Lecture | Mr. Boswell Goes to Corsica
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David A. Bell | Mr. Boswell Goes to Corsica: Charismatic
Authority in the Age of Democratic Revolutions
22nd Lewis Walpole Library Lecture
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 6 October 2016
David Bell’s lecture examines how new ways of imagining political leadership emerged during the Enlightenment, across the Atlantic world, using as a case study the way the Corsican independence leader Pasquale Paoli become an unexpected hero in Britain and its American colonies. He then speculates on how these ways of imagining political leadership helped shape the character of the great Atlantic revolutions of the century’s end. The lecture (held in the Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall and starting at 5:30pm on Thursday, October 6) is free and open to the public.
David A. Bell, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the Department of History at Princeton University, is a historian of early modern France with a particular interest in the political culture of the Old Regime and the French Revolution. He earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1991. Prior to joining Princeton’s faculty in 2010, he taught at Yale University (1990–96) and at Johns Hopkins University, where he held the Andrew W. Mellon chair in the Humanities and served as dean of faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of five books including, most recently, Shadows of Revolution: Reflections on France, Past and Present (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is currently working on a comparative and transnational history provisionally entitled “Men on Horseback: Charismatic Authority in the Age of Democratic Revolutions.” He is also a frequent contributor to general-interest publications on a variety of subjects ranging from modern warfare to the impact of digital technology on learning and scholarship.