Student Revolt, City, and Society in Europe: From the Middle Ages to the Present, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Student Revolt, City, and Society in Europe

From the Middle Ages to the Present, 1st Edition

Edited by Pieter Dhondt, Elizabethanne Boran


436 pages | 35 B/W Illus.

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Due to the strong sense among the student community of belonging to a specific social group, student revolts have been an integral part of the university throughout its history. Ironically, since the Middle Ages, the advantageous position of students in society as part of the social elite undoubtedly enforced their critical approach. This edited collection studies the role of students as a critical mass within their urban context and society through examples of student revolts from the foundation period of universities in the Middle Ages until today, covering the whole European continent. A dominant theme is the large degree of continuity visible in student revolts across space and time, especially concerning the (rebellious) attitudes of and criticisms directed towards students. Too often, each generation thinks they are the first. Moreover, student revolts are definitely not always of a progressive kind, but instead they are often characterized by a tension between conservative ambitions (e.g. the protection of their own privileges or nostalgia for the good old days) and progressive ideas. Particular attention is paid to the use of symbols (like flags, caps, etc.), rituals and special traditions within these revolts in order to bring the students’ voice back to the fore.


"Overall, this book showcases the diversity of revolts, with the various studies offering detailed narratives and demonstrating a range of motives, forms, and event dynamics, as well as their effects on students and society."

-Ilana Krausman Ben-Amos, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Table of Contents

1. Students as Agents of Change?

[Pieter Dhondt and Laura Kolbe]

Part I: Forms of Action

2. Introduction: Forms of Action

[Lyse Roy]

3. Protesting in Paris, Toulouse and Caen at the End of the Middle Ages: Legal Means and Means of Action

[Lyse Roy]

4. In Defence of Their Privileges: Student Protest at the University of Orléans in the Early Fourteenth Century

[Hilde de Ridder-Symoens]

5. Quarrels Under the Portico: Student Violence in Early Modern Italian Universities

[Christopher Carlsmith]

6. Supporting Professors and the Professions?: The Medical Student Demonstrations of 1907-1908 in Paris

[Pierre Moulinier]

7. From the Struggle Against Repression to the 1968 General Strike in France

[Jean-Philippe Legois and Alain Monchablon]

8. The Peaceful Revolts: 1968 in the Nordic Welfare States

[Fredrik W. Thue, Else Hansen, Thomas Brandt and Sigríður Matthíasdóttir]

9. No More Professors: The Peaceful Revolution in the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, 1968

[Hilda T.A. Amsing and Marieke Stuurwold]

Part II: Student Identity and Radicalism

10. Introduction: Student Identity and Radicalism

[Pieter Dhondt and Laura Kolbe]

11. Moving Out!: Student Identity and Symbolic Protest at Eighteenth-Century German Universities

[Steffen Hölscher]

12. From the French Revolution to Tractarianism: Student Revolt and Generational Identity at the University of Oxford, 1800-1845

[Heather Ellis]

13. University Students After Italian Unification: Riots, Organisations and Political Engagement (1860-1885)

[Elisa Signori]

14. Re-generation: Politicisation, Corps Identity and Generation Gap in the Italian Students’ Revolt of 1885

[Valentina Colombi]

15. Revolting for Human Dignity in Imperial Russia: The Student Strike of 1899

[Ioulia But]

16. Christmas Carolling in Bucharest and Campfire Singing in Iaşi: Students as a Specific Social Group in Ceaușescu’s Romania

[Pieter Dhondt and Florea Ioncioaia]

Part III: Political Agenda and Mobilising Forces

17. Introduction: Political Agenda and Mobilising Forces

[Leen Dorsman]

18. Collective Violence in Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-Century Oxford

[Hannah Skoda]

19. "Citizens of the Netherlands, Arm Yourself": Student Protest in the Late Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic

[Leen Dorsman]

20. "Für den Kaiser erscholl in unserem Lager nichts als Jubel…": Students Between Revolutionary and Loyal Sentiments – The Curious Case of Innsbruck in 1848

[Christof Aichner and Matthias Egger]

21. A Student Revolt in Support of War: University of Padua, 1915

[Federico Bernardinello]

22. The 1922-23 Student Revolts at the University of Cluj, Romania: From Local Anti-Semitic Academic Protests to National Events

[Ana-Maria Stan]

23. Escaping Violence in 1935: Polish Jewish Students’ Strategy, from Montpellier to Lyon

[Laurence Prempain]

Part IV: Students and Urbanity

24. Introduction: Students and Urbanity

[Hilde de Ridder-Symoens]

25. The First Student Strike in 1880: Socialist Influences in the City of Iași

[Leonidas Rados and Pieter Dhondt]

26. For the Language of Science: The Student Revolts on the Dutchification of Ghent University, 1918–1940

[Ruben Mantels]

27. Students as "the Hopes of the Fatherland": The Old Student House in Helsinki as a Centre of Student Activism in the 1960s

[Sari Aalto and Pieter Dhondt, as contributor]

28. Flemish Nationalism, New Left and Beyond: The Student Movement at Leuven University (1960s-1970s)

[Louis Vos]

29. The City and Its Social Problems as a Subject of Study: Rebel Architects at the Faculty of Milan (1963-1973)

[Lucia Tenconi]

30. Student Revolts Reflecting the Liberal Transition in Serbia

[Jovana Papović and Astrea Pejović]

About the Editors

Pieter Dhondt is senior lecturer in general history at the University of Eastern Finland.

Elizabethanne Boran is librarian of the Edward Worth Library in Dublin.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Cultural History

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Social History