Recent kategória bejegyzései

Working out the curriculum of a joint MA programme ’Microhistory’
(2014-2016)
Financed by the Tempus Public Foundation (EGT/156/M4-0003)
Project summary
The project unites colleagues from Hungary, Norway and Iceland to work together towards the elaboration of a joint international History MA programme called ’Microhistory’. Based on the experiences of a former cooperation in the field, participants will elaborate relevant educational material and also teach such experimental courses. The novelty of the project can be proved by the fact that microhistory is not yet present in the university curricula but on the level of the courses. The project partners aim to make the decisive step towards the teaching of the approach and the methods of microhistory in the organised form of independent History MA programmes. On the long term, this fosters a better understanding among different peoples, since microhistory does not poise different nations against each other, but rather stresses the common experience of ordinary folk in times past. The project envisages a preliminary phase of gathering data, followed by one workshop, then an academic year in which experimentary courses are held in the partner institutions, followed by two more workshops. As a result full documentation of an MA programme ’Microhistory’ will be offered to universities all over the world, so that they can introduce this into their History curriculum. Every partner has a serious experience in the field. Among the donor partners, Reykjavík Academy is affiliated with the very first institution in the world that specializes in the study of microhistory (Center for Microhistorical Research, see its webpage microhistory.org); University of Iceland is innovative in the field of humanities, open to the most up-to-date currents of thought in social sciences. At Volda University College, important researches are done on local history understood as microhistory. As for the project promoter Hungarian partner, Microhistory has been present on the curriculum of Eötvös University since 1995, and also courses on microhistory in English have been offered.

 

Partners
Eötvös University (Budapest)
University of Iceland (Reykjavík)
Volda Unversity College (Norway)
Reykjavík Academy (Iceland)

 

Workgroup MICRO

Participants of the first event of the project Working out the curriculum of a joint MA programme ’Microhistory’, financed by Tempus Public Foundation (partners: Eötvös University, Budapest, the University of Iceland (Reykajvík), Volda Unversity College (Norway) and the Reykjavík Academy (Iceland)), the workshop that took place in Budapest between 25 and 27 September 2015, suggested the establishment of a network that can serve as a basis for a future cooperation aimed at establising an MA programme ’Microhistory’. We shall call this workgroup MICRO and other members of the Microhistory Network are also cordially invited to join in this work. Members. — September 2017: As the University of Iceland, that had been in the centre of the efforts to establish and accredit an English-language MA in Microhistory, decided recently that these attempts are not realistic, the activities of the Workgroup MICRO are suspended – in the hope that someone will soon raise this banner again.

Suggestions for an English-language MA in Microhistory
Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon’s suggestion (29 September 2015)
István Szijártó’s suggestion (24 October 2015)
Tom Cohen’s comments
Dagmar Freist’s comments
A statement on Andrey Isérov on behalf of NRU-HSU (Moscow)
Final suggestion made by the participants of the Volda workshop, April 2016

Pilot courses
Microhistory – Agency and Cultural Techniquest in the 19th-Century Hungarian Literature. MA course in Eötvös University, Budapest in the spring semester of the academic year 2015-2016 (taught by Gábor Vaderna)
Local-, family- and micro history (Arnfinn Kjelland)
Microhistory (István Szijártó)
Microhistory of Italy from the Renaissance to the 18th century (István Szijártó)
Medieval and early modern deviance: macro and micro approaches (Veronika Novák)
Of Unpublished Books: Post-medieval manuscript culture and its role in literary history (David Ólafsson)
Business history and microhistory (Károly Halmos)
The Lost Children of Paris and Other Tales from European History (Mónika Mátay)

Archive of older but relevant course curricula
An Individual Life – Rumors, Scandals, Trials and Memory – A Microhistorical Approach (Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon)
2013/14. Microhistory (István Szijártó)
2009/10. Microhistory (Mónika Mátay – István Szijártó)

Two actual courses held in Hungarian at Eötvös University, Budapest in the Autumn Semester of 1995 and the Spring Semester of 1996 by István Szijártó

