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Microhistory

microhistory books, microhistory vs macrohistory
Microhistory is the intensive historical investigation of a well-defined smaller unit of research most often a single event, the community of a village, or an individual In its ambition, however, microhistory can be distinguished from a simple case study insofar as microhistory aspires to "ask large questions in small places", to use the definition given by Charles Joyner1

Contents

  • 1 Origins
  • 2 Approach
  • 3 See also
    • 31 Notable microhistorians
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Originsedit

Microhistory originally developed in Italy in the 1970s2 According to Giovanni Levi, one of the pioneers of the approach, it began as a reaction to a perceived crisis in existing historiographical approaches3 Carlo Ginzburg, another of microhistory's founders, has written that he first heard the term used around 1977, and soon afterwards began to work with Levi and Simona Cerutti on Microstorie, a series of microhistorical works4

The word "microhistory" dates back to 1959, when the American historian George R Stewart published Pickett's Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack on Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, which tells the story of the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg5 Another early use was by the Annales historian Fernand Braudel, for whom the concept had negative connotations, being overly concerned with the history of events6 A third early use of the term was in the title of Luis González's 1968 work Pueblo en vilo: Microhistoria de San José de Gracia6 González distinguished between microhistory, for him synonymous with local history, and "petite histoire", which is primarily concerned with anecdotes6

Approachedit

The most distinctive aspect of the microhistorical approach is the small scale of investigations2 Microhistorians focus on small units in society, as a reaction to the generalisations made by the social sciences which do not hold up when tested against these smaller units7 For instance, Ginzburg's 1976 work The Cheese and the Worms – "probably the most popular and widely read work of microhistory"2 – investigates the life of a single sixteenth-century Italian miller, Menocchio The individuals microhistorical works are concerned with are frequently those Robert Tristano describes as "little people", especially those considered heretics8

Carlo Ginzburg has written that a core principle of microhistory is making obstacles in sources, such as lacunae, part of the historical account9 Relatedly, Levi has said that the point of view of the researcher becomes part of the account in microhistory10 Other notable aspects of microhistory as a historical approach are an interest in the interaction of elite and popular culture,11 and an interest in the interaction between micro- and macro-levels of history12

See alsoedit

  • Alltagsgeschichte
  • English local history
  • History from below
  • Category:Microhistorians
  • Macrohistory

Notable microhistoriansedit

  • Jaroslav Čechura cs
  • Wolfgang Behringer
  • Simona Cerutti
  • Alain Corbin
  • John J Curry
  • Robert Darnton
  • Natalie Zemon Davis
  • Theo van Deursen
  • Clifford Geertz
  • Carlo Ginzburg
  • Luis González y González
  • Maurizio Gribaudi
  • Craig Harline
  • Cynthia A Kierner
  • Mark Kurlansky
  • Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
  • Giovanni Levi
  • Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon
  • Luis Mott
  • Leslie Peirce
  • Detlev Peukert
  • Osvaldo Raggio
  • Jacques Revel
  • Guido Ruggiero
  • David Sabean
  • Mimi Sheller
  • Jonathan D Spence
  • Alan Taylor
  • Stella Tillyard
  • E P Thompson
  • Alfred F Young
  • Carolyn Steedman
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Joyner, C W Shared Traditions: Southern History and Folk Culture, Urbana: University of Illinois, 1999, p 1
  2. ^ a b c Tristano, Richard M 1996 "Microhistory and Holy Family Parish: Some Historical Considerations" US Catholic Historian 14 3: 26 
  3. ^ Levi, Giovanni 1991 "On Microhistory" In Burke, Peter New Perspectives on Historical Writing Cambridge: Polity Press pp 93–94 
  4. ^ Ginzburg, Carlo 1993 "Microhistory, Two or Three Things That I Know about It" Critical Inquiry 20 1: 10 
  5. ^ Ginzburg, Carlo 1993 "Microhistory, Two or Three Things That I Know about It" Critical Inquiry 20 1: 11 
  6. ^ a b c Ginzburg, Carlo 1993 "Microhistory, Two or Three Things That I Know about It" Critical Inquiry 20 1: 12 
  7. ^ Magnússon, Sigurdur Gylfi 2003 "'The Singularization of History': Social History and Microhistory within the Postmodern State of Knowledge" Journal of Social History 36 3: 709 
  8. ^ Tristano, Richard M 1996 "Microhistory and Holy Family Parish: Some Historical Considerations" US Catholic Historian 14 3: 26–27 
  9. ^ Ginzburg, Carlo 1993 "Microhistory, Two or Three Things That I Know about It" Critical Inquiry 20 1: 28 
  10. ^ Levi, Giovanni 1991 "On Microhistory" In Burke, Peter New Perspectives on Historical Writing Cambridge: Polity Press p 106 
  11. ^ Tristano, Richard M 1996 "Microhistory and Holy Family Parish: Some Historical Considerations" US Catholic Historian 14 3: 28 
  12. ^ Tristano, Richard M 1996 "Microhistory and Holy Family Parish: Some Historical Considerations" US Catholic Historian 14 3: 27 

External linksedit

  • Microhistory - The website of the Center for Microhistorical Research at the Reykjavik Academy in Iceland
  • Interesting article on microhistory by the chair of the Center for Microhistorical Research at the Reykjavik Academy
  • Microhistory Network A group of historians interested in microhistory 2007-

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