompsonian social history to inspire new lives in varying national contexts shaped by different formations of race, class, and state.

TRANSLATED ABSTRACTS FRENCH – GERMAN – SPANISH

Gabriel Winant, Andrew Gordon, Sven Beckert, et Rudi Batzell. Introduction: Le E.P. Thompson mondial.

Cet article introduit le Thème spécial actuel sur la réception et l’appropriation mondiales de The Making of the English Working Class d’E.P. Thompson (1963; titre français: La Formation de la classe ouvrière anglaise). Il vise à interroger l’héritage et la vitalité potentielle de Thompson à un moment de boulversements sociaux et intellectuels répétés. Il souligne le besoin d’une réflexion interdisciplinaire et mondiale sur l’œuvre et l’impact de Thompson, afin de comprendre comment la classe, la nation et “les gens” en tant que sujets de recherche historique ont incessamment été revisités depuis les années 1960. Examinant le destin des idées de Thompson au Japon, en Allemagne de l’Ouest, en Afrique du Sud et en Argentine ainsi qu’en Tchécolsovaquie et en Pologne, chacun des cinq articles suivants dans le Thème spécial est placé dans un cadre spécifique différent à l’intérieur de la matrice historiographique mondiale. Lus comme un ensemble, ils montrent comment les historiographies nationales ont été des produits d’une part, de processus locaux de formation d’État et de classe et d’autre part, de transferts transnationaux d’idées intellectuelles et historiographiques. Ils mettent en valeur la remarquable capacité de l’histoire sociale de Thompson d’insuffler de nouvelles vies dans de nouveaux contextes nationaux qui ont été façonnés par diverses formations de race, de classe et d’État.

Traduction: Christine Plard

Gabriel Winant, Andrew Gordon, Sven Beckert und Rudi Batzell, Einführung: Der globale E.P. Thompson.

Der Beitrag leitet den Heftschwerpunkt ein: die globale Rezeption und Aneignung von E.P. Thompsons The Making of the English Working Class (1963; deutscher Titel: Die Entstehung der englischen Arbeiterklasse). Der Beitrag zielt dabei darauf ab, Thompsons Hinterlassenschaft und potenzielle Vitalität in einer Zeit erneuter sozialer und intellektueller Umwälzungen auszuloten. Es bedarf einer interdisziplinären und globalen Reflexion des Werkes und Einflusses von Thompson, um zu verstehen, wie Klasse, Nation und „Volk” als Gegenstände historischer Untersuchung seit den 1960er Jahren wiederholt neu bestimmt worden sind. Indem sie die Karriere von Thompsons Ideen in Japan, Westdeutschland, Südafrika und Argentinien sowie in der Tschechoslowakei und Polen untersuchen, positionieren sich die fünf Beiträge des Themenschwerpunkts an spezifischen, unterschiedlichen Orten innerhalb der globalen historiografischen Matrix. In der Zusammenschau zeigen sie, wie nationale Historiografien das Produkt lokaler Prozesse der Staaten- und Klassenbildung einerseits sowie des transnationalen Transfers intellektueller und historiografischer Ideen andererseits waren und sind. Sie verweisen auf die außergewöhnliche Fähigkeit von Thompson in verschiedenen, durch unterschiedliche Formierungen von „Rasse”, Klasse und Staatlichkeit geprägten nationalen Kontexten die Sozialgeschichte neu zu beleben.

Übersetzung: Max Henninger

Gabriel Winant, Andrew Gordon, Sven Beckert, y Rudi Batzell. Introducción: E.P. Thompson global.

En este artículo se introduce el actual tema especial sobre la recepción y apropiación global de la obra de E.P. Thompson The Making of the English Working Class (1963; título en español: La formación de la clase obrera en Inglaterra). En él se trata de indagar en el legado de Thompson y en su vitalidad potencial en un momento de agitación social e intelectual renovada. Se pone énfasis en la necesidad de una reflexión interdisciplinar y global sobre la obra de Thompson y su repercusión, en aras de comprender cómo la clase, la nación y el “pueblo”, como sujetos de indagación histórica, han sido replanteados de forma constante desde la década de 1960. Examinando el recorrido de las ideas de Thompson en Japón y en Alemania Occidental, en Sudáfrica y en Argentina, así como en Checoslovaquia y en Polonia, cada uno de los cinco textos que forman parte de este tema especial se sitúa en lugares específicos y diferentes en la matriz historiográfica global. Leído como un todo, los artículos muestran cómo las historiografías nacionales han sido, por un lado, resultado de procesos locales de formación de estado y clase y, por otro lado, fruto de las transferencias transnacionales de ideas intelectuales e historiográficas. En los textos se destaca la extraordinaria habilidad de la historia social thompsoniana para inspirar nuevas vidas en diferentes contextos nacionales delineados por diferentes formaciones de raza, clase y estado.

Traducción: Vicent Sanz Rozalén

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Corresponding author
E-mail: gabriel.winant@yale.eduagordon@fas.harvard.edubeckert@fas.harvard.edurbatzell@fas.harvard.edu
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

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Nikos Potamianos , “Moral Economy? Popular Demands and State Intervention in the Struggle over Anti-Profiteering Laws in Greece 1914–1925”, Journal of Social History, 48 (2015), pp. 803815

D. Parthasarathy , “The Poverty of (Marxist) Theory: Peasant Classes, Provincial Capital, and the Critique of Globalization in India”, Journal of Social History, 48 (2015), pp. 816841

Herbert G. Gutman , “Protestantism and the American Labor Movement: The Christian Spirit in the Gilded Age”, The American Historical Review, 72 (1966), pp. 74101

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International Review of Social History
  • ISSN: 0020-8590
  • EISSN: 1469-512X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-review-of-social-history
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