  1. Natalie Zemon Davis: The Return of Martin Guerre. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts – London, England, 1983.
  1. David Warren Sabean: Power in the blood. Popular culture and village discourse in early modern Germany. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984.
  1. Georges Duby: The Legend of Bouvines. War, Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages. University of California Press, Berkeley – Los Angeles, 1990. (First edition: Le dimanche de Bouvines, Gallimard, Paris, 1973.)
  1. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: Jasmin’s Witch. Scolar Press, Aldershot, 1987. (First edition: La sorciere de Jasmin. Editions du Seuil, 1983.)
  1. Alan Macfarlane: The Family Life of Ralph Josselin. A Seventeenth-Century Clergymen. An Essay in Historical Anthropology. Norton, New York − London, 1977. (First edition: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1970.)
  1. Carlo Ginzburg: The Cheese and the Worms. The Cheese and the Worms. Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. Routledge: London, 1982. (First edition: Il formaggio e i vermi. Giulio Einaudi, Torino, 1976.)
  1. Paul Boyer − Stephen Nissenbaum: Salem Possessed. The Social Origins of Witchcraft. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts – London, England, 1974.
  1. Robert W. Scribner: Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Europe. In: R. Po-chia Hsia – R. W. Scribner (eds.): Problems in the Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Europe. Wiesbaden, 1997.
  1. Robert Darnton: Robert Darnton: The Great Cat Massacre And Other Episodes in French Cultural History. Vintage Books: New York, 1985.
  1. Robert Redfield: The little community. Viewpoints for the study of a human whole. Chicago, 1955.
  1. Barbara Tuchman: Distant Mirror. Macmillan, London, 1979.
  1. Erik H. Erikson: Young man Luther. Norton: New York, 1958.
  1. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: Carnival. A people’s uprising at Romans, 1579−1580. Scolar Press, London, 1980. (First edition: Le Carneval de Romans. Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1979.)
  1. E. P. Thompson: The Moral Economy of the English Crowd. Past & Present, 1971.
  1. Clifford Geertz: Deep play: Notes on the Balinese cockfight. & Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture. In: The interpretation of cultures, New York, 1975.
  1. Giovanni Levi: Inheriting Power. The Story of an Exocist. Chicago-London, 1988. (First edition: L’eredita immateriale: Carriera di un esorcista nel Piemonte del seicento. Giulio Einaudi, Torino, 1985.)
  1. J. C. Holt: Robin Hood. Thames and Hudson, London, 1989. (First edition: 1982.)
  1. Natalie Zemon Davis: Fiction in the archives. Pardon tales and their tellers in sixteenth-century France. Polity Press, Cambridge, 1987. (First edition: Stanford, California, 1987.)

And in Hungarian:

  1. Fügedi Erik: Az Elefánthyak. Magvető, Budapest, 1992.
  1. Péter Katalin: A csejtei várúrnő: Báthory Erzsébet. Helikon, Budapest, 1985.
  1. Benda Kálmán: Erdély végzetes asszonya. Helikon, Budapest, 1986.
  1. Rákosné Ács Klára: Vallanak a beták. Életutak pszichografológiai megközelítése. Magvető, Budapest, 1985.

An actual course held in English at Eötvös University, Budapest in the Spring semester in 2009 by Gabriella Erdélyi, András Lugosi, Mónika Mátay, Péter Őri, Roland Perényi, Marianne Sághy, Ferenc Sohajda, Szabolcs Somorjai and István Szijártó

  1. An introduction both to the course and to microhistory in general
  1. Harold Samuel Stone: Saint Augustine’s Bones Chapter 2: The Problem with Saint Augustine’s Bones, pp. 29−48.
  1. Arthur E. Imhof: Lost Worlds. 1. The Little World of Johannes Hooss (11−35. p.); 2. A Multitude of Little Worlds (36−67.); 3. Why Life Is So Hard Today (162−189.)
  1. David Warren Sabean: Property, Production, and Family in Neckarhausen, 1700−1870, Cambridge − New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990, 1−37. (Introduction)
  1. Giovanni Levi: Inheriting Power: The Story of an Exorcist, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane. Introduction pp. xiii-xviii, Places of Origin of the Exorcized (Map) p. 10, Chapter 2: Three Family Histories: The Kinship Fronts pp. 29−65, Chapter 4: The Authority of a Notable: Giulio Cesare Chiesa pp. 100-122., Chapter 5: A Nonmaterial Legacy: The Trial 1694 pp. 123−142, Chapter 6: The Definition of Power: Local Strategies pp. 143−161, Chapter 7: The Trappings of Power: Peace in the Fief pp. 162−174.
  1. George R. Stewart: Pickett’s Charge: Foreward; Between the Signal Shot pp. ix−127; Peter Englund: The Battle That Shook Europe: Introduction; Sunday Evening pp. 11−81.
  1. Bengtsson, Tommy – Campbell, Cameron − Lee, James Z.: Life under Pressure. Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700−1900. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. − London, 2004. Chapter 1: New Malthusian Perspectives. 1−24. (available on the homepage of MIT Press: (http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/search/) + recommended: Chapter 14: Agency and Demographies 431-440., Appendix: Sources and Measures 441−476.
  1. Natalie Zemon Davis: Trickster Travels. A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds. New York, 2006., 4 chapters freely chosen
  1. Arlette Farge – Jacques Revel: The Vanishing Children of Paris. Rumor and Politics before the French Revolution. Harvard UP: Cambridge, Mass., 1991.
  1. Corbin, Alain: The Village of Cannibals. Rage and Murder in France, 1870. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard, 1992.
  1. Amy Gilman Srebnick: The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers. Sex and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York. Oxford Univ. Press: Oxford, 1995.
  1. Written examination on the basis of the literature discussed during the term
  1. Evaluation of the course and of the individual performances

Suggested curriculum for an English-language MA-course ‘Microhistory’
(István Szijártó, Eötvös University, Budapest, June 2009)

