Modern Revolutions: The History of a Mimesis

Date / time
Date(s) - 21 May
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Thomas Mergel (Berlin)

Modern Revolutions: The History of a Mimesis

The idea of the modern revolution rests on the idea that all individual revolutions are part of one great and all-embracing movement and this is why, in the nineteenth-century, ‘the’ revolution became singular. Marx’s philosophy of history is pivotal in this respect. The lecture conzeptualizes the idea of a ‘script’ of the revolution, and discusses how the history of the modern revolution can be grasped as the history of a tradition and, in practical terms, as the history of a constant mimesis. It also pursues the problem of how, in the course of the twentieth century, this script began to fade, as revolutions resembled the Marxian concept less and less, so that today we again speak of a plurality of revolutions.

Thomas Mergel is Professor of Twentieth-Century European History at Humboldt University Berlin. He works on the cultural history of politics since the eighteenth century, in particular, on the history of political communication. His publications include Parlamentarische Kommunikation in der Weimarer Republik: Politische Kommunikation, symbolische Politik und Öffentlichkeit im Reichstag (3rd edn. 2012)

Location: German Historical Institute, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