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The latest issue of French History includes an article I wrote on the role of silence during the French Revolution, titled

Le silence du peuple: The Rhetoric of Silence during the French Revolution

French History, 31, Issue 4 (2017), p. 440–469.

https://doi.org/10.1093/fh/crx062

Abstract

In July 1789, a phrase was introduced into French political discourse that would quickly become a standing expression: le silence du peuple est la leçon des rois. Taking this political bon mot as a starting point, the article traces the uses of and responses to collective silences during the French Revolution. It is argued that silence cannot be reduced to just the lack of ‘voice’ indicating suppression or political impotence. Rather, it must be understood as a mode of political action with a rhetoric of its own. Sketching this rhetoric not only highlights the nature and functions of a mode of political communication too often disregarded. It also shows how the controversies surrounding these silences reflected some of the major political questions of the day, playing a key role in the renegotiations of the communicative spaces of politics set off by the Revolution.

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The review I wrote of

Ernst Müller and Falko Schmieder: Begriffsgeschichte und historische Semantik: ein kritisches Kompendium (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2016), 1,027 pp.

has been published in the latest issue of Contributions to the History of Concepts.

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The volume comes recommended, both as an introduction into Historical Semantics and as a way for scholars in the field to make themselves familiar with other areas of this wide ranging research landscape. In addition, Müller and Schmieder offer a number of valuable new insights into the history and theory of their subject.

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The journal Francia Recensio has published a thorough and critical review by the Augsburg early modernist Kirill Abrosimov of the volume Denis Diderot und die Macht, favourably mentioning my contribution

Stimmen der Natur: Diderot, Tahiti und der homme naturel.

The text is available for download here.

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