|Marcos Perez Canizares is a PhD student at Cornell University. His main research interests focuses on port cities and maritime communities in the 16th and 17th century Spanish empire with a thematic focus on early modern economy, transnational and transregional histories, early settlement in the Spanish Caribbean, early modern city planning, and trans-oceanic maritime cultures.|
The volume suggests a new way of doing global history. Instead of offering a sweeping and generalizing overview of the past, we propose a ‘micro-spatial’ approach, combining micro-history with the concept of space. A focus on primary sources and awareness of the historical discontinuities and unevennesses characterizes the global history that emerges here. We use labour as our lens in this volume. The resulting micro-spatial history of labour addresses the management and recruitment of labour, its voluntary and coerced spatial mobility, its political perception and representation and the workers’ own agency and social networks. The individual chapters are written by contributors whose expertise covers from the late medieval Eastern Mediterranean to present-day Sierra Leone, through early modern China and Italy, eighteenth-century Cuba and the Malvinas/Falklands, the journeys of a missionary between India and Brazil and those of Christian captives across the Ottoman empire and Spain. The result is a highly readable volume that addresses key theoretical and methodological questions in historiography.
|Linnea Bring Larsson is a PhD student at Stockholm University, Sweden. Her main interests concern the processes of knowledge circulation in the early modern period. Currently, Linnea studies the making of books of husbandry written in Sweden during the first half of the 18th century. Focusing on both rational and irrational elements, Linnea investigates how knowledge and its usefulness changed when the authors selected, translated, and interpreted information from various sources, especially British and German works.|
Ruptures in the Everyday. Views of Modern Germany from the Ground
Lead Authors: Andrew Stuart Bergerson and Leonard Schmieding
342 pages, 22 illus., 4 maps, blbliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-532-7 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (June 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78533-533-4 eBook Not Yet Published
“The studies collected in this fascinating ‘experiment in collaborative scholarship’ are richly empirical, brimming with compelling insights, and thought-provoking in their use of stories from everyday life to illuminate extremely important aspects of the German experience in the twentieth century and its decisive epochs. Overall, it constitutes a major contribution to the interdisciplinary scholarship of modern Germany and Europe.” · Dennis Sweeney, University of Alberta
During the twentieth century, Germans experienced a long series of major and often violent disruptions in their everyday lives. Such chronic instability and precipitous change made it difficult for them to make sense of their lives as coherent stories—and for scholars to reconstruct them in retrospect. Ruptures in the Everyday brings together an international team of twenty-six researchers from across German studies to craft such a narrative. This collectively authored work of integrative scholarship investigates Alltag through the lens of fragmentary anecdotes from everyday life in modern Germany. Across ten intellectually adventurous chapters, this book explores the self, society, families, objects, institutions, policies, violence, and authority in modern Germany neither from a top-down nor bottom-up perspective, but focused squarely on everyday dynamics at work “on the ground.”
Andrew Stuart Bergerson is Professor of History and Public Humanities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is the author of Ordinary Germans in Extraordinary Times: the Nazi Revolution in Hildesheim (2004); and The Happy Burden of History: From Sovereign Impunity to Historical Responsibility (2011) with K. Scott Baker, Clancy Martin, and Steve Ostovich. He is currently one of the project leaders for Trug und Schein: Ein Briefwechsel (www.trugundschein.org), an intermedial project in the public humanities.
Leonard Schmieding is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global and Trans-Regional History at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. He received his doctorate in history from the University of Leipzig in 2011 with a dissertation on hip-hop culture in the German Democratic Republic that has since been published as “Das ist unsere Party:” HipHop in der DDR (2014). He has curated a number of public history programs in Germany and the United States, and is currently researching immigrant food cultures among Germans in San Francisco.
