How to Stage a Revolution


Fall 2017







How to Stage a Revolution explores fundamental questions about the causes and nature of revolutions.

How do people overthrow their rulers? How do they establish new governments? Do radical upheavals require bloodshed, violence, or even terror? How have revolutionaries attempted to establish their ideals and realize their goals? Have revolutionary outcomes always matched initial expectations?

To answer these and other questions, we will study four major examples of profound political, social, cultural, and economic transformation from the mid-eighteenth century through the twentieth century: the Haitian Revolution, the American Civil War, and the Iranian Revolution.

By the end of the course, students will be able to offer reasons why some revolutions succeed and others fail. Materials for the course include the writings of revolutionaries, declarations and constitutions, music, films, art, memoirs, and newspapers.