SAME AS V33.0300

REVOLUTION: History, Politics, Representation, Imaginary Revolution: historical watershed, sociopolitical upheaval, radical praxis, cultural paradigm shift, impassioned rallying cry. However it is intended, the language, theory, and material realities of “revolution” are integral to our historical, political, and cultural landscape. Beginning with the Haitian revolution of 1791 and moving forward to the present day, this course interrogates our contemporary understanding of “revolution.” With a particular focus on anti-imperialist and Marxist traditions of revolutionary practice and thought, the course is organized around illustrative case studies of political revolutions and revolutionary movements. Paying close attention to the historical, social, and political contexts of each revolutionary moment, we will engage with a wide range of texts, images, and films in order to explore how revolution has been understood, represented, and imagined for more than two hundred years. We will address such questions as: What is a revolution, and what are its qualities? How are revolutions represented in cultural production, and which media and genres are particularly associated with revolution in different sociohistorical contexts? What is the status of the “revolutionary thinker,” and how do theory and practice inform each other in revolutionary movements? National contexts addressed in the course will include Haiti, Russia, Mexico, Cuba, Egypt, and Algeria; we will also study a variety of international(ist) and transnational movements. The end of the course will turn to revolutionary movements and events of recent history and our contemporary moment, such as the Arab Spring and the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional. The syllabus may feature texts – including political theory, novels, essays, and graphic biography – by Mariano Azuela, Alejo Carpentier, Kate Evans, Frantz Fanon, Waguih Ghali, Antonio Gramsci, Che Guevara, C. L. R. James, Rosa Luxemburg, José Martí, Karl Marx, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Subcomandante Marcos; and films directed by Lizzie Borden, Sergei Eisenstein, Gillo Pontecorvo, and Humberto Solás. Contact the instructor at with any questions.

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Summer 2017

Elizabeth Catherine Benninger
MTW: 6:00 PM - 8:10 PM 45W4 B07

Fall 2017

Mikhail Iampolski
T: 4:55 PM - 7:35 PM 19UP 229