  1. Introduction to the course
  1. A forerunner: George R. Stewart: Pickett’s Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Houghton Miflin Company: Boston, 1959.
  1. Definitions of microhistory: Carlo Ginzburg – Carlo Poni: The Name and the Game. Unequal Exchange and the Historiographical Marketplace. In: Edward Muir – Guido Ruggiero (eds.):  Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore – London, 1991; Carlo Ginzburg: Microhistory. Two or Three Things That I Know About It. Critical Inquiry 20 (1993); Giovanni Levi: On Microhistory. In Peter Burke (ed.): New Perspectives in Historical Writing. Polity Press: Cambridge, 1991.
  1. Microstoria I: Carlo Ginzburg: The Cheese and the Worms. Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. Routledge: London, 1982.
  1. Microstoria II: Giovanni Levi: Inheriting Power: The Story of an Exorcist. Chicago University Press: Chicago, 1988.
  1. Microstoria III: Pietro Redondi: Galileo: Heretic. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1987.
  1. Anthropological Approach I: Robert Darnton: The Great Cat Massacre And Other Episodes in French Cultural History. Vintage Books: New York, 1985.
  1. Anthropological Approach II: David Warren Sabean: Power in the Blood. Popular Culture and Village Discourse in Early Modern Germany. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1984.
  1. French Microhistory I: Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: Montaillou. The Promised Land of Error. Braziller: New York, 1978.
  1. Arlette Farge – Jacques Revel: The Vanishing Children of Paris. Rumor and Politics before the French Revolution. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass., 1991. French Microhistory II.
  1. Anglo-Saxon Microhistory I: Alan Macfarlane: The Family Life of Ralph Josselin. A Seventeenth-Century Clergyman. An Essay in Historical Anthropology. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1970.
  1. Anglo-Saxon Microhistory II: Paul Boyer – Stephen Nissenbaum: Salem Possessed. The Social Origins of Witchcraft. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass. – London, 1974.
  1. Anglo-Saxon Microhistory III: Natalie Zemon Davis: The Return of Martin Guerre. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass. – London, 1983.
  1. On the theory of microhistory: Carlo Ginzburg: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm. In: Carlo Ginzburg: Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method. Hopkins University Press: Baltimore – London, 1990; Palle Ove Christiansen: Construction and Consumption of the Past. From ’Montaillou’ to the ’Name of the Rose’. Ethnologia Europaea 1988.; Jacques Revel: Microanalysis and the Construction of the Social. In Jacques Revel – Lynn Hunt (eds.): Histories. French Constructions of the Past. New Press: New York, 1995.
  1. Evaluation of the course work.

Suggested reading for an English-language MA-course ‘Microhistory’
(by Arnfinn Kjelland, Volda University College, June 2009)

 

Ago, Renata 2004: From the Archives to the Library and back: Culture and Microhistory. Castrén, Anna-Maija m.fl. (ed.): Between Sociology and History. Essays on Microhistory, Collective Action, and Nation-building. Studia Historica 70, Helsinki: 41–49.

Amoto, Joseph A. 2002: Rethinking Home. A Case for Writing Local History. University of California Press

Appel, Hans Henrik 2000: A microhistorical perspektive. Egholm, Liv og Lene Wul (ed.): Microhistory – Towards a new Theory of History?. Papers fra seminaret d. 13. November 1999 på Syddansk Universitet Odense. Netværk for historieteori & historiografi. Arbejdspapirer nr. 3. April 2000.

Burke, Peter 2001: The Microhistory Debate. Burke, Peter (ed.): New Perspectives on Historical Writing. 2. utg. 2001: 115–117.

Burke, Peter 2005: History and Social Theory, 2. edition. Polity Press

Castrén, Anna-Maija m.fl. (red.) 2004: Between Sociology and History. Essays on Microhistory, Collective Action, and Nation-building. Studia Historica 70, Helsinki.

Cerutti, Simona 2004: Microhistory: Social Relations versus Cultural Models? Castrén, Anna-Maija m.fl. (eds.): Between Sociology and History. Essays on Microhistory, Collective Action, and Nation-building. Studia Historica 70, Helsinki: 17–40.

Christiansen, Palle Ove 1996: A Manorial World. Lords, Peasants and Cultural Distinctions on a Danish Estate 1750–1980. Universitetsforlaget.

Darnton, Robert 1984: The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. Basic Book, Inc., Publishers.

Darnton, Robert 1986: The symbolic element in history. Journal of Modern History 58 (1) (1986): 218–234.

Egholm, Liv 2000: The microhistorical landscape. Egholm, Liv og Lene Wul (ed.): Microhistory – Towards a new Theory of History?. Papers fra seminaret d. 13. November 1999 på Syddansk Universitet Odense. Netværk for historieteori & historiografi. Arbejdspapirer nr. 3. April 2000.

Gaunt, David: Building Macro-theories from the bottom up: the case of Ecosystems in historical reseach. Studier i historisk metode 14. Makrohistorie. Universitetsforlaget: 85–101.

