French Orientalism Assignment #1: Analysis of primary sources

Paper #1:  Analysis of primary sources (3-4pp.)

Assignment 1:  Using French revolutionary sources as a basis for your understanding of revolutionary principles, analyze al-Jabarti’s account of the French invasion of Egypt with attention to the dialogue between the French and the Egyptians, and make an argument about how the principles of the French Revolution “hit the ground” with Bonaparte’s arrival.

Goals of the Essay:

  • Formulate an interesting motive and, in response to it, a feasible and arguable thesis.
  • Structure the essay “organically,” avoiding chronological summary, on the one hand, and the “five-paragraph essay” structure, on the other.
  • Orient your reader.  You should address your essay to readers who have possibly heard of the Napoleonic foray into Egypt, but who do not know of it in depth.  The aim should be to keep from “losing” the reader even as you stick to purposeful explanation (and not just summary for its own sake).
  • Analyze the evidence.  Never assume that your readers will read a passage in the same way that you do or that they’ll draw the same conclusions.  Your analysis of the evidence should persuade your readers of the validity of your claims.
  • Document sources using the Chicago-style citation method.

Pre-Draft Assignments:

  • Pre-draft assignment (1):  Annotating texts
  • Pre-draft assignment (2): Shared Keywords, Ideas and Concepts (one paragraph)

Primary Sources:

  • Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, Napoleon in Egypt
  • “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen”
  • “The Civil Constitution of the Clergy”

Secondary-Source Reading:

  • Popkin, selections from A Short History of the French Revolution
  • Hampikian, “The Seen and Unseen in the Description de l’Egypte”
Posted in Critique a text to support an arguable thesis

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