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Withdrawn Module: Revolutions and Enlightenments in France, 1715-1814 (HI262)

boullee4-thumb.jpgPlease note that this module was available
until 2007, but has since been
withdrawn and is no longer available.


Tutor: Professor Colin Jones

This undergraduate second-year option module takes an interdisciplinary approach and has a pan-European perspective on events thus supporting the department’s objective to offer a broad option program. In addition it should reinforce students understanding of key questions encountered in the first-year core module ‘The Making of the Modern World’.

This module will trace the social, intellectual and political impacts of various forms of enlightenments and revolutions in France in the period 1715-1814. Its intention is to stretch students understanding of the plurality of different types of enlightenments happening in this period, further moving away from traditional interpretations of ‘the Enlightenment’ as a rather monolithic event that culminated in the French Revolution of 1789. As such, it examines figures, events and movements previously seen as marginal, for example contending that there was a significant ‘Christian Enlightenment’ in the 1770s.

In construction the module is thematic. This approach strengthens its core aim of emphasising continuities during the period as well as ruptures. However, the course is also constructed within a broad chronology, especially when it deals with the complicated period between 1789 and 1814, so as to give students unfamiliar with the period a good understanding of relationships between its major events. This is particularly necessary as the ‘enlightenments’ and ‘revolutions’ discussed here are not intended to be seen as purely intellectual concepts but as historical realities that owed as much to economic development, society and chance as they did to new ideas. The module will make extensive use of primary texts, visual and literary. It will also serve as an ideal introduction to the analysis of historiography.