Ginzburg, Carlo 1980: The cheese and the worms. The cosmos of a sixteenth-century miller. London : Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Ginzburg, Carlo and Carlo Poni 1991 (1979): The Name and the Game: Unequal Exchange and the Historiographic Marketplace. Muir, Edward and Guido Ruggiero (ed.): Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London: 1–10.

Iggers, Georg G. 1997 / 2005: Historiography in the Twentieth Century. From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge. Wesleyan University Press.

Langen, Ulrik 2000: Microhistory – a preface. Egholm, Liv og Lene Wul (ed.): Microhistory

– Towards a new Theory of History?. Papers fra seminaret d. 13. November 1999 på Syddansk Universitet Odense. Netværk for historieteori & historiografi. Arbejdspapirer nr. 3. April 2000.

Langholm, Sivert 1976: On the Scope of Micro-History. Scandinavian Journal of History vol.

1: 3–24.

Levi, Giovanni 1991: On Microhistory. Burke, Peter (ed.): New Perspectives on Historical Writing. 2. utg. 2001: 97–115 (119)

Lüdtke, Alf 1995: Introduction. What is the history of everyday life and who are its practioners? Ludtke, Alf (ed.): History of everyday life: Reconstruction Historical Experience and Ways of Life. Ewing, Princeton University Press: 3–40.

Macfarlane, Alan 1977: History, anthropology av the study of communities. Social History vol. 5: 631–652,

Magnusson, Sigurður Gylfi 2003: The Singularization of History. Social History and Microhistory within the Postmodern State of Knowledge. Journal of Social History 36: 701–735, her etter Burns, Robert M. 2006 (ed.): Historiography. Critical Concepts in Historical Studies. Volume IV Culture. Routledge, Lodon and New York: 222–260.

Magnusson, Sigurður Gylfi 2006a: Social History as «sites of memory»? The Institutionalization of History: Microhistory and the Grand Narrative. Journal of Socail History: 891–913

Magnusson, Sigurður Gylfi 2006b: Social History – Cultural History – Alltagsgeschichte – Microhistory: In-Between Methodologies and Conceptual Frameworks. Journal of Microhistory 09.06.2006

Martin, John 1991: Journeys to the world of the dead. The work of Carlo Ginsburg. Journal of Social History 25: 613–626, her etter Burns, Robert M. 2006 (ed.): Historiography. Critical Concepts in Historical Studies. Volume IV Culture. Routledge, Lodon and New York: 207–221.

Medick, Hans 1995: «Missionaries in the rowboat?». Ethnological ways of knowing as a challenge to social history. Ludtke, Alf (ed.): History of everyday life: Reconstruction Historical Experience and Ways of Life. Ewing, Princeton University Press: 41–71.

Medick, Hans 2001: Weaving and Surviving in Laichingen, 1650–1900. Micro-History as History and as Research Experience. In James C. Scott and Nina Bhatt: Agrarian Studies. Synthetic work at the cutting edge. Yale University press, New Haven and London: 283–296

Muir, Edward 1991: introduction: Observing Trifles. Muir, Edward and Guido Ruggiero (ed.): Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

Muir, Edward and Guido Ruggiero (ed.) 1991: Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

Niemi, Einar 1989: Norsk lokalhistorie på 1970- og 80-tallet – Paradigmeskifte eller kontinuitet?. Heimen nr 4: 195–204.

Peltonen, Matti 2004: After the Linguistic Turn? Hayden White’s Tropology and History Theory in the 1990s. Castrén, Anna-Maija m.fl. (red.) 2004: Between Sociology and History. Essays on Microhistory, Collective Action, and Nation-building. Studia Historica 70, Helsinki: 87–101.

Pomata, Gianna 2000: Telling the truth about micro-history: a memoir (and a few reflections). Egholm, Liv og Lene Wul (ed.): Microhistory – Towards a new Theory of History?. Papers fra seminaret d. 13. November 1999 på Syddansk Universitet Odense. Netværk for historieteori & historiografi. Arbejdspapirer nr. 3. April 2000.

Sabean, David Warren 1984: Power in the Blood: Popular Culture and Village Discourse in Early Modern Germany. Cambridge University Press.

Sabean, David Warren 1990: Property, production, and family in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870. Cambridge University Press.

Sabean, David Warren 1998: Kinship in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870. Cambridge University Press.

Sabean, David Warren, Simon Teuscher, Jon Mathieu 2007: Kinship in Europe. Approaches to Long-Time Development (1300–1900). Berghahn Books, New York, Oxford.

Sharpe, Jim 2001: History from Below. Burke, Peter (ed.): New Perspectives on Historical Writing. Secton edition. Polity Press, Cambridge, UK.

Stone, Lawrence: The Revival of Narrative: Reflections on a New Old History. Past and Present 85: 3–24.

Szijártó, István 2002: Four Arguments for Microhistory. Rethinking History 6:2: 209–215.

Wul, Lene 2000: Microhistory in practice – a reply to Hans Henrik Appel. Egholm, Liv og Lene Wul (ed.): Microhistory – Towards a new Theory of History?. Papers fra seminaret d. 13. November 1999 på Syddansk Universitet Odense. Netværk for historieteori & historiografi. Arbejdspapirer nr. 3. April 2000.

