This book assembles some of the most exciting scholars working in the field of history to explore the theme of ‘power’ in history – examining the complexities, controversies, and contradictions of power and its contested environments in relation to warfare, the state, race, religion, gender, class, linguistic and cultural hegemony, symbols and rituals, and visual arts and architecture. It ranges from the medieval period to contemporary times, principally in Ireland and wider Europe, but also extending to North America, Africa, and Oceania. The 15 contributions do not accept power as a historical given. Each author addresses the specific context, giving rise to different constructions of it and its legitimacy, whether based on violence, political writings and rationalism, religious belief, popular acclamation, or visual perception. The collection brings out the different meanings and nuances of power over time and in different geographical spaces. As the editors argue in their conclusion where they look at the meaning of power in the post-modern age, the findings of this book have a reach beyond the academic and should resonate with all those interested in the exercise of power in the modern world.
Table of Contents
Part One: Power in the Texts
- The Limits of Power in Medieval Europe ~ Janet L. Nelson
- From the Rituals of Politics to the ‘Ideal City’: Leonardo da Vinci’s Visual Expressions of Power ~ Marco Versiero
- Power after Machiavelli: Richard Bellings, Reason of State and Jansenism in Seventeenth-Century Ireland ~ Ian W. S. Campbell
- The Gookin-Lawrence Pamphlet Debate and Transplantation in Cromwellian Ireland ~ John Cunningham
Part Two: Institutionalizing Power
- The Paper Monument: University Histories and the Fashioning of Institutional Prestige in Early Modern Germany ~ Richard Kirwan
- Serving the King at Home and Abroad: The Tangier Garrison under Charles II, 1662-1684 ~ Alistair Malcolm
- ‘A British Empire Court’: A Brief Appraisal of the History of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ~ Thomas Mohr
Part Three: Gendered Power
- Lifting the Tapestry: The Designs of Yolande of Aragon (1381-1442) ~ Zita Rohr
- Perfecting the Degraded Body: Slavery, Irish Immigration and American Gynaecology ~ Deirdre Copper Owens
- Family and Power: Incest and Ireland, 1880-1950 ~ Sarah-Anne Buckley
Part Four: Power is Personal
- Ministériat, Ministers and Monarchy in Seventeeth-Century France ~ Joseph Bergin
- The Iconography of Power: Stalin and his Images ~ Judith Devlin
- The Moral Bases of Power in South African Political Leadership: The Accession of Jacob Zuma ~ Tom Lodge
Part Five: Power of Myths and Rituals
- The Alterity of Power and Vice Versa, with Reflections on Stranger-Kings and the Real-Politics of the Marvellous ~ Marshall Sahlins
About the Editors
Professor Anthony McElligott is Professor of History at the University of Limerick and an Editor of Cultural and Social History: Journal of the Social History Society.
Dr Liam Chambers is Lecturer in the Department of History at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
Dr Ciara Breathnach is Course Director of the History of Family at the University of Limerick.
Dr Catherine Lawless is Course Director of the MA in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Limerick.