Book Spotlight: J. Michelle Coghlan’s Sensational Internationalism

Coghlan, J. Michelle. Sensational Internationalism: The Paris Commune and the Remapping of American Memory in the Long Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh. Edinburgh University Press, 2016. Hardback.

In conjunction with Edinburgh University Press and J. Michelle Coghlan, Age of Revolutions is proud to offer its sixth revolutionary raffle. Coghlan recently reflected on the origins of this project in a post entitled “The Afterlives of the Paris Commune.” Check it out!

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About Sensational Internationalism

Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Atlantic Literatures and Cultures

  • Multi-disciplinary study of the cultural legacy of the Paris Commune in both mainstream and leftist U.S. memory
  • Contributes to recent work on the global dimensions of pre-Popular front radical culture in the US
  • Addresses a critical ongoing blind spot in American Studies by extending the borders of transatlantic affiliation beyond the confines of Anglo-American attachments
  • Offers innovative readings of well-known and altogether neglected cultural texts

In refocusing attention on the Paris Commune as a key event in American political and cultural memory, Sensational Internationalism radically changes our understanding of the relationship between France and the United States in the long nineteenth century.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Revolutionary Preoccupations: Or, Transatlantic Feeling in a Radical Sense;
1. Framing the Pétroleuse: Postbellum Poetry & the Visual Culture of Gender Panic;
2. Becoming Americans in Paris: The Commune as Frontier in Turn-of-the-Century Adventure Fiction;
3. Radical Calendars: The Commune Rising in Postbellum Internationalism;
4. Tasting Space: Sights of the Commune in Henry James’s Paris;
5. Re-staging Horror: Insurgent Memories of the Commune in the 1930s;
Epilogue: Barricades Revisited: the Commune on Campus from FSM to SDS;
Notes;
Bibliography.

Initial Reviews

“Skillfully researched and beautifully written, Sensational Internationalism broadens the contours of American cultural and political memory by bringing to life the profound reverberations produced in the States by what was on one level just a very brief moment in someone else’s history:  the Paris Commune. Michelle Coghlan’s stunning archive lends her account breadth and authority missing in those that would minimize those effects or limit them to a solely labor phenomenon.”
— Kristin Ross, New York University

“In the wake of recent world-turning instances of public assembly and occupation from Cairo to St. Louis, the Paris Commune has once again declared its political urgency. Michelle Coghlan’s remarkable and virtually unprecedented study–methodologically rich, archivally vast, textually acute–expores the Commune’s US afterlives, a long durée of transatlantic feeling, with far-reaching and field-changing results. I’ve been waiting a long time for such a book.”
–Eric Lott, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Title image: Père Lachaise Cemetery Wall Memorial to the Communards executed there in May 1871

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