Hungarian historians from ELTE at Volda University College (2009)

As a part of the ‘Developing an English-language MA-course on »Microhistory«’ Project financed by the Tempus Foundation (Budapest) a series of lectures on the topic of microhistory are to be given by Hungarian historians at Volda University College on April 15th and 16th.

Wednesday April 15th in room BK220

10:00–11:00
Roland Perényi:
Reading the Signs: Microhistory and the history of crime

11:00–12:00
Ferenc Sohajda:
Microhistory and community studies

12:00 – 13:00
Lunch break

13:00 –14:00
Péter Öri:
Microhistory and historical demography

*

Thursday April 16th in room BK220

10:00 – 11:00
Marianne Sághy:
Local Heroes. Remembering the Roman Martyrs after Constantine

11:00 – 12:00
Gabriella Erdélyi:
Tricksters or the Ordinary Man? The Protagonists of Microhistory

12:00 – 13:00

Lunch break

13:00 – 14:00
Szabolcs Somorjai:

“Everyday Life” between the Front Lines: Microhistory on the Battlefield

 Further information: http://www.hivolda.no/index.php?&ID=20638

Theory and Practice of Microhistory

A Workshop at Collegium Budapest on 19 June 2009

supported by

the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme – Andrew W. Mellon Program (Paris),
the Tempus Foundation (Budapest) and Collegium Budapest

10.20
Gábor Klaniczay
(Collegium Budapest)
Welcoming address

PANEL 1:

FROM THE THEORY TO THE SOURCES OF MICROHISTORY

Chair: Gábor Klaniczay

Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon
(Center for Microhistory at the Reyjavík Academy)
An introduction into microhistory

Zoltán Boldizsár Simon
(Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
Method and perspective

David Ólafsson
(Center for Microhistory at the Reyjavík Academy)
Community based microhistories
and related scholarly approaches within humanities and social sciences

DISCUSSION

11.30–11.50 Coffee break

PANEL 2:

FROM DEMOGRAPHY TO MICROHISTORY

Chair: Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon

Arnfinn Kjelland
(Volda University College)

God-parentage in early modern Europe – a topic for a master thesis in microhistory?

Levente Pakot
(Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Institute of History)

The life course approach and its implications in historical demography and family history

Lucia Werneck Xavier
(Projeto Resgate, Brazil)

Possibilities of microhistory: challenging cultural dichotomies in Dutch Brazil

Text of a short presentation, the full paper will be available later on.

Harald Krøvel
(Volda University College)

Teachers in the ambulatory school in rural Norway during the 19th century.
A microhistorical approach

DISCUSSION

13.10–14.00 Lunch

PANEL 3:

MICROHISTORY AND GENDER

Chair: Arnfinn Kjelland

Bragi Thorgrimur Ólafsson
(Library of the University of Reykjavík)

Sex and gender in microhistory

Mette Vårdal
(Volda University College)

Kin vs. virtue. A mother’s effort to keep daughters
social status up in the mid-19th century

DISCUSSION

14.40–15.00 Coffee break

15.00–16.00
DISCUSSION ABOUT THE CURRICULUM OF
AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE MA-COURSE ’MICROHISTORY’

Moderator: István Szijártó

Suggested reading for an English-language MA-course ‘Microhistory’ (by Arnfinn Kjelland, Volda University College, June 2009)

Suggested curriculum for an English-language MA-course ‘Microhistory’ (by István Szijártó, Eötvös University, Budapest, June 2009)

An actual course held in English at Eötvös University, Budapest in the Spring semester in 2009 by Gabriella Erdélyi, András Lugosi, Mónika Mátay, Péter Őri, Roland Perényi, Marianne Sághy, Ferenc Sohajda, Szabolcs Somorjai and István Szijártó

Two actual courses held in Hungarian at Eötvös University, Budapest in the Autumn Semester of 1995 and the Spring Semester of 1996 by István Szijártó

‘Microhistory – Parish History – Local History’

‘Microhistory – Parish History – Local History’:

Seventh Warwick Symposium on Parish Research

Arden and Millburn House, University of Warwick, 8–9 May 2009

 

Report by Graham Chernoff, University of Edinburgh

E-mail: graham.chernoff@ed.ac.uk

 

This two-day event, consisting of an academic workshop and a public symposium, was organized by the Warwick Network for Parish Research in assocation with the Centre for Renaissance Studies. The generous support of the Mellon Newberry Project and the Humanities Research Centre allowed the participation of over forty scholars from the U.K, Continental Europe, and North America, and the award of two postgraduate bursaries to Graham Chernoff (Edinburgh) and Pavel Kůrka (Prague).

