You Say You Want a Revolution? | Macaulay Honors College

You Say You Want a Revolution?

Instructor: Jack Zevin
Mondays, 5 PM – 7 PM
Macaulay Honors College, Classroom 2
MHC 328

The idea of revolution, causes and effects, style and message will form the overarching theme of the course. How revolutions were seen at the time and later will be experienced through literature, music, and images, compared and contrasted by genre, setting, and source. This course will engage participants in defining, understanding and interpreting a set of novels, films, and documents about Revolution set in four particular times, places, and cultures. Each reading/each novel will provide a different setting, one that involves cultural contact and exchange, sometimes cooperative, and sometimes conflicting. A ‘mystery’ form will be used to investigate points of view and social problems through the characters and plot of the novels, and by comparing and contrasting documentary narratives with each other and against a series of definitions and philosophical arguments about the meaning of revolutions.


  1. The Gods will have Blood by A. France (1980, Penguin Edition)
  2. The Underdogs by M. Azuela (2006, Farrar, Straus)
  3. The Kingdom of this World by A. Carpentier (1949, Farrar Staus)
  4. April Morning by H. Fast (1983, Bantam Press)


Image credit: “Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889,” James Ensor, 1888.  Oil on canvas, 252.7 × 430.5 cm (99 1/2 × 169 1/2 in.), J. Paul Getty Museum,  87.PA.96

Course codes:

328 | Location: Macaulay Honors College, Classroom 2