Contracting Policy Work: Gender and Citizenship in Revolutionary France

Book Cover: La Politique
Katie Jarvis. Contracting Policy Work: Gender and Citizenship in Revolutionary France. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2023.

This book mobilizes politics, economics and gender studies to examine in all its diversity the notion of citizenship founded by the Dames des Halles during the French Revolution through everyday commerce. Essential retailers, traditional representatives of the Third Estate, leaders of the famous march on Versailles, these women of the Parisian markets are at the heart of revolutionary politics. This innovative book explores the political activism and economic practices of the Dames des Halles from 1789 to 1799. It shows how certain market actors shape nascent democracy and capitalism through the most ordinary transactions. Tracing their struggles around commercial space, paper money, price controls, taxes, and literary stereotypes, the book presents the enterprise of the Dames des Halles and their revolutionary companions to erect contribution through work as a cornerstone of civic legitimacy. In doing so, he challenges the narrative that the Revolution inaugurates an inherently masculine citizenship.

With the support of the Institute for Scholarshipin the Liberal Arts, University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA).

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