Jul 25, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FREN 445 - How to Start a Revolution

The French Revolution is often viewed as the founding event of the modern French state, but also as an event of world-historical significance that profoundly shaped human social and political history. In this course, we will explore the causes and consequences of the Revolution and its ongoing relevance in 2016. Questions we will consider include: What is a Revolution? What were the main causes of the French Revolution - ideas; economics; politics? What did the Revolutionaries hope to achieve, and where did they fall short? What was the legacy of the Revolution, in Europe, Asia, and beyond, from Mao and Che, to Tiananmen and Tahrir Square? What is “living” and what is “dead” in the concept of Revolution today? We will also examine how the French Revolution shaped our culture and understanding of human rights; our competing conceptions of liberty, equality, solidarity, and secularism; and our sense of the legitimacy of political violence and terror. Readings will include texts by Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot, De Gouges, Marat, Robespierre, Burke, Marx, Lenin, Arendt, Fanon, and Žižek.  Taught in French. Prerequisite(s): FREN 306  . Alternate years. (4 Credits)