Historical anthropology (m) (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Federico Barbierato
Federico Barbierato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
First half of Semester 1 , Second half of Semester 1

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Within the training course, the course of Early Modern History M - Historical Anthropology aims to deepen the knowledge of the historical period under investigation and to enable the student to critically evaluate the historical sources in the spatial and temporal context of the Early Modern Period. At the end of the course, students have to demonstrate that they are able to know and explain the main themes of the Early Modern Age, to evaluate independently the meaning of historical events and to communicate clearly facts and ideas.


The first part of the course aims to provide students with the main coordinates for the in-depth study of the fundamental themes of early modern society and culture. In particular, the issue of censorship and illegal movement of the book banned in the Europe of the Modern Age will then be discussed. It will be a purely seminar work conducted on readings and sources (inquisitorial trials, reports, treaties, etc.). This last aspect is the fundamental element of the course, which will have a profoundly seminar structure. All students are therefore invited to participate actively and should be willing to work during the course on the texts provided. They should also be willing to discuss their reading impressions freely with the teacher and other students. Active participation will be a key element of assessment for learners and will involve ongoing work on individual readings and classroom discussions. The frequency is therefore only recommended if the participation will be active.
In other words: the lessons will be discussed openly and freely (because this is a seminar) about what you will read, individually or in a group, during the course and all students should feel comfortable in exposing their points of view, obviously within the limits of education and mutual respect.

Both attending and not attending students, will have to study the book Storia moderna, Donzelli, Rome, 1998. Knowledge of the text will be ascertained by means of a written test with open questions.

As far as the monographic part is concerned, the students attending the course will write a paper on one or some of the documents analysed during the course. The paper must be delivered by e-mail at least a few days before the oral examination, in which it will be discussed

Those who do not attend must prepare two texts of their choice:
- C. Franceschini, Storia del limbo, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2017
- A. Prosperi, Dare l’anima. Storia di un infanticidio, Einaudi, Torino, 2015
- R. Schloegl, Fede e mondo moderno, NDF, Palermo, 2017
- R. Darnton, Il bacio di Lamourette, Mondadori, Milano, 1994
- R. Darnton, Censors at work. How States shaped Literature, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2015.
- F.P. De Ceglia, Il segreto di san Gennaro. Storia naturale di un miracolo napoletano, Einaudi, Torino, 2016
- E. Bonora, Roma 1564. La congiura contro il papa, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2011
- N. Cusumano, Ebrei e accusa di omicidio rituale nel settecento. Il carteggio tra Girolamo Tartarotti e Benedetto Bonelli (1740-1748), Unicopli, Milano, 2012
- P.G. Wallace, La lunga età della Riforma, il Mulino, Bologna, 2006
- F. Trivellato, Il commercio interculturale. La diaspora sefardita, Livorno e i traffici globali in età moderna, Viella, Roma, 2016
- G. Ferigo, Morbida facta pecus. Scritti di antropologia storica della Carnia, Forum, Udine, 2012
- E. Cameron, Enchanted Europe superstition, reason, and religion, 1250-1750, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010
- C. Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft. Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe, Routledge, London, 2007
- 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;
- R.W. Scribner, Per il popolo dei semplici. Propaganda popolare nella Riforma tedesca, Unicopli, Milano 2008.
- M. Sluhovsky, Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, & Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2007
- J.-P. Cavaillé, Les Déniaisés. Irréligion et libertinage au début de l’époque moderne, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 2014
- M. Mulsow, Enlightenment Underground. Radical Germany, 1680-1720, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 2015
- P. Serna, Comme des betes. Histoire politique de l’animal en Révolution (1750-1840), Fayard, Paris, 2017
- A. Bellavitis, Il lavoro delle donne nelle città dell’Europa moderna, Viella, Roma 2017

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
AAVV Storia moderna Donzelli 1998

Assessment methods and criteria

General section
The assessment of the knowledge of the book Storia moderna, Donzelli, will consist of a written test and open questions for all - both attending and not attending students. Students will have to demonstrate their knowledge of the main junctions of the history of the modern age, placing them critically within the context.

Monographic part.
The examination will take place in oral form.
For the attending students: a written paper will be requested, whose subject will be agreed with the teacher. In addition to the latter, which will have to demonstrate critical thinking skills in relation to the sources on which it will be based, active participation in the course will also be evaluated.

For those who do not attend: it is planned to read two books of choice among those proposed. The oral interview will test the knowledge of the texts and students will have to demonstrate their ability to place the topics in a correct and critical way.