Deserters, draft evaders and deputies. Or how parliamentary history can contribute to subaltern history and vice versaDeserters, draft evaders and deputies. Or how parliamentary history can contribute to subaltern history and vice versa
Faculty of Arts. History
Power in History - Centre for Political History
Belgisch tijdschrift voor nieuwste geschiedenis / Jan Dhondt Stichting. - Gent, 1969, currens
46(2016):1, p. 40-61
University of Antwerp
At the occasion of the inauguration of Raymond Poincare as the President of the French Republic in February 1913, the Parisian MP Marcel Sembat proposed to grant amnesty to deserters and draft evaders from the French Army. Several members of the groups concerned supported this initiative by addressing letters to Sembat, in which they extensively explained their case. An analysis of these letters and more specifically those written from Brussels serves in this contribution as a starting point for a broader exploration of the creative 'space of liminality' that existed between subalterns (the deserters) and elites (the MPs). By comparing for one individual case the information gathered from this type of letter-writing with that extracted from judicial documents, this contribution tries to demonstrate how parliamentary and subaltern history can mutually enrich one another.