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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 611: The Political Manipulation of Emotion

Tuesday 11 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Piroska Nagy, Université de Rouen
Paper 611-aBricks of Fear: Birth and Functioning of Rumours in 15th-Century Paris
(Language: English)
Veronika Ciegerné Novák, Department of Medieval & Early Modern History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Index terms: Anthropology, Daily Life, Mentalities
Paper 611-bL'économie des émotions chez Philippe de Commynes
(Language: Français)
Cristian Bratu, Department of French, New York University
Index terms: Economics - General, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Political Thought
Paper 611-cEmotion and Calculation among the French Nobility during the War of the Armagnacs and Burgundians, 1410-1435
(Language: English)
Timur R. Pollack-Lagushenko, Department of History, Wright State University, Ohio
Index terms: Anthropology, Mentalities, Politics and Diplomacy

Abstract paper -a: The analysis is based on two Parisian rumour cases, from 1415 and 1418, richly described in royal and urban chronicles and private diaries. These rumours are examined from the point of view of their inner structure as well as the characteristics of their functioning and social uses. The analysis of the structure of these stories reveals that they form a strictly ordered genre, built up of constant motives, stereotypes and perverted elements of the everyday life. These motives point to special fears of medieval urban people – the stories they told reveal the anxieties they were oppressed by.

Abstract paper -b: De nombreux critiques ont déjà étudié les rapports entre émotions et politique dans l'œuvre de Philippe de Commynes. Pour notre historien-mémorialiste, l'intempérance des souverains mène souvent à des guerres inutiles que la diplomatie pourrait facilement leur éviter.

Nous allons analyser dans notre travail une autre conséquence de l'intempérance royale, ignorée jusqu à présent par la critique, qui est la tyrannie fiscale. Selon Commynes, les impôts servent uniquement à satisfaire les caprices des Grands, et tout comme les guerres, ils sont imposés par la violence.

Abstract paper -c: This paper will consider the relationship between anger and political calculation among the French nobility during the reign of Charles VI. Anger and jealousy are the usual explanations for the two murders that dominated the reign: the assassination of the king's brother, the duke of Orléans, in 1407, and the murder of John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, in 1419. I argue that although princely anger, especially as it was framed and choreographed in the council hall and letters patent, was an important tool of governance, it did not correspond to the princes' felt emotions, and the princes themselves calibrated such displays to calculations of their interests and commitments.