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Newberry Library (Chicago, IL 60610-3305)
Jeremy David Popkin (Project Director: March 2004 to October 2008)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$119,417 (approved)
$119,417 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2004 – 3/31/2007

Revolution and the Making of Identities: France and Haiti, 1787-1804

A five-week summer seminar for college teachers comparing the changes in identity and behavior that accompanied the revolution of 1789 in France and the slave uprising in Haiti that followed in 1791.

This seminar explores the relationship between the revolutionary process and the transformation of individual and collective identities. To change their society, the people of France and Haiti had to change their notions of who they were; to make that change of identity matter, they had to change their behavior. As the revolutionary processes in France and Haiti were closely linked, comparing them offers original insights into how such crises depend on and cause changes in identity and social practices. We will use these concepts as ways into discussions of current scholarly approaches to the French and Haitian revolutions, and as a means of understanding revolutionary movements in general.