From the Royal to the Republican Body: Incorporating the Political in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France

Overview

In this innovative volume, leading scholars examine the role of the body as a primary site of political signification in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France. Some essays focus on the sacralization of the king's body through a gered textual and visual rhetoric. Others show how the monarchy mastered subjects' minds by disciplining the body through dance, music, drama, art, and social rituals. The last essays in the volume focus on the unmaking of the king's body and the substitution of a new, republican ...
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Overview

In this innovative volume, leading scholars examine the role of the body as a primary site of political signification in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France. Some essays focus on the sacralization of the king's body through a gered textual and visual rhetoric. Others show how the monarchy mastered subjects' minds by disciplining the body through dance, music, drama, art, and social rituals. The last essays in the volume focus on the unmaking of the king's body and the substitution of a new, republican body. Throughout, the authors explore how race and gender shaped the body politic under the Bourbons and during the Revolution. This compelling study expands our conception of state power and demonstrates that seemingly apolitical activities like the performing arts, dress and ritual, contribute to the state's hegemony. From the Royal to the Republican Body will be an essential resource for students and scholars of history, literature, music, dance and performance studies, gender studies, art history, and political theory.

Author Biography: Sara E. Melzer is Associate Professor of French at the University of California, Los Angeles, author of Discourses of the Fall: A Study of Pascal's Pensées (California, 1986), and coeditor (with Leslie W. Rabine) of Rebel Daughters: Women and the French Revolution (1992). Kathryn Norberg is an Associate Professor at UCLA and former Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. She has coedited (with Philip T. Hoffman) Fiscal Crises, Liberty, and Representative Government, 1450-1789 (1994) and is the author of Rich and Poor in Grenoble, 1600-1814 (California, 1985).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520208070
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara E. Melzer is Associate Professor of French at the University of California, Los Angeles, author of Discourses of the Fall: A Study of Pascal's Pensées (California, 1986), and coeditor (with Leslie W. Rabine) of Rebel Daughters: Women and the French Revolution (1992). Kathryn Norberg is an Associate Professor at UCLA and former Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. She has coedited (with Philip T. Hoffman) Fiscal Crises, Liberty, and Representative Government, 1450-1789 (1994) and is the author of Rich and Poor in Grenoble, 1600-1814 (California, 1985).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 The Body Politics of French Absolutism 11
2 Lim(b)inal Images: "Betwixt and Between" Louis XIV's Martial and Marital Bodies 32
3 The King Cross-Dressed: Power and Force in Royal Ballets 64
4 Unruly Passions and Courtly Dances: Technologies of the Body in Baroque Music 85
5 Body of Law: The Sun King and the Code Noir 113
6 Louis le Bien-Aime and the Rhetoric of the Royal Body 131
7 Dancing the Body Politic: Manner and Mimesis in Eighteenth-Century Ballet 162
8 The Theater of Punishment: Melodrama and Judicial Reform in Prerevolutionary France 182
9 Sex, Savagery, and Slavery in the Shaping of the French Body Politic 198
10 Freedom of Dress in Revolutionary France 224
Contributors 251
Index 255
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