RECENT BOOKS, ARTICLES AND EVENTS

Microhistory in Moscow in 2016: Microhistory days at the Higher School of Economics – National Research University in April 2016 and a roundtable ‘Microhistory towards global history’ in the Institute of Universal History of the Russian Academy of Sciences in September 2016

Global microhistory at Carl von Ossietzky University (Oldeburg, Germany)The Prize Papers Project

Microhistories book series launched

Carlo Ginzburg on microhistory (2015)

Invitation to join ‘MICRO – Towards a joint international MA in Microhistory’

Teaching microhistory (Thomas Cohen)

The larger uses of microhistory (Thomas Cohen)

 

EVENTS

Working out the curriculum of a joint MA programme ’Microhistory’
Financed by the Tempus Public Foundation (EGT/156/M4-0003)

International Workshop Paupers in the Midst of Others. Orphans and Abandoned Children in Europe (18th–20th centuries). 3–4 October 2013. “Nicolae Iorga” Institute of History Bucharest

“The possibilities of microhistory in university education” – roundtable discussion in Paris (Maison Suger, 16–18, rue Suger, Paris, 75006) on 3 June 2011, organized by the Institute of Advanced Study – Paris

‘Developing an English-language MA-course on »Microhistory«’ Project Financed by the Tempus Public Foundation (07/002/NA/N-124 ).

Call for Papers and Sessions: Cultural Histories: Close Readings, Critical Syntheses, ISCH Annual Conference, 2010

Seventh Symposium, 8–9 May 2009: ‘Microhistory – Local History – Parish History’

 

NEWS

A student of UMKC (the University of Missouri, Kansas City), Dustin Stalnaker, has won the 2013 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award from the UMKC School of Graduate Studies for his MA thesis written in the microhistory track of the History MA program. The title of his thesis is “The post-conflict odyssey of German communist veterans of the Spanish Civil War, 1939–1989.” Congratulations!

 

ARTICLES

Sigrun Alba Sigurðardóttir: Apertures of another understanding. Photographs of children at work. Monument and Memory. Edited by Jonna Bornemark, Mattias Martinson og Jayne Svenungsson. Zürich og Münster: LIT Verlag, 2015, p. 127-143.

Szijártó, István: Puzzle, fractale, mosaïque. Pensées sur la micro-histoire. L’Atelier du Centre de recherches historiques. Revue électronique du CRH 2012, No.9.

Cohen, Thomas V.
“Ruminations on Reflections on a Distant Crime,” Cultural History, vol. 1, no. 2 (2012), 151–67.

Trivellato, Francesca: Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?

Wim Hupperetz:Micro history, archaeology and the study of housing culture. Some thoughts on archaeological and historical data from a cesspit in 17th-century Breda.

Chin, Chuenfei Margins and Monsters: How Some Micro Cases Lead To Macro Claims. History and Theory 50 (October 2011), 341–357.

Kjelland, Arnfinn: Norsk lokalhistorie og «nyare» mikrohistorie. Heimen: 2009 no 3, pp. 237–254.

 

BOOKS

András Vári – Judit Pál – Stefan Brakensiek:
Herrschaft an der Grenze. Mikrogeschichte der Macht im östlichen Ungarn im 18. Jahrhundert. Böhlau Verlag: Köln–Weimar–Wien, 2014. (Adelswelten 2.)

Anne Pettersen Rodda:
Trespassing in Time. Family History as Microhistory. Published by the author. Charleston, 2014.

István M. Szijártó:
A történész mikroszkópja. A mikrotörténelem elmélete és gyakorlata [The Historian’s Microsope. The Theory and Practice of Microhistory] L’Harmattan: Budapest, 2014. (In Hungarian.)

Hans Medick—Benjamin Marschke:
Experiencing the Thirty Years War. A Brief History with Documents. Boston—New York, 2013. (Bedford Cultural Editions)

Magnússon, Sigurður Gylfi – Szijártó, M. István:
What is microhistory? Theory and practice. Routledge: London—New York, 2013.

