Schedule of Readings and Classes

N.B.: Additional required readings (marked with an [E]) are available on e-reserves. A handful of other readings are on 2-hr reserve at the library. These are indicated on the syllabus.


Tues. Aug. 31st: Introduction.

Thurs. Sept. 2nd: Perspectives on the French Revolution.

I.) The Ancien Régime & The Enlightenment

Tues. Sept. 7th: Government & Society in Old Regime France.

Thurs. Sept. 9th: Scandals, the “Public Sphere,” and the “Desacralization” of the Monarchy.

Tues. Sept. 14th: Late Eighteenth-Century Critiques of the Monarchy.

Thurs. Sept. 16th: The “Pre-Revolution” (1787-88): Fiscal Crisis & Political Collapse.

II.) From Absolute to Constitutional Monarchy: The “Liberal Revolution” (1787-91)

Tues. Sept. 21st: What is the Third Estate? [Prof. Mary Ashburn Miller will lead class]

Thurs. Sept. 23rd: NO CLASS (A makeup class will be scheduled)

**** Fri. Sept 24th: Paper #1 due @ 5pm **** 

Tues. Sept. 28th: From Estates-General to National Assembly.

Thurs. Sept. 30th: Popular Unrest & the Summer of 1789.

Tues. Oct. 5th: The Challenge of Recreating France.

Thurs. Oct 7th: Religion, Conspiracy and (Counter) Revolution.

Tues. Oct. 12th: The King’s Flight and its Consequences.

Thurs. Oct. 14th: Film: La Nuit de Varennes.

Week of Oct 18th: Fall Break

**** Mon. Oct. 25th: Paper #2 due @ 12 noon ****

III.) Race, Rights, and the Beginnings of Revolution in the Caribbean

Tues. Oct. 26th: Race, Reason, and Colonial Society at the End of the Old Regime.

Thurs. Oct. 28th: Echoes of Revolution in Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue.

IV.) Why Did the Revolution Become so Revolutionary? (1792-94)

Tues. Nov. 2nd: The Monarchy on Trial.

Thurs. Nov. 4th: The Revolution in Crisis.

Tues. Nov. 9th: “Make Terror the Order of the Day!”

V.) Revolutionizing the Family

Thurs. Nov. 11th: Rethinking Family and Gender.

Tues. Nov. 16th: One Big (Un)Happy Revolutionary Family.

VI.) Revolution and Emancipation in the Caribbean

Thurs. Nov. 18th: Republic, Revolution, and Emancipation.

Tues. Nov. 23rd: The Struggle to Preserve Freedom in Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue.

Thurs. Nov. 25th: THANKSGIVING

VII.) Ending the Revolution

Tues. Nov. 30th: Lurching Back to the Middle: The Directory.

Thurs. Dec. 2nd: The Directory, the Army, and the Struggle to Impose Order.

Tues. Dec. 7th: The Failure of the Directory and the Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.

TBD: ConclusionLegacies of the Revolution in France and the Caribbean.