Patricia Tilburg

Download 34.5 Kb.
Size34.5 Kb.
History 424: The French Revolution

Spring 2004

Patricia Tilburg

Chambers 2135

Course Description: This seminar will explore the historiography and history of the French Revolution through books, paintings, music and film. The Revolution of 1789 transformed not only French society but also European politics. The revolutionary years turned a people against their king, parishioner against priest, soldier against army, neighbor against neighbor. The Revolution released potent new ideals of political participation and social mobility, and unleashed two decades of warfare in Europe. It marked a decisive and violent rupture between the Old and the New, between a closed world of absolute monarchical power and the chaotic swell of modern mass politics. Students will explore the fierce debates about the cultural, political and economic origins of the Revolution of 1789, and will seek to answer the question, was the Revolution inevitable? As a class, we will examine the crucial turns in the Revolution—from the Tennis Court Oath to the bloody months of the Terror. We will investigate the legacy of the symbols, rituals and language of republican culture, as well as the new languages of art and music that developed from those tense if heady years. We will assess the consequences of the revolutionary moment for those groups not included in its triumphal rhetoric of liberty, equality and fraternity (women, workers, blacks). Finally, we will ask how the Revolution of 1789 has been remembered, commemorated, and reactivated throughout the more than two hundred years that have passed since the Bastille fell.

Required Texts:

Anatole France, The Gods Will Have Blood.

Marie-Jeanne Roland, Memoirs of Madame Roland: A Heroine of the French
Revolution. (Translator: Evelyn Shuckburgh)

Jeremy Popkin, A Short History of the French Revolution.

Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution.

The French Revolution: The Essential Readings (ed. Ronald Schechter).

Laura Mason and Tracey Rizzo, The French Revolution: A Document Collection.

Course Assignments:

Two Short Essays (4-5 pages each, 15% each).

Class Participation (25%).

Outline/Presentation (10%).

Final Paper (35%).

Week 1

Course Overview

In-class FILM: The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Discussion of Film
[Begin Roland memoirs and Popkin text]

Week 2: Origins of the French Revolution



--Roger Chartier, “Cultural Origins of the French Revolution,” Essential Readings.

--Keith Baker, “On the Problem of the Ideological Origins of the French Revolution,” Essential Readings.

-- Mason & Rizzo documents, pp. 16-46.

WEEK 3: Origins Part II- Pornography and Cultural Politics in the Old Regime


Lecture: Chronology

-- Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom.

--Sara Maza, “The Diamond Necklace Affair, 1785-1786,” E-RESERVE.

--Robert Darnton, “The Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-Revolutionary France,” Essential Readings.

--Mason & Rizzo documents, pp. 51-57.


Lecture: Chronology cont’d.

Historiography: The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution

--Soboul, The Parisian Sans-Culottes, chapter E-RESERVE

--Cobban, The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution, chapter E-RESERVE

--George Lefebvre, Coming of the French Revolution, chapter E-RESERVE

--Mason & Rizzo documents, 67-88; 125-131.


Discussion: Historiography Part II

Writing Session
------DUE: Short Paper on the Origins of the Revolution.------
--Colin Lucas, “Nobles, Bourgeois, and the Origins of the French Revolution.” Past and Present (1973) E-RESERVE

--Edward Berenson, “The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution,” Contention, 8 (Winter 1994) 55-81. E-RESERVE

-- François Furet, “Interpreting the French Revolution,” Essential Readings.

WEEK 6: Women and the French Revolution


--Lynn Hunt, “The Band of Brothers,” Essential Readings.

--Mary Jacobus, “Incorruptible Milk: Breast-feeding and the French Revolution,” E-RESERVE

--Joan Scott, “French Feminists and the Rights of ‘Man’:Olympe de Gouges’ Declarations,” Essential Readings.

--Mason & Rizzo, 109-113; 157-158; 155-156; 206-207.