Luksus. Forbrug og kolonier i Danmark i det 18. århundrede (Luxury, Colonies and Consumption in Early Modern Denmark) PEDERSEN, Mikkel Venborg

Museum Tusculanum Press | 2013| 382 pages

This book is a very ‘micro-historical’ searching for the great processes of consumption through five detailed examples of dwellings and houses in early modern Denmark, all on display in the National Museum and/or its Open Air Museum. The extensive image material forming an independent part of the narrative. The illustrations opens with an image of the world and ends with a punch gilde. Luxury is a unique cultural history and at the same time, a study of how essential features in our contemporary, internationalized world really originated.

What is microhistory? Theory and practice Magnússon, Sigurður Gylfi – Szijártó, M. István

Routledge | 2013 | 184 pages

This unique and detailed analysis provides the first accessible and comprehensive introduction to the origins, development, methodology of microhistory – one of the most significant innovations in historical scholarship to have emerged in the last few decades.
The introduction guides the reader through the best-known example of microstoria, The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg, and explains the benefits of studying an event, place or person in microscopic detail. In Part I, István M. Szijártó examines the historiography of microhistory in the Italian, French, Germanic and the Anglo-Saxon traditions, shedding light on the roots of microhistory and asking where it is headed. In Part II, Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon uses a carefully selected case study to show the important difference between the disciplines of macro- and microhistory and to offer practical instructions for those historians wishing to undertake micro-level analysis. These parts are tied together by a Postscript in which the status of microhistory within contemporary historiography is examined and its possibilities for the future evaluated.
What is Microhistory? surveys the significant characteristics shared by large groups of microhistorians, and how these have now established an acknowledged place within any general discussion of the theory and methodology of history as an academic discipline.

Étrangers: Étude d’une condition d’incertitude dans
une société d’Ancien Régime
Simona Cerutti

Bayard | 2012 | 301 pages

In this book, Simona Cerutti challenges common assumptions about “the Other” and “Othering”. She sees as overly influencing European historiography during the last several decades. She begins with a sharp critique of their conceptual foundations and suggests thoughtful and persuasive nuances. To ground such analysis, Cerutti turns to eighteenth-century Savoy, a thoroughfare between northern and southern Europe. The result is a book that should be required reading for anyone studying the concepts of frontiers, borderlands, and outsiders in both early modern and modern Europe. >>

Tapasztalatok, cselekvő egyének, felelősség.
Oroszország mikrotörténelmének tanulságai
[Experience, agency, responsability. The lessons of Russia’s microhistory]
Szijártó, M. István

Keszthely: Balaton Akadémia Kiadó | 2011 | pp. 97. | In Hungarian.

This book seeks to answer the question why microhistory is good history by analyzing a few recent works on Russia’s history. While examining the relationship between various dictatorships and the individual at different times, the problems of defining microhistory take shape. First, the Russian microhistorical yearbook, Kazus is treated, then a detailed discussion of Orlando Figes’s book on everyday life is Stalin’s Russia is given, finally its evaluation is presented with the help of Adam Zamoyski’s book about Napoleon’s fatal march against Moscow in 1812.
It is worth talking about these works in considerable detail. First, because they are most interesting in themselves, then, because it is exactly by the thorough analysis of detail that their microhistorical traits are underscored. A specificity of Russian history places historical agency (a key element already in original Italian microhistory) into a special light. This book does not only discuss which of these works can be called microhistory, and why, but also seeks to argue why could microhistory be regarded a better history than traditional or macro-oriented history.

