Wrong Place, Right Time: '68 and the Impasses of Periodization

Williams, Evan Calder and Toscano, Alberto. 2019. Wrong Place, Right Time: '68 and the Impasses of Periodization. Cultural Politics, 15(3), pp. 273-288. ISSN 1743-2197 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This essay critically approaches the use of “1968” as a periodizing category by contrasting historiographic and political debates on the event and aftermath of the French May with the spatial and temporal unevenness that attaches to Italy’s “long” 1968. We explore two interlocking dimensions of the latter: the reprise of the “Southern question” in the midst of this sociopolitical upheaval, on the one hand, and the potent if enigmatic image of an Italian “creeping May,” on the other. A political and historiographic reflection on the Italian case suggests the need to dislocate a linear, if punctuated, periodization of 1968, and to move toward an understanding of the crises and movements that cluster around this date through a framework anchored around the notion of rhythm conceived as the site of political and spatial unevenness.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Henri Lefebvre, May 1968, periodization, rhythm, Southern question

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature > Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought


26 March 2019Accepted
14 November 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2019 16:15

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 21:39

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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