Masterclass: The history of revolutions

Friday, 16 August 2019, 02:00 pm

Location: Room W356 Callaghan Campus
RSVP: Wednesday, 14 August 2019
Painting of battle scene in the French Revolution - woman stands in crowd holding French flag

The Centre for the Study of Violence invites you to a masterclass with Professor David A. Bell of Princeton University. The masterclass, The History of Revolutions, is on Friday 16 August, 2pm - 4pm, Room W356 Callaghan Campus.

Please RSVP by Wednesday 14 August to Dr Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen.

ABSTRACT: Modern history is in large part a history of revolutions. Their dates – 1776, 1789, 1917 – mark the boundaries of eras and the foundation of states. How do we define and categorize them? How do we trace the connections between them? How have they shaped the world we live in today? Not surprisingly, scholars have never stopped debating these questions. This masterclass will examine different approaches to these questions, looking both at classic examples, and recent ones reflecting the influence of cultural and global history.

DAVID A. BELL is the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the Era of North Atlantic Revolutions at Princeton University. A specialist in the history of the French Revolutionary era, he is the author of numerous books, including Lawyers and Citizens: The Making of Political Elite in Old Regime France (1994), The Cult of the Nation in France: Inventing Nationalism, 1680-1800 (2001), The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare As We Know It (2007), and Shadows of Revolution: Reflections on France, Past and Present (2016). He writes frequently for general interest publications, including The New York Review of Books and The Nation.


  • Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, Introduction and Chapter One (“The Meaning of Revolution”).
  • Keith Michael Baker, “Revolutionizing Revolution,” in Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein, eds., Scripting Revolution.
  • David A. Bell, “Waves of Revolution in the Atlantic World,” in David Motadel, ed., Waves of Revolution.