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The Politics of Love in Western Europe, 13th-16th Century: Exploring the History of Political Subjectivity and Gender, Emotions, and Sexuality

Patrice Boucheron
History of powers in Western Europe, 13th-16th century
France secondary school
Year 2023-2024
Politics of love

From the 12th to the 16th century, from one reform to another, but also from one renaissance to another, the languages ​​of love massively invest European literature. Do they not therefore constitute the common language of politics, defining social relationships in an affective manner, between lust and reverence, fervor and veneration? By trying to understand what it means to love in the Middle Ages, this year’s course will put the history of political subjectivity to the test of new historiographical approaches to gender, emotions and sexuality. And this through the exploration of new documentary corpora illuminating the articulation between the arts of governing and the arts of loving, the politicization of the feeling of love being considered as a matrix of literatures of the awakening of political commitment.

01 – Politics of love: Love after the plague


From the epidemic to lovesickness, both without cure, the same imagination of contamination and fascination circulates. This first introductory session is devoted to studying it in the doctrines and languages ​​of medieval love, to place the object of study between fantasies and fantasies, but also between fictions and political experiences. This interest in the metaphysics of love should not stray from a requirement for social history. We therefore endeavor to understand this theme of the loving gaze through texts (Guillaume de Machaut), episodes (the “love at first sight” of Charles VI for Isabeau of Bavaria in 1385) and images (the descchi da parto), as ordo amoris and as force of burglary.


The plague, after the plague, love after the plague: a look back at Guillaume de Machaut and Machiavelli
During the plague, against the plague, before the plague: the burning of a loving heart, true prologue to the Decameron
What is obscene? The grotesque reversal of the Boccacian device
Sex, fear and fascinus: the Priapea of ​​Arthur Forgeais (Zrinka Stahuljak, Pornographic Archeology. Medicine, Middle Ages and History of France, 2018)
Ancient moralism, modern moralism: for a social and inclusive history of the politics of love
Dante and the ordo amoris: the metaphysics of love as a universal principle of movement
Why fall in love? Thomas Aquinas and the force of love: “being attracted towards what acts on us”
There is no cure for love: amor hereos and fascinatio from Constantine Africanus to Marsilio Ficino (Aurélien Robert, “Fascinatio”, in Mots medievales offered to Ruedi Imbach, 2011)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the time of cholera: the contamination of lovesickness
From physiology to the phenomenology of love: the most intense of conscious experiences
“The act of a gaze which surrenders to another gaze in a common unsubstitutability” (Jean-Luc Marion, Prolégomènes à la charité, 1983)
History of a look: Charles VI’s “love at first sight” for Isabeau of Bavaria in 1385 (Paris 1400. The arts under Charles VI, 2004)
History of the eye: the break-in of desire (Michael Camille, The Art of Love in the Middle Ages. Objects and Subjects of Desire, 2000)
History of an idol: the Livre du Voir Dit by Guillaume de Machaut, simulacrum (Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet ed., 1999) and confinement (Alain Corbellari, in The Middle Ages, 2022)
History of an object: Venus venerated on a birthing tray, vulnerable in her triumph (Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Florentine Weddings. Women and family life in Florence (14th-15th century), 2020)
The literatures of awakening: arts of governing and arts of loving
The “Awakening of Understanding” by Alain Chartier and The Morning Debate
“Having a chip in your ear”: what do you mean by

2024-02-01 00:25:58
#History #powers #Western #Europe #13th16th #century #Patrick #Boucheron #Apple #Podcasts

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