Early Modern History I - LM (Historical Anthropology) [Sede VR] (2015/2016)

Course code
4S001217
Name of lecturer
Federico Barbierato
Coordinator
Federico Barbierato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
6
Other available courses
Academic sector
M-STO/02 - MODERN HISTORY
Language of instruction
Italian
Period
Semestrino IA, Semestrino IB

Lesson timetable

Semestrino IA
Day Time Type Place Note
Thursday 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 1.2  
Friday 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 1.2  
Semestrino IB
Day Time Type Place Note
Thursday 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 1.2  
Friday 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 1.2  

Learning outcomes

Educational objectives
To acquire awareness of the difference between societies and cultures chronologically or geographically distant from one another; to familiarize with research tools which history has developed in conjunction with social theory; to develop strategies for the interpretation of relevant and diverse sources; to appraise the tradition of study in this field and discuss its problems.

Syllabus

Syllabus
EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: to acquire awareness of the difference between societies and cultures chronologically or geographically distant from one another; to familiarize with research tools which history has developed in conjunction with social theory; to develop strategies for the interpretation of relevant and diverse sources; to appraise the tradition of study in this field and discuss its problems.

SYLLABUS: The course will concern the various manifestations of magic in the early modern Christian world. The aim is to give account of the characteristics and the role of magical beliefs, of their stability and their changes. Particular attention will be given to modulations of magic in different social and cultural contexts, from natural magic to witchcraft and ‘superstitious’ uses of the sacred. Historical anthropology will represent the proposed methodology, with focus on a specific period of time, but chronologically open to modernity.
Therefore, the first part of the course will offer a survey of the basic concepts in historical anthropology. Subsequently, the aspects of magic (and of related cultural tools, such as astrology and alchemy) will be examined from a theoretical perspective, to move eventually to the structure of a seminar on bibliography and sources (autobiographies, inquisition trials, reports, treatises and so on). This format will require an active participation of students – which will form a key element of the final assessment of their work – systematically combining individual reading and class discussion. Attendance is therefore recommended only if it can be continuous and active.


Reference books:

For those students who will be attending lessons the exam bibliography will be given during the course; P.P. Viazzo, Introduzione all’antropologia storica, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2000 will be required reading.
Those who will not be attending will read P.P. Viazzo’s volume and three of the following books, or groups of books, of their choice:

- G. Ferigo, Morbida facta pecus. Scritti di antropologia storica della Carnia, Forum, Udine, 2012
- J.H. Hajes, Posseduti ed esorcisti nel mondo ebraico, Bollati Boringhieri, Milano, 2010;
- J.H. Arnold, Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe, Bloomsbury, London, 2010;
- E.E. Evans Pritchard, Stregoneria, oracoli e magia tra gli Azande, Raffaello Cortina, Milano, 2002;
- M. Caffiero (a cura di), Magia, superstizione, religione. Una questione di confini, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Roma, 2015;
- M. Douglas, Purezza e pericolo. Un’analisi dei concetti di contaminazione e tabù, il Mulino, Bologna, 2003;
- D. Freedberg, Il potere delle immagini. Il mondo delle figure: reazioni e emozioni del pubblico, Einaudi, Torino, 2009.
- P. Brown, La società e il sacro nella tarda antichità, Einaudi, Torino, 1988;
- G. Delille, L'economia di Dio. Famiglia e mercato tra cristianesimo, ebraismo, Islam, Salerno libri, Roma, 2013
- C. Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft. Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe, Routledge, London, 2007
- G. Levi, L’eredità immateriale. La carriera di un esorcista nel Piemonte del Seicento, Einaudi, Torino, 1985;
- C. Walker Bynum, Christian Materiality. An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe, Zone Books, New York, 2011
- E.P. Thompson, Società patrizia, cultura plebea. Otto saggi di antropologia storica sull'Inghilterra del Settecento, Einaudi, Torino, 1981;
- E. Bever, The Realities of Witchcraft and Popular Magic in Early Modern Europe. Culture, Cognition and Everyday Life, Palgrave-MacMillan, Houndmills, 2008;
- R. Darnton, Il grande massacro dei gatti e altri episodi della storia culturale francese, Adelphi, Milano 1988;
- J. Goody, L’addomesticamento del pensiero selvaggio, FrancoAngeli, Milano 1990 – da leggere assieme a D.F. McKenzie, La sociologia di un testo. Oralità, alfabetismo e stampa all'inizio del XIX secolo, in Id., Il passato è il prologo, edizioni Sylvestre Bonnard, Milano 2002, pp. 43-91;
- M. Sluhovsky, Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, & Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2007
- K. Crawford, European Sexualities. 1400-1800, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007;
- V. Kevelson, Desperate Magic. The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeendth-Century Russia, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 2013

NB. Alternative, personalized reading lists may be agreed upon by contacting the lecturer via email.

Assessment methods and criteria

Exam methods
For those students who will be attending lessons: essay on a previously agreed topic, followed by oral interview.
For those who will not be attending: oral interview.

STUDENT MODULE EVALUATION - 2015/2016