 

The Friday workshop featured three sessions on methodical and conceptual issues in current research. BEAT KÜMIN (Warwick) opened proceedings with the thesis that the parish offers a particularly useful unit of microhistorical investigation, since its universality might help to alleviate the problem of representativity. This concern — of analysing only specific histories rather than general themes — was voiced throughout the discussions. Yet any fear that microhistorical tools yield only myopic and parochial (if the pun can be forgiven…) insights was quickly swept away by the engaging and penetrating findings the nine historians presented throughout the day.

JOHN CRAIG (Simon Fraser) began with an overview of the dramatic changes parish churches experienced during the sixteenth century. One of the results was an increase in public scrutiny, but parishioners continued actively to shape the Church. His triptych of ‘texting, briefs, and thongs’ (for full titles see programme details below) refers to the remnants of these changes in churches: painted sentences on walls, letters authorising charitable collections, and pieces of metal used to mend bell collars — evidence often ignored by architectural historians. For a more specific understanding of the changes, he enlisted the help of William Glibery, a preacher who tended to laugh at his own sermons incorporating the baser sort of farmyard examples. This led to a charge from the godly that he used profane words; they labelled him a ‘very ridiculous preacher’. In this accusation (politicised when Archbishop Whitgift refused to suspend Glibery), the preacher became the perfect example of how sacredness accrued to the verbal in early modern England.

DAVID CRESSY (Ohio State) began with methodical considerations on how histories can be recoverable and connected with larger national narratives. Historians can access the mind and memory of historical actors from almost any entry point. Building on specific incidents through analytical investigation, they are able to produce microhistory that informs macrohistory. The speaker then put his own advice to use and described three small incidents (involving the vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, two Wiltshire boys, and the parish rector of Noyle) from the 1630s, which without further elaboration would seem to be insignificant, serendipitous, and local. Yet by thoroughly analysing them and their contexts, he showed how they can tell us about national ideas of property, relations, and authority. The paper triggered a lively discussion on the respective roles of historians’ judgement and microhistorical theory.

Following some introductory reflections on the role of microhistory in different historiographical traditions, JOHN WALTER (Essex) focused on a mêlée in Colchester in 1642 when a group of 5,000 invaded Sir John Lucas’s house and his wife’s chamber. Interpreting this action as a seventeenth-century version of class violence at the local level, he investigated the relationship between microhistorical approaches and macrohistorical processes. In the specific case of the Colchester riot, the historian faces the task of questioning underlying assumptions about the English Revolution and its causes. Further, this ‘moment of rapture’ showed how the local and the national were not distinct concepts in popular agency at the time. The speaker concluded with an appeal to reintegrate different heuristic categories so historians can in the future write a broader cultural history that will inevitably transcend the boundaries of the parish.

CRAIG HARLINE (Brigham Young) explored the nature of microhistory and the ways historians — intent on making their findings more accessible — could learn from the novel as a form of writing. A novelist can offer precise insights into his characters without the need to rely on documents, while historians find the lack of suitable documentation an insurmountable barrier to painting a similarly differentiated picture. Craig Harline’s suggestion of a way to reconcile these desires for insight and solid historical work was to make explicit how a history might reveal the similarities between the past and the present. He wished not to paint the past with an anachronistic presentist brush, but to allow history to resonate with personal experience now.

WILLIAM NAPHY (Aberdeen) illustrated the problem of ‘too many records’ with reference to infanticide and sodomy cases. Magistrates aimed to recover each intimate detail — there were few taboos in sixteenth-century Genevan proceedings. The records thus contain an abundance of information on daily life, e.g. about food and wine, but to what extent can they be taken further?  Do they provide too flimsy a foundation for serious historical enquiry? Despite their volume, infanticide cases contain one single reference to women’s motives, when a defendant explained: ‘It would have ruined my life’. Yet the incident of a man who approached a woman in church with the pickup line: ‘Shall we share my book?’ suggests men and women were not always separate in church and this young woman, very probably a domestic servant, might have been able to read. Anecdotal snippets thus provide the historian with a sense of society and sometimes with much more.

GUIDO RUGGIERO (Miami) started with an outline of guidelines and strategies for microhistorical enquiry. While always partial and unable to allow a complete reconstruction, smaller-scale investigations can reintroduce people as the subjects of history — in contrast to many of the dominant (post-)modern macrohistorical concepts. His strategies for microhistory take this into account. Priestesses in the Italian town of Latisana, for example, were representatives of spirituality for themselves and the town at large. When spiritual power appeared to be abused, the townsfolk turned on them. The case served to illustrate how microhistorians must subject an individual or group to exhaustive archival research, preventing interpretations based solely on isolated incidents. Yet, at the same time, the speaker warned of rigid definitions and rules, i.e. the creation of a ‘discipline’, as guidelines need to remain flexible.

JAMES AMELANG (Madrid) emphasized the contrast between the parish’s historical significance and its relative neglect in early modern Spanish historiography. Scholars of seventeenth-century Barcelona, for example, rank membership in a guild or neighbourhood much higher than parish affiliation. The paper then offered a survey of the state of research and sketched areas for further work. Parishes were diverse in size, distribution, and coverage. In the North, they were much denser than they were in the South. Despite their religious and charitable activities, parishes were not institutional recordkeepers as in other countries like England. Yet they also played a political role: in the East, parish vestries appear highly developed, in the west they overlapped with village councils. In this way political and spiritual commonweal resided often in the same people, if not technically in the same body.

