books & ideas / events / TORONTO - Political Feelings: Moving Society. A Talk with Historian Sophie Wahnich

The French historian Sophie Wahnich will be at the Alliance française to give a talk untitled "Political feelings: moving space".

Emotions animate human bodies, making us feel pleasure and displeasure. This lecture aims to illuminate how and under what circumstances these links become politically charged. The discussion will focus on the French Revolution in order to understand the consequences of the the human and social capacity to influence the world through sentimentality and sensibility.

About Sophie Wahnich
 

Sophie Wahnich, Director of Research at CNRS, is a specialist of history, anthropology and political studies related to the French Revolution. Her book, In Defence of the Terror, Liberty or Death in the French Revolution, was published by Verso Books in 2015 and foreworded by Slavoj Žižek.

In this succinct essay, Sophie Wahnich explains how, contrary to prevailing interpretations, the institution of Terror sought to put a brake on legitimate popular violence — in Danton’s words, to “be terrible so as to spare the people the need to be so”— and was subsequently subsumed in a logic of war. For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution is no longer judged in terms of historical necessity but rather by “timeless” standards of morality. The Terror was then “a process welded to a regime of popular sovereignty, the only alternatives being to defeat tyranny or die for liberty.”

Alliance française de Toronto 24 Spadina Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2S7, Canada

TORONTO - Political Feelings: Moving Society. A Talk with Historian Sophie Wahnich

When
October 25, 2017| 7 PM
Where
Alliance française de Toronto
24 Spadina Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2S7, Canada

The French historian Sophie Wahnich will be at the Alliance française to give a talk untitled "Political feelings: moving space".

Emotions animate human bodies, making us feel pleasure and displeasure. This lecture aims to illuminate how and under what circumstances these links become politically charged. The discussion will focus on the French Revolution in order to understand the consequences of the the human and social capacity to influence the world through sentimentality and sensibility.

About Sophie Wahnich
 

Sophie Wahnich, Director of Research at CNRS, is a specialist of history, anthropology and political studies related to the French Revolution. Her book, In Defence of the Terror, Liberty or Death in the French Revolution, was published by Verso Books in 2015 and foreworded by Slavoj Žižek.

In this succinct essay, Sophie Wahnich explains how, contrary to prevailing interpretations, the institution of Terror sought to put a brake on legitimate popular violence — in Danton’s words, to “be terrible so as to spare the people the need to be so”— and was subsequently subsumed in a logic of war. For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution is no longer judged in terms of historical necessity but rather by “timeless” standards of morality. The Terror was then “a process welded to a regime of popular sovereignty, the only alternatives being to defeat tyranny or die for liberty.”