INSURRECTION, REVOLT: MICHAELMAS TERM AND THE UNDOING OF HISTORIOGRAPHICAL MYTHS
For the academic year 2016-2017, the Early Modern French Seminar revisit in a timely fashion the political landscape of early modern France from the perspective of insurrection and revolt. Civil unrest pitted confessional partis against each other, the king against his nobility, the people against the state, and the slaves against their masters from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, from the Pont-Neuf to Guadeloupe -- revolt was in turn diagnosed as the corruption of the diseased body politics, and prescribed as its cure.
In Michaelmas, Olivier Tonneau brings to the fore the political agendas underpinning the historiographical (mis)construction of Robespierre and the Terreur and their ongoing, thorough revisions.
Emma Claussen shows that the Politiques during the Wars of Religion were not an organised party, let alone one that would have sown the seed of the secular state guaranteeing a tolerant civil society so dear to nineteenth-century historians of the Republic.
François Dubois, Le Massacre de la Saint Barthélémy (détail)
Oil on panel, 94cm X 154 cm, Musée cantonal de Lausanne
Eugéne Delacroix, La Liberté guidant le peuple (détail)
Oil on canvas, 260cm x 325cm, © Musée du Louvre
Finally, Nick Hammond highlights the lively political life of songs shared in the Parisian streets: absolutism did not mean that politics and its polemics were confined to the court or to the salon, if even they were allowed there.
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