Wasteland with Words. A social history of Iceland Magnússon, Sigurður Gylfi
Reaktion Books
288 pages | 2010

Iceland is an enigmatic island country marked by contradiction: it’s a part of Europe, yet separated from it by the Atlantic Ocean; it’s seemingly inhospitable, yet home to more than 300,000.Wasteland with Words explores these paradoxes to uncover the mystery of Iceland. In Wasteland with Words Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon presents a wide-ranging and detailed analysis of the island’s history that examines the evolution and transformation of Icelandic culture while investigating the literary and historical factors that created the rich cultural heritage enjoyed by Icelanders today. Magnússon explains how a nineteenth-century economy based on the industries of fishing and agriculture—one of the poorest in Europe—grew to become a disproportionately large economic power in the late twentieth century, while retaining its strong sense of cultural identity. Bringing the story up to the present, he assesses the recent economic and political collapse of the country and how Iceland has coped. Throughout Magnússon seeks to chart the vast changes in this country’s history through the impact and effect on the Icelandic people themselves. Up-to-date and fascinating, Wasteland with Words is a comprehensive study of the island’s cultural and historical development, from tiny fishing settlements to a global economic power.

Passion, Betrayal and Revolution in Colonial Saigon. The Memoirs of Bao Luong Hue-Tam Ho Tai
Berkeley, CA, University of California Press
2010 | 216 pages | £34.95
ISBN: 978-052-026-225-6

This is the incredible story of Bao Luong, Vietnam’s first female political prisoner. In 1927, when she was just 18, Bao Luong left her village home to join Ho Chi Minh’s Revolutionary Youth League and fight both for national independence and for women’s equality. A year later, she became embroiled in the Barbier Street murder, a crime in which unruly passion was mixed with revolutionary ardor. Weaving together Bao Luong’s own memoir with excerpts from newspaper articles, family gossip, and official documents, this book by Bao Luong’s niece takes us from rural life in the Mekong Delta to the bustle of colonial Saigon. It provides a rare snapshot of Vietnam in the first decades of the twentieth century and a compelling account of one woman’s struggle to make a place for herself in a world fraught with intense political intrigue.

Mikrotörténelem másodfokon
[Microhistory raised to the second power]
Gábor Papp – István Szijártó (eds.)
2010 | 306 pages | 3100 HUF
ISBN 978-963-236-331-8

We would like to call your attention to the following volume: Mikrotörténelem másodfokon [Microhistory raised to the second power], edited by Gábor Papp and István M. Szijártó, published by L’Harmattan in Budapest in 2010 (305 pages). The essays of this volume offer a glance into the historian’s workshop. Its central concept is reflection: first, the essays are not microhistorical themselves, but they reflect on both classic and recent Hungarian works of microhistory, then, the essays compare two-three of these, so that the advantages and the disadvantages of these books would come to the light in this comparative approach, and finally the essays are accompanied by comments written by further members of the authors’ group, thus demonstrating that history is a discourse. The volume therefore offers an overview of microhistory on the one hand, its most important and latest works included, on the other it is a multiple reflection to microhistory: microhistory raised to the second power.
The essays of the volume include: István M. Szijártó: Introduction (7–18); István M. Szijártó: Friars, nuns, microhistory (19–41), commented by Zoltán Boldizsár Simon: Historiographic reflection is sometimes a suicide (42-48.); Dániel Bolgár: Incidental history and microhistory (49–81), commented by Zoltán Boldizsár Simon: Is historian a judge? (82–91.); Gábor Papp: How to finish with our enemies in the village? Microhistory, comparation, analogy (92–115), commented by Levente Pakot: Historical contexts of disruptions in the community (116–119); Zoltán Boldizsár Simon: What is not microhistory? (120–147), commented by Katalin Fenyves: What is microhistory good for – and what is it unsuitable for? (148–154); Bálint Tolmár: The Historian and the Other (155–185), commented by Zoltán Boldizsár Simon: The Other in the same world (186–199); Réka Szokol: Unwarranted speculations and night thoughts: What is history afraid of? (200–226), commented by Bálint Tolmár: The limits of fiction – the possibilities of history (227–241); Ágnes Nagy: Social mobility in a network of relations – a return to the configurational view of society (242–258); Levente Pakot: Life course analyses and the changing of scale in historical demography and in the history of the family (259–278), commented by Péter Őri: Event history in historical demography (279–284).