JAMES COLLINS (Georgetown) challenged the Annales notion that early modern France was a stable, sedentary society by surveying evidence for geographical and social mobility. For example, 50 per cent of taxpayers who were resident in one town in 1623 had left somewhere else by 1630. Tax records, furthermore, demonstrate significant evolutions in literacy levels and administrative procedures. The motives and aims for mobility become obvious too: women moved more often when they became widowed and needed to look for work, while mobile men often headed to places with higher rent, indicating an improvement in their social status. Analysing further documentation like crop yields and house censuses can help historians reconstruct networks of power in the economic, social, and political structures of over 30,000 early modern French parishes.

MARTIAL STAUB (Sheffield) used the historiography of discipline as a way to gain new perspectives on the late medieval parish. In line with the work of John Bossy and Eamon Duffy, he emphasized the extent of lay and local initiatives rather than mere top-down control. Focusing in particular on the applicability of paradigms of modern society (and conceptualizations ranging from Tocqueville and Gramsci to Foucault), he examined notions such as voluntarism nurturing a ‘civil society in miniature’ and contrasted medieval pastorates with modern gouvernmentalité. With its emphasis on the Scriptures and social control, the Reformation opened a new phase in the history of discipline.

LYNDAL ROPER (Oxford) opened the general discussion with a comment on prominent themes and tensions of the day’s papers, highlighting issues such as differences in attitude to theory; the relationship between individual and collective forces; the place of the parish among other points of reference; the conflicting feelings of pleasure (of stories) and guilt (about methodical challenges) among microhistorians; and the need for a deeper understanding of constructions of the self in the past.

 

The Saturday symposium proceeded from methodical reflection to three specific case studies. CLIVE BURGESS (Royal Holloway) used the rich archives of All Saints’, Bristol, to investigate how the parishioners contributed to religious life in church and parish. As elsewhere, All Saints’ had to jostle for position with friaries, nunneries, hospitals, and almshouses as providers of worship and spiritual fulfilment. Parish provision became increasingly decorous to encourage participation and there is evidence for church expansion, chantry foundations, and a guild presence. All Saints’ supported a varied experience of churchgoing, financing (through a combination of individual and collective initiative) at least two organs, a peel of bells, numerous images, a set of three vestments, and flexible hangings used for liturgal purposes on various occasions. There are also references to the purchase and copying of musical literature. Overall, parochial infrastructure and activities could be considered as extensive and differentiated as in a late medieval collegiate church. The paper demonstrated the social depth of investment in this urban environment, where spiritual endeavour and a sophisticated administrative structure turned the parish into an all-important symbol of cultural, social, and spiritual health.

GRAEME MURDOCK (Dublin) considered a series of events in the parish of Choulex near Geneva that presents moral discipline as a fluid exercise with political, local, and situational variances. The area had turned Reformed in 1536 and remained so for several decades after its return under Savoyard rule in 1567. In this period, the characteristic ban on dancing resulted in an intriguing consistory case led by the local minister against the leading families of the parish. A raucous party in 1591 resulted in many witnesses to dancing covering up for other people, though willingly giving names the authorities already knew. Deeper issues involved in this ‘scandal’ emerge from developments four years later, when the pastor, Pierre Petit, came under close scrutiny from the Company of Pastors. The people involved in the dancing complained that Petit had sought protection from the Savoyard army, suggesting split allegiances confirmed by Petit’s conversion to Catholicism in 1598. The paper thus illustrated the continuing relevance of friendship, neighbourliness, and mutuality in this community. In the end, consistory discipline could not produce a clean and slick version of Reformed religion: the results were messy and, though they related to Christian morality, tell us more now about how people negotiated multiple allegiances in their religious and social lives.

ANGELO TORRE (East Piedmont) focused on the relationship between confraternaties and the parish in the Piedmontese town of Chieri during the late sixteenth century. Ecclesiastical jurisdiction was divided, and corporate lay bodies like the parish of St George and the brotherhood of Jesus evolved distinct ‘communities of rights’ and ‘cultures of possession’. Their co-existence also resulted in contests over public space and personal belonging. Because of a dispute over church furnishing, the confraternity moved to another oratory in 1577, presenting brothers with difficult decisions about the main centre of their religious life. In such situations, the parish emerges as a social organism as well as a geographically defined place or a building. The subsequent legal settlement provided for a confraternity with two focal points, allowing members to retain an active part in parish life while having a ‘niche’ of their own. The physical and spiritual boundaries of ecclesiastical bodies were thus constantly re-negotiated, if need be with recourse to the law. Possession, place, and self-identification were highly charged aspects of early modern culture.

