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Suzanne Desan
University of Wisconsin System (Madison, WI 53715-1218)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013

The French Revolution as an International Creation

My project offers a new interpretation of the French Revolution as an international creation. Four crucial elements--the transnational circulation of Enlightenment ideas and practices, universalism as a foundational claim, geopolitical conflict over territory, and colonial upheaval--joined with domestic forces to influence and shape the French Revolution within an international dynamic. By weaving these strands into a narrative of the Revolution from its global origins to Napoleon's coup, I ask how the revolutionaries built new politics by incorporating foreign influences and simultaneously contributed to restructuring territory and empire. I reinterpret key issues for the humanities, such as the French Revolution's contribution to the invention of modern politics, the cosmopolitan creation of republican ideology, and the complex relationship between democracy and empire.