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The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay Lecture and Book Launch

David Sheinin
Trent University
Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning

In the Rehearsal Hall, 2nd Floor of the Tett Centre.

A lecture with author David S. Parker and David Sheinin, from the History Department at Trent University, the invited guest commentator. Dr. Sheinin is author or editor of 18 books, including Consent of the Damned: Ordinary Argentinians in the Dirty War.

The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay:

When duelling became widespread in early twentieth-century Uruguay, legislators facing this dilemma chose the unique and radical path of legalization. The Pen, the Sword, and the Law explores how the only country in the world to decriminalize duelling managed the tension between these informal but widely accepted “gentlemanly laws” and its own criminal code. The duel, which remained legal until 1992, was meant to ensure civility in politics and decorum in the press, but it often failed to achieve either. Drawing on rich and detailed newspaper reports of duels and challenges, parliamentary debates, legal records, private papers, and interviews, David Parker examines the role of pistols and sabres in shaping the everyday workings of a raucous public sphere.

Hardcover copies of the book will be available for purchase ($40 cash or Interac e-transfer).

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.