Inaugural Lecture of 2014-2015 School Year: Carla Hesse on French Revolutionary Terror

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It was a pleasure to welcome Carla Hesse to our campus this evening for the DLS’s first lecture of the school year! Professor Hesse’s gave a fascinating talk titled French Revolutionary Terror as Discourse and Experience. She used the lens of the French Revolution to describe the instrumental use of terror more broadly, and to expose how little control even the initiator of the terror has over it. Hesse explained how various Enlightenment thinkers theorized about power and terror and how their ideas were used by revolutionaries. She ended by pointing out that there is a common misconception that the French Revolution was more violent than it truly was because of the way that the French revolutionaries used violence symbolically to multiply its effect and create an atmosphere of terror.

Thanks to all the students who attended the lecture!


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