Théâtre de Guerre: The 1793 Siege of Toulon in the Plays and Political Discourse of the French Revolution

Theater has been consistently used for political purposes, and it can be argued that power, and politics, is intrinsically spectacular in nature. The intersections between theater and politics were especially evident during the French Revolution: the newly-established representative democracy was characterized by its theatricality at the same time that new works of theater reflected political questions and were used to promote the Republic’s ideals. In this context, pièces de circonstance – plays based off of recent events – became widespread. The Revolution’s pièces de circonstance offer a unique source for examining how the spheres of politics and theater interacted at this time. To that effect, I will use as a case study the 1793 siege of Toulon, in which republican forces recaptured the city following a royalist uprising. The siege and ensuing victory were frequently referenced in political discourse, and also served as the subject matter for a profusion of contemporary plays and operas.

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There is No Vulgarity in Revolt Part 1: The Role of Conflict in the Formation of Vorticism

“The Mud Bath” -David Bomberg, 1914 Photo from the Tate Gallery

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Richmond’s No. 1 Fan: A Brief History of the Fan District

Hello dear reader,

Today I write to you, not from the City of Richmond, but from the equally urban City of Detroit. Well…more specifically, the suburban-ish outskirts of Detroit, fondly referred to as Redford Township. My apologies for not updating you sooner, but the last few days left little opportunity for blogging. The last two days were spent on the road, as we quite literally went over the hill and through the woods to grandmother’s house. Before we left, however, I managed to collect several great resources on the history of both the Fan and architecture, successfully acquire a library card, and learn from experience that 10 books is too many to fit in a bike basket – especially when biking against traffic on a one way street.

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Oil, Blood, and Spirits: Pipelines and the Disruption of Sacred Grounds – abstract

Our 8th grade history textbooks preach of the glorious reach of a nation “from sea to shining sea”. A manifest destiny for the United States, somehow ignoring the accompanying genocide of American Indians and the underlying purpose of expansion: slavery.  The pattern continues. American Indian and slave burial grounds have been disrupted by our nation’s “progress” for years – as close as in Richmond, where the construction of a baseball stadium took place directly on top of an old African-American burial ground. It is the same manifest destiny, the same progress that drives the destruction of our natural splendor – from Alaskan oil extraction to fracking to the pollution of waterways. Supporting this effort to exsanguinate every last vein of these United States is the construction of pipelines — a drip that only extracts and fails to replenish.

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