"Pacifism and the Rise of Stalinism in France: A Legacy of World War I" Abstract:
This paper will examine pacifist trends in French thought that emerged during the First World War, as well as the complex interwar legacy of pacifism. Focusing on the trajectories of Romain Rolland and Henri Barbusse – arguably the two most prominent politically active intellectuals in France at the time – Sobanet will argue that the pacifism that was an outgrowth of World War I created fertile ground for the rise of Stalinism in France, ultimately contributing to a dramatic rise in political tensions in the 1930s. This study will include analysis of Rolland’s and Barbusse’s fiction and non-fiction and will include an exploration of very recently released archival material related to both authors.
Andrew Sobanet is Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of French at Georgetown University. His research interests include the contemporary novel, the twentieth-century novel, autobiography, non-fiction film, feature film, and twentieth and twenty-first-century European and American history. He is the author of Jail Sentences: Representing Prison in Twentieth-Century French Fiction (University of Nebraska Press, 2008), and has published widely on Vichy France (1940-44). He has been Associate Editor of the journal Contemporary French Civilization since 2011 and is currently at work on a book manuscript on Stalinism in France.