Ruptures in the Everyday was jointly written by ATG26, a scholarly collective comprising the following authors:
Jonathan Bach, Andrew Stuart Bergerson (lead author), Susanne Beer, Mark E. Blum, Michaela Christ, Cristina Cuevas-Wolf, Mary Fulbrook, Eva Giloi, Thomas Gurr, Jason Johnson, Craig Koslofsky, Dani Kranz, Phil Leask, Wendy Lower, Elissa Mailänder, Josie McLellan, Alexandra Oeser, Steve Ostovich, Will Rall, Leonard Schmieding (lead author), Johannes Schwartz, Sara Ann Sewell, Paul Steege, Maximilian Strnad, Julia Timpe, Heléna Tóth
Subject: 20th Century History
LC: DD290.26 .R87 2017
BISAC: HIS014000 HISTORY/Europe/Germany; HIS037070 HISTORY/Modern/20th Century; HIS054000 HISTORY/Social History
BIC: HBLW 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000; HBTB Social & cultural history
List of Illustrations
List of Maps
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. Wende
Chapter 2. Self
Chapter 3. Interpersonal Relationships
Chapter 4. Families
Chapter 5. Objects
Chapter 6. Institutions
Chapter 7. Anti-Semitism
Chapter 8. Violent Worlds
Chapter 9. Taking Place
Chapter 10. Telling Stories
Microhistory and the Historical Imagination: New Frontiers
An issue of: Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Volume: 47 Issue: 1
Microhistory first developed in the 1970s and 1980s to meet a particular set of challenges in writing medieval and early modern history. This special issue of JMEMS will explore how microhistory has evolved as it has contested the usefulness of grand narratives for understanding historical problems where life was lived in fragmented, small-scale societies. Submissions are invited that seek to illustrate certain microhistorical practices that continue to evolve, especially in medieval and early modern contexts. Essays might focus on reducing the scale of analysis while “playing the ladder game” with different scales of analysis; on working not just with clues but also with silences and gaps in the evidence and with fragmentary understandings of events; on blending social and cultural history by viewing culture as social action or as lived and reflected experience; on deploying more sophisticated textual frames of analysis from law, science, medicine, and other historical contexts; and on examining innovations in narrative structure and storytelling. The aim of this special issue is to sharpen the microhistorian’s focus on small clues in the sources to face the dead ends and discontinuities that characterize microhistorical research.
Budapest, 11 June 2017
First, I would like to welcome the colleagues who joined the Microhistory Network in 2016. By now, the number of members is 104 from 26 countries in the world.
I would like to inform you that after the closing of an international project Working out the curriculum of a joint MA programme ’Microhistory’, financed by the Tempus Public Foundation of Hungary, with the participation of Eötvös University, Budapest, Volda University College, Norway, the University of Iceland and the Reykjavík Academy (2014–2016), some of the former participants are looking for partner institutions for the launching of an international MA programme in Microhistory. Those interested please contact Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or István Szijártó (email@example.com).
I suggest that you consult the renewed homepage of Microhistory Network with information on some recent events as well as publications and also videos about microhistory. Maybe you also want to inform your colleagues about your professional activities in connection with microhistory, as well as your publications, forthcoming events. You may also want to update your own personal pages.
With best wishes
Microhistory Network http://www.microhistory.eu
Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon – Davíd Ólaffsson: Minor knowledge and Microhistory. Manuscript Culture in the Nineteenth Century. Routledge, 2017.
This book studies everyday writing practices among ordinary people in a poor rural society in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Using the abundance of handwritten material produced, disseminated and consumed some centuries after the advent of print as its research material, the book’s focus is on its day-to-day usage and on “minor knowledge,” i.e., text matter originating and rooted primarily in the everyday life of the peasantry.
The focus is on the history of education and communication in a global perspective. Rather than engaging in comparing different countries or regions, the authors seek to view and study early modern and modern manuscript culture as a transnational (or transregional) practice, giving agency to its ordinary participants and attention to hitherto overlooked source material. Through a microhistorical lens, the authors examine the strength of this aspect of popular culture and try to show it in a wider perspective, as well as asking questions about the importance of this development for the continuity of the literary tradition. The book is an attempt to explain “the nature of the literary culture” in general – how new ideas were transported from one person to another, from community to community, and between regions; essentially, the role of minor knowledge in the development of modern men.
Mikrotörténelem másodfokon [Microhistory raised to the second power] Gábor Papp – István Szijártó (eds.). L’Harmattan: Budapest, 2010. 306 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.
Magnússon, Sigurður Gylfi: Wasteland with Words. A social history of Iceland. Reaktion Books, 2010. 288 pages
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.
István M. Szijártó: Tapasztalatok, cselekvő egyének, felelősség. Oroszország mikrotörténelmének tanulságai [Experience, agency, responsability. The lessons of Russia’s microhistory] 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.