GIORGIO CHITTOLINI (Milan) concluded the symposium with a comment and suggestions for general discussion. He problematized the notion of ‘the parish’, pointing to the wide range of forms, functions, and meanings in different parts of Europe and its relationship to other local communities. Yet he also found strong ties between parishioners and (sometimes voluntary, sometimes compulsory) activities in the fields of pastoral care, preaching, rituals, and administration. Key variables for comparative analysis include size and territorial composition. Elaborating on these issues in a broad geographical and chronological perspective, the discussion identified many challenges, but also emphasized the potential of further investigations in the field.

 

 

Workshop Programme

 

Session I:

John CRAIG (Simon Fraser University), ‘Texting, briefs and thongs: the changing history of the early modern English parish’

David CRESSY (Ohio State University), ‘To see a world in a grain of sand: Histories and microhistories of early modern England‘

John WALTER (University of Essex), ‘Putting the politics back in: Writing micro-history the English way’

 

Session II:

Craig HARLINE (Brigham Young University), ‘Microhistory and the Frustrated Novelist—Reflections’

William NAPHY (University of Aberdeen), ‘The Problem of too many Records’

Guido RUGGIERO (University of Miami), ‘From the Women Priests of Latisana to Bird Hunting in the Streets of Renaissance Florence: Adventures in Microhistory’

 

Session III

James AMELANG (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), ‘Problems with Parishes: A View from Spain’

James COLLINS (Georgetown University), ‘Cross pollination: The secret life of parishes’

Martial STAUB (University of Sheffield), ‘Reconsidering parish discipline’

Lyndal ROPER (Balliol College, Oxford), ‘Comment’

 

 

Symposium Programme:

 

Clive BURGESS (Royal Holloway), ‘What did they think they were doing? The parishioners of All Saints’, Bristol, in the century before the Reformation’

Graeme MURDOCK (Trinity College, Dublin), ‘Rural Reformed religion: Life in a Savoyard parish’

Angelo TORRE (Università del Piemonte Orientale), ‘Parish and confraternity in Chieri’

Giorgio CHITTOLINI (Università di Milano), ‘Comment’

 

For further information see the website of the Warwick Symposium on Parish Research:

http://go.warwick.ac.uk/parishsymposium

Call for Papers and Sessions

 

 

 

 

 

Call for Papers and Sessions

 Cultural Histories: Close Readings, Critical Syntheses

ISCH Annual Conference 2010

 University of Turku, Finland, 26–30 May 2010

 

Keynotes

Carlo Ginzburg, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (pending)

Sir Christopher Frayling, Royal College of Art, London

Jacques Revel, E´cole des hautes e´tudes en sciences socials (EHESS), Paris

Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London

Marja Tuominen, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi

 

Cultural historians’ enquiries often encounter a tension between the need to build up holistic interpretations and syntheses and the need for close reading, for dense microhistorical analyses. The Conference investigates the ways in which today’s cultural historians perceive “the grand narratives” and holistic interpretations. It explores the challenges that are involved in combining micro- and macro levels, and asks what kinds of new viewpoints the cultural historian’s investigations can open.

The Conference is thematically open. Original papers addressing theoretical and/or methodological questions or suggesting new interpretations arising from empirical analysis are welcomed. The papers may discuss for example the following topics:

– What kinds of metanarratives and models of narrative have been used or are used by cultural historians?

– In what ways do our new interpretations challenge established narratives? For example: Does the history of emotions undermine a history which is based on the idea of progress? How does the history of corporeality or bodiliness negotiate with Norbert Elias’s civilization theory? Does gender history challenge the narrative of the birth of the individual?

– What kinds of syntheses can cultural history construct by changing the vantage point? What will the world look like, for example, when seen through the eyes of a reading or a writing person of the past?

– What is the relationship of the narrated cultural history to the narrator’s own culture?

– How do the narratives of cultural history relate to the understanding of epochs? In what way does our research take into account the people’s understanding of their own time, their past and their future? Is our perception, for example, of a Victorian culture a Victorian creation?

– Does cultural history have a canon or several canons?

– Who has the right to make cultural historical interpretations? At whom is cultural history aimed?

– Is cultural history colonizing? How broad is the concept of culture? Do the micro and macro levels recognize a similar concept of culture?

– How can we identify the general in the particular?

– In what ways can we challenge “the grand narratives” or established interpretations with new or different kinds of sources?

– Does today’s cultural history relate to the history of civilizations, universal history or Weberian comparative history?

– In what ways do media culture and popular memory challenge cultural historical interpretations? How do new media, television, cinema, theatre, and literature build up cultural history?

– How does a cultural historian as a teacher make syntheses: what – and how – do we teach in the foundational or introductory courses on cultural history?

 

We welcome proposals for individual papers and complete sessions. Presentations should be 20 minutes in length. The deadline for abstracts is 30 October 2009. The length of the abstracts is 250 words. Abstracts can be submitted at http://isch2010.utu.fi/

The language of the conference is English, but full sessions in other languages can be proposed. Presentations in languages other than English should be accompanied by hand-outs or projector presentations of main points in English and discussion in English should be possible. All abstracts should be in English. Further information at the conference web-site http://isch2010.utu.fi/