HIST 521 Rites of Power
This course will examine the relations between a ruler and his/her subjects as expressions of what we broadly term "culture". Through ceremonies, rituals and festivities, a leitmotif of political power relations is investigated. Moving from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Era to Modern Times, discussion focuses on (1) courtly ceremonies such as coronations, royal marriages and births, each accompanied by stately banquets; (2) the pageantry of politics and the politics of pageantry in the making of the architecture of cities such as London, Paris, Venice, Prague or Moscow; (3) the rites of rulership and personality cults in the Hannoverian monarchy, the French revolution, British India from the time of the Great Mutiny onward, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union; and lastly (4) civic spectacles and popular culture. In each section a special effort will be made to bring in comparative examples from the realm of Ottoman studies.