someday   2017

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Seeing the Empire Through Lists and Charts: French Colonial Records in the Eighteenth Century in: Journal of Early Modern History Volume 22 Issue 5 Year 2018
By looking at list-making and comparative assessments of trade, this article on central administrative practices of record management aims at discussing the mobilization of archives in French colonial supervision in the eighteenth century. A Bureau des Colonies was created in the French Secretariat of the Marine in 1710: from the very outset, its main mission was to deal with the colonial records, mostly correspondence, through which the colonies were administered. Archives had been collected and classified in the Bureau des archives from 1699 onwards. But this implied an effort in the organization of papers: throughout the eighteenth century, the imperial administration created several other documentary tools that produced a simplified and ideal vision of the empire and of its place in the global order. Looking at the kinds of papers produced by the colonial administration and where these records were kept provides insight into how the central authorities understood the colonial empire. The paperwork shaped the way administrators understood empire, through operations carried out by the clerks on the records. Records were collected from all the colonies and actors, with a growing sense of being a unique agency possessing relevant records that were reduced to similar storage units by agents without field experience. In fact, archives became crucial in strengthening the empire as a political unity, under a centralized metropolitan direction, mainly after the Seven Years’ War.
article  someday 
27 days ago by Rex
Proletarian Politics Today: On the Perils and Possibilities of Historical Analogy | Comparative Studies in Society and History | Cambridge Core
When contemporary dispossessed urban classes are figured as a “proletariat,” a potent historical analogy is activated in which the well-documented experience of the burgeoning industrial working classes of nineteenth-century Europe provides an implicit template for interpreting events and processes far removed in time and space. Yet Karl Marx's own deployment of the figure of the proletariat, which often provides the inspiration and model for such analogic moves, was itself in its own time already a complex historical analogy, invoking the social hierarchies of ancient Rome. Rethinking this doubly analogical intellectual history provides an occasion both for considering the uses and abuses of historical analogy, and for using a reflection on the original (Roman) proletarians as a conceptual lever for prying apart some outdated assumptions about the contemporary politics of certain propertyless urban populations, in southern Africa and beyond.
article  someday 
january 2019 by Rex

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