See a more detailed resumé in French.

Mikrogeschichte
Menschen und Konflikte in der Frühen Neuzeit
Otto Ulbricht

2009 | 410 Seiten | 10 Abb. | Kartoniert
EUR 39,90| EUA 41,10| SFR 64,90
ISBN 978-3-593-38909-7

Ein Vogt, der seinem Herrn die Stirn bietet, eine junge Frau, die sich weigert, eine schon geschlossene Ehe zu vollziehen, ein zündelnder »Kurpfuscher « – das sind nur drei der Geschichten aus der Zeit zwischen 1600 und 1800, mit denen Otto Ulbricht in die unterschiedlichen Welten unbekannter Menschen einführt.
Sie stehen als Beispiele für wichtige Themen der Frühneuzeitforschung wie Sozialdisziplinierung oder Medikalisierung. Gleichzeitig führt der Autor in die Entwicklung der Mikrohistorie als geschichtswissenschaftlicher Betrachtungsweise ein, referiert deren neuesten Stand und macht deutlich, welche Felder historischer Forschung die Mikrogeschichte in Zukunft erschließen kann.
Aus dem Inhalt:
– Mikrogeschichte als Menschengeschichte
– Der gerettete Aufstieg: der Gutsvogt Clauß Paulsen, 1619/20
– Die Liebe des Ehrenfriedt Andreß Kien, 1716-1717
– Die Welt eines Bettlers um 1775: Johann Gottfried Kestner

Otto Ulbricht ist außerplanmäßiger Professor für Geschichte an der Universität Kiel. Seine wichtigsten Forschungsgebiete sind Kriminalität, Pest und Armut in der Frühen Neuzeit.

The Odd Man Karakozov: Imperial Russia, Modernity and the Birth of Terrorism
Claudia Verhoeven

Cornell University Press | 248 pages | May 2009
ISBN 978-0-8014-4652-8 Paper $39.95

On April 4, 1866, just as Alexander II stepped out of Saint Petersburg’s Summer Garden and onto the boulevard, a young man named Dmitry Karakozov pulled out a pistol and shot at the tsar. He missed, but his “unheard-of act” changed the course of Russian history-and gave birth to the revolutionary political violence known as terrorism.

Based on clues pulled out of the pockets of Karakozov’s peasant disguise, investigators concluded that there had been a conspiracy so extensive as to have sprawled across the entirety of the Russian empire and the European continent. Karakozov was said to have been a member of “The Organization” a socialist network at the center of which sat a secret cell of suicide-assassins: “Hell.” It is still unclear how much of this “conspiracy” theory was actually true, but of the thirty-six defendants who stood accused during what was Russia’s first modern political trial, all but a few were exiled to Siberia, and Karakozov himself was publicly hanged on September 3, 1866.

Because Karakozov was decidedly strange, sick, and suicidal, his failed act of political violence has long been relegated to a footnote of Russian history.. In The Odd Man Karakozov, however, Claudia Verhoeven argues that it is precisely this neglected, exceptional case that sheds a new light on the origins of terrorism. The book not only demonstrates how the idea of terrorism first emerged from the reception of Karakozov’s attack, but also, importantly, what was really at stake in this novel form of political violence, namely, the birth of a new, modern political subject. Along the way, in characterizing Karakozov’s as an essentially modernist crime, Verhoeven traces how his act profoundly impacted Russian culture, including such touchstones as Repin’s art and Dostoevsky’s literature.

By looking at the history that produced Karakozov and, in turn, the history that Karakozov produced, Verhoeven shows terrorism as a phenomenon inextricably linked to the foundations of the modern world: capitalism, enlightened law and scientific reason, ideology, technology, new media, and above all, people’s participation in politics and in the making of history.

For more information about this book, please visit: http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=5296