How did fascism develop into a global movement and shape the way people understand the world and organise their daily lives? Starting from this question, this workshop aims to examine the international circulation of ideas and concepts derived from fascism and grasp its transnational character, crossing political and cultural boundaries.
Taking the form of political ideologies and practices, fascism casts shadows in European countries to varying degrees. During the interwar period, besides the case of Italy and Nazi Germany, several variations of fascism and authoritarianism emerged as responses to the crises of capitalism and Western democracy, as well as the rise of communism, mass politics and feminist movements. While previous scholarship on fascism has overwhelmingly focused on particular ideologies, such as the leader principle, messianic faith and political religion, contemporary historians tend to emphasise its transnational character and reconceptualise it as an alternative ramification of modernity.
However, the limit on research is omnipresent. Largely underexplored are the political and cultural negotiations, multi-layered and reciprocal intellectual inspirations, and large-scale border-crossing movements of agents between countries and regions over the globe, namely ‘Fascism in Motion’. Fascist movements especially from the standpoint of the ‘periphery’ inside the Axis powers still lack a systematic and overarching examination.
This workshop attempts to bolster discussions on the global interconnectedness of fascist ideologies and their respective articulations in various local contexts. It zooms in on the transnational entanglements of agents and the border-crossing flow of beliefs, concepts and ideas relating to fascism. Based on the movement of people and knowledge, it explores efforts to contextualise the vision of a ‘new world order’ in local institutions and societies during the interwar global fascist movement. Furthermore, we clarify how various types of local agents selectively appropriated the complex concepts of fascism, considering it a solution to social instability after the Great Depression. In other words, this project aims to highlight the transregional interconnectedness of fascism as both knowledge and practice by focusing on state and non-state agencies, including intellectuals, the clergy, the military, refugees, officials in colonies and traders who constitute the network of knowledge transmission from the area of the ‘centre’ to the ‘periphery’ under the Axis powers. In doing so, this workshop sheds fresh light on the shifting dynamics of traveling agents and knowledge flow to build an alternative perspective on the fascism movement.
More concertedly, the workshop aims to expound, both theoretically and empirically, on the following questions:
1) How did fascist ideologies and knowledge spread over different parts of the globe across the Axis powers?
2) How did local agents, particularly collaborators (and local populations) under puppet regimes, negotiate with Axis powers?
3) Which relations emerged between fascism and modernity? How did the concept of fascism develop in the cultural sphere (cultural politics), such as in the fields of visual art, literature, music, and architecture?
This call for papers seeks empirical and theoretical contributions that illuminate reflexive case studies of regions that typically remain underrepresented (e.g. Arab, Asia and Latin America). However, innovative studies on European transnational fascism are not excluded.
We invite interested authors, especially early-career researchers, to send an extended abstract up to 400 words to the organisers (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 30 June 2021. The abstract must clearly state the title, questions for discussion within the framework of the workshop, theoretical or empirical grounds, and a short bio of up to 200 words per author.
Notifications of acceptance will be announced by the end of July 2021. In case of acceptance, we ask every participant to provide a short paper (maximum 5,000 words) beforehand (deadline: 30 September 2021).
From the workshop, we intend to publish conference contributions in an essay collection for 2022.