The Clemency Scenario: Trust and Scale in European Political Drama, 1787-1830

Contrust Speaker Series

Monday, 9 May 2022, 6.15 pm

Lecture by: Prof. Dorothy Noyes (Ohio State University)

Video:

 

This talk examines the modeling of political relations - negative and positive reciprocity, estrangement and accommodation-- in late absolutist and Restoration drama. The scenario of princely clemency, which takes shape with Corneille and is finally smashed up by Verdi, continually reworks the problematic transition of scale between the interpersonal politics of court society and the mediated governance of the modern imperial state.  Mozart and Mazzolà's La Clemenza di Tito (1791) depicts the bourgeois reform of aristocratic factionalism as enabled by increasingly costly investments of trust. Schiller's Don Carlos (1787) and Hugo's Hernani (1830) dramatize divergent pathologies of trust as the distance widens between ruler and ruled. In examining how these historical dramas stage contemporary political tensions, I will reflect on the affordances of what Bakhtin called the "sensuous thought" of the arts in the conduct of intellectual history.

Dorothy Noyes is College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of English, with a joint appointment in the Department of Comparative Studies. Noyes studies political performance and the traditional public sphere in Europe, with an emphasis on how shared symbolic forms and indirect communication facilitate coexistence in situations of endemic social conflict. She also writes on folklore theory and the international policy careers of culture concepts. Among her books are Fire in the Plaça: Catalan Festival Politics After Franco (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003); Humble Theory: Folklore’s Grasp on Social Life (Indiana University Press, 2016); and Sustaining Interdisciplinary Collaboration: A Guide for the Academy, co-authored with Regina F. Bendix and Kilian Bizer (University of Illinois Press, 2017). Her current book projects are Exemplary Failures: Gesture and Emulation in Liberal Politics and, co-edited with Tobias Wille, The Global Politics of Exemplarity. Noyes served as President of the American Folklore Society in 2018 and 2019, and received the Society’s Kenneth Goldstein Award for Lifetime Academic Leadership. She has lectured or taught in more than 20 countries, and in 2019 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Tartu. In 2021 she received the Ohio State University’s Distinguished Scholar Award. In summer 2022 she will begin an appointment as Director of Ohio State’s Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

Prof. Dorothy Noyes is currently a Fellow of the Research Initiative "ConTrust: Trust in Conflict - Political Life under Conditions of Uncertainty". Further infomnation: Here...

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ConTrust Speaker Series
A standard assumption of research is that trust and conflict stand in opposition and exclude one another. ConTrust questions that assumption and inquires into the dynamics of trust and conflict in various contexts of social life. Can trust arise in, manifest itself and be stabilized in conflicts rather than apart from them? What are the conditions for that?

Veranstalter:
„ConTrust. Vertrauen im Konflikt. Politisches Zusammenleben unter Bedingungen der Ungewissheit“ - ein Clusterprojekt des Landes Hessen am Forschungsverbund "Normative Ordnungen" der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main


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