A Revolution in Fiction is designed as a collaborative weblog to encourage exchanges among literature, history, art history, and the human sciences across the ages. A Revolution in Fiction has, since its origins in 2009, become a site for commentary on revolutions in fact. Revolutionary studies have abruptly become urgent, given the developments of 2014 in Ukraine, the Arab Spring in Egypt, Syria, and Libya, and the summer 2011 violence in the UK and Chile. By bringing a historical perspective on our world today, we may get the distance needed to steer clear of at least some of the violence that is, alas, also part of revolution.
The site is maintained by Julia Douthwaite, Professor of French, University of Notre Dame, and author of The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary France (University of Chicago Press, 2012). FYI: Her avatar is borrowed from Charpentier’s portrait of “Jeune femme,” 1795 at the Snite Museum of Art and symbolizes her scholarly passions (rather than her actual appearance, alas!)
En français: Nous invitons les chercheurs et les étudiants français et francophones à contribuer à cette exploration collective de la France révolutionnaire et ses échos ailleurs. Nous nous intéressons également à vos réflexions sur les moyens de révolutionner l’enseignement des lettres aujourd’hui.
Revolution Now: We hope to explore and publicize new findings about French revolutionary art, literature, and culture, and to inspire more research on the little-known, transitional period between the ancien régime and modernity (1780-1830). We also seek reflection on the relations between the French Revolution and its impact abroad in Saint Domingue / Haiti, the Ukraine, or elsewhere, in the 18th century or today. With the new wave of revolutions sweeping the Middle East in 2011 and the Ukraine in 2014, the time is ripe for a cool and clear-sighted ‘revolutionary studies’ to guide public debate.
A Revolution in Fiction is closely linked to Teach This!, an ongoing list of ideas and strategies for teachers of all levels to mobilize a revolution in teaching literature.