WEEK 7: Festivals and the Sacred in the Revolution


Library Session: Research Methods

--Mona Ozouf, “The Transfer of Sacrality” Essential Readings

--Dale von Kley, “The Debate over the General Assembly of the Gallican Clergy in 1765,” Essential Readings

--Mason & Rizzo, 123-124; 144-151; 248-253; 320-327.

-------------SPRING BREAK-----------

WEEK 8: Popular Political Culture

--Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution.

--Mason & Rizzo documents, pp. 132-137, 189-219.

WEEK 9: Art, Music, and Revolution

Lecture: Revolutionary Art

--Jeffrey S. Ravel, The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 1680-1791 [Selected Chapters, E-RESERVE]

--Laura Mason, Singing the French Revolution [Selected Chapters, E-RESERVE]
-------DUE: Short Paper on the Culture of Revolution.-------

WEEK 10: The Revolution Abroad and Napoleon

Lecture: Europe and the Colonies. How Napoleon Ends the Revolution.


--Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, excerpts E-RESERVE.

--Mason & Rizzo documents, pp. 108, 120-122, 208-213; 348-349; 306-309; 334-347.

WEEK 11: The French Revolution and Fiction


-----Research Topics-----

--Anatole France, The Gods Will Have Blood

WEEK 12: Revolution and Historical Memory: Commemoration

--Christian Amalvi, “Bastille Day: Dies Irae to Holiday,” in Pierre Nora, ed., Realms of Memory, 3: 117-59.

--Steven Kaplan, Farewell Revolution: Disputed Legacies, 1789-1989, 1-12, 302-313.

VIDEO: The Bicentennial in Paris

WEEK 13: The Revolution on Film


Nuit de Varennes

------Outlines DUE------


Paper Presentations


No Class—Reading Day

-------------------Papers DUE---------------------Bibliography

David Andress, French Society in Revolution, 1789-1799.

John Hardman, Robespierre. (1999)

Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. (1990)

Lynn Hunt, The Family Romance of the French Revolution. (1993)

Keith Michael Baker, ed. The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture.

David Garrioch, Neighborhood and Community in Paris, 1740 - 1790

Joan Landes, Visualizing the Nation: Gender, Representation and Revolution

James Livesey, Making Democracy in the French Revolution

Isser Woloch, The New Regime

R.R. Palmer, Twelve Who Ruled: The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution.

Warren Roberts, Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Louis Prieur, Revolutionary Artists: The Public, the Populace, and Images of the French Revolution (1999)

Susan Dunn, Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light. (2000)

David Barry Gaspar, David Patrick Geggus, Claude A. Clegg (eds.). A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean (Blacks in the Diaspora)

Joan Landes, excerpts from Women and the Public Sphere on E-RESERVE.

Keith Michael Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (1990)

Arlette Farge, Subversive Words: Public Opinion in 18th-Century France. (orig. 1992)

Sara Maza, Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Célèbres of Prerevolutionary France (1993).

Dorinda Outram, The Body and the French Revolution. (1989)

George Rude, The Crowd in the French Revolution.

Francois Furet, The French Revolution, 1770-1814. Translator: Nevill.

Georges Lefebvre, The Coming of the French Revolution. Robert R. Palmer (Translator)

Marie-Jeanne P. Roland, Memoirs of Madame Roland: A Heroine of the French Revolution. Evelyn Shuckburgh (Translator).

Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution: A History (1837)

Marie-Jeanne P. Roland, Memoirs of Madame Roland: A Heroine of the French Revolution. Evelyn Shuckburgh (Translator),

Stendhal, The Life of Henry Brulard (1835-36).

Victor Hugo, Ninety-Three.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Alexandre Dumas, The Knight of Maison-Rouge: A novel of Marie Antoinette.
French Revolution in Fiction.

Baroness Emmuska Orczy Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel. (1903)

Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche: A Romance of the French Revolution (1920s-30s)

Tanith Lee, The Gods Are Thirsty (1996)

Marge Piercy, City of Darkness, City of Light: A Novel (1996)

Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety.

Susanne Alleyn, A Far Better Rest. (sequel to Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities)

Chantal Thomas, Farewell, My Queen: A Novel. Moishe Black (Translator)

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page