Colloquium: Loving Your Leader: Emotions and the Charismatic Bond in the Age of Revolution

  • Date: May 4, 2021
  • Time: 17:00
  • Speaker: David Bell, Princeton University
  • Location: online
  • Host: Center for the History of Emotions

​​​​​​​​The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, led by Prof. Ute Frevert, cordially invites all interested to attend its summer semester 2021 colloquium:

David A. Bell, Princeton University

Loving Your Leader: Emotions and the Charismatic Bond in the Age of Revolution

n October of 1816, Simón Bolívar wrote the following, revealing lines to the Haitian leader Alexandre Pétion, praising him for assuming the office of President for Life: “Other potentates are satisfied with being obeyed. They despise love, which is Your Excellency's glory. Your Excellency has been elevated… by the free acclamation of his fellow citizens, which is the sole legitimate source of all human power." David Bells paper, drawn from his recent book Men on Horseback, will show that for the famous charismatic leaders of the Age of the Revolution, their political legitimacy was perceived—and often presented by themselves—to depend not merely on the consent of the governed, but on their passionate, emotional acclamation. Consent alone was not seen as sufficient to hold together fragile new states riven by multiple political, class and (often) racial fault-lines. Only a powerful male leader, bound to his people by ties of love, was seen as capable of ensuring the state's unity.

David A. Bell is the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the Department of History at Princeton. Born in New York in 1961, he was educated at Harvard and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris before completing his doctorate at Princeton. Before coming back to Princeton in 2010 he taught at Yale and Johns Hopkins, where he also served as Dean of Faculty. A specialist in the history of eighteenth and early nineteenth-century France, he is the author of seven books, most recently Men on Horseback: The Power of Charisma in the Age of Revolution (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Wilson Center, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library. A former Contributing Editor of The New Republic, he is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and The Nation.

Joint the meeting here
​Meeting number: 163 330 5109
Password: MHnXVSeM623

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