Teleologies of Atlantic History: The Age of Revolutions

Session leaders: Marcela Echeverri and Malick Ghachem

This seminar aims to review the most current historical and conceptual debates about the Age of Revolutions, and to reflect on the challenges of making it a field of truly Atlantic proportions. We will explore the most significant transformations in the Age of Revolutions historiography in the past decades as a consequence of the inclusion of the Haitian and Iberian Revolutions in the repertoire of revolutionary movements. We will specifically address the question of periodization and discuss why and how the understanding of the period as a turning point is changing in light of other Atlantic transformations that did not necessarily lead to the creation of nation-states. Does the Age of Revolutions cast an irredeemably teleological shadow over Atlantic history?


Jeremy Adelman, “An Age of Imperial Revolutions,” American Historical Review 113, no. 2 (April 2008): 319-340.

Elizabeth Mancke, “Polity Formation and Atlantic Political Narratives.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World: 1450-1850, edited by Nicholas Canny and Philip Morgan (2011).

Thomas Bender, “A Season of Revolutions: The United States, France, and Haiti.” In Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn, edited by T. Bender, L. Dubois, and R. Rabinowitz (2012), pp. 14-42.

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