Revolution Beyond the Event

The afterlives of radical politics

Edited by Charlotte Al-Khalili, Narges Ansari, Myriam Lamrani, and Kaya Uzel


ISBN: 9781800081208

Publication: May 02, 2023

Revolution Beyond the Event brings together leading international anthropologists alongside emerging scholars to examine revolutionary legacies from the MENA region, Latin America and the Caribbean. It explores the idea that revolutions have varied afterlives that complicate the assumptions about their duration, pace and progression, and argues that a renewed focus on the temporality of radical politics is essential to our understanding of revolution. Approaching revolution through its relationship to time, the book is a critical intervention into attempts to define revolutions as bounded events that act as sequential transitions from one political system to another. It pursues an ethnographically driven rethinking of the temporal horizons that are at stake in revolutionary processes, arguing that linear views of revolution are inextricably tied to notions of progress and modernity. Through a careful selection of case studies, the book provides a critical perspective on the lived realities of revolutionary afterlives, challenging the liberal humanist assumptions implicit in the ‘modern’ idea of revolution, and reappraising the political agency of people caught up in revolutionary situations across a variety of ethnographic contexts.

Praise for Revolution Beyond the Event
'a significant intervention in the comparative studies of revolutions'
Journal of Anthropological Research

Charlotte Al-Khalili is a social anthropologist trained in philosophy. She is currently a Leverhulme fellow at Sussex University and a research associate at CéSor (EHESS/CNRS).

Narges Ansari is a social anthropologist whose doctoral thesis, funded by ERC studentship, considers conceptions of agency and subjectivity within Shi’a rituals of mediation in the revolutionary and post-revolutionary context of Iran (UCL Anthropology 2022).

Myriam Lamrani is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at Harvard University and at Panteion University.

Kaya Uzel is a PhD-candidate in anthropology at UCL whose research into the aftermath of Burkina Faso’s 1983 revolution under Thomas Sankara has been funded by an interdisciplinary ESRC/AHRC studentship.  

List of figures
Notes on contributors

Charlotte Al-Khalili, Narges Ansari, Myriam Lamrani, Kaya Uzel

PART 1: The Shifting Grounds of Revolutionary Temporality      

1.  The Remains of Revolution: Disagreements about Revolutionary Failure in Nicaragua
David Cooper

2.   Picturing Absence in Post˗Revolutionary Yemen
Gabriele vom Bruck

3.   Smoking, Praying, Killing: The Politics of Boredom in Post-Revolutionary Libya
Igor Cherstich

4.   Religious Transformations after the 1979 Iranian Revolution: From Imam Hussein as Exemplar Back to Intercessor
Mary Elaine Hegland

PART 2: Rethinking Revolutionary Afterlives: Anthropology and Beyond

5.   The ‘Revolution Before the Revolution’: Radical Organizing Across the Longue Durée in Twentieth Century Peru
David Nugent

6.   Cosmogony and Second Nature in Revolutionary Cuba
Martin Holbraad

7.   On the Question of Optimism in Troubled Times: Revolution, Tragedy and Possibility in Caribbean History
Brian Meeks


Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi


'a significant intervention in the comparative studies of revolutions'
Journal of Anthropological Research


Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

218 Pages

11 colour photo/halftones

Copyright: © 2023

ISBN: 9781800081208

Publication: May 02, 2023

Scroll to top