History of Historiography - STORIA DELLA STORIOGRAFIA (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Gian Paolo Romagnani
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The history of historiography module aims to deepen the problems and methods that underlie the work of the historian, introducing the student to some "secrets of the trade". The course also aims to put the student in a position to "critically read" and "understand" a history book intended as a "product of the historian's work". This does not mean only knowing the content organically, but rather breaking it down trying to capture the following elements: a) from which problem the author is moved to write; b) what is the research path behind it; c) in what kind of culture of insertion (historical, political, philosophical, ideological, religious context); d) which sources were used and how; e) which methodological approaches have been adopted; f) as a new contribution the book has led to historical discipline. At the end of the course the student will have to demonstrate to be able to overcome the simplification of manuals (producers of unwitting stereotypes) and the historiographical common places, verifying on the sources and on the texts the most known interpretative schemes; to be able to critically read a history book, contextualizing it in the political and cultural context in which it was conceived, highlighting its methodological references and demonstrating its knowledge of the author, his historiographical production and his studies. By adopting complementary teaching methods (lectures, lessons carried out by students on the texts studied, seminar meetings, laboratory for analysis of texts and sources) the course aims to provide the essential elements to understand the main trends of historiography from antiquity to the present day .


The interpretations of the seventeenth century
The introductory module will be dedicated, as every year, to a general profile of the history of Western historiography from antiquity to the present day, with particular attention to the historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The monographic part, on the other hand, will deal with the history of seventeenth-century interpretations between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The seventeenth century, in fact, has always been a controversial century that gave rise to different readings according to the national perspective and the historical moment in which they were formulated. The course will be as follows: The concept of "baroque age" between art, literature and historiography (B. Croce, G. Getto, A. Maravall, R. Villari, A. Tenenti). The Marxist debate on the "general crisis of the seventeenth century" (E. J. Hobsbawm, H. Trevor-Roper, R. Romano, T. Ashton, G. Parker, L. M. Smith). The different national perspectives: the "century of foreign dominations" (Italy); the sunset of the "Siglo de oro" (Spain); the century of the Thirty Years War (Germany); the "Age classique" or the "century of Louis XIV (France); the "century of revolutions" (England); the Dutch century (Holland). Revolts and revolutions: the French fronds (B. Porchenev), the revolts in the Spanish Empire (Catalonia, Kingdom of Naples, Portugal), the English Revolution (C. Hill, L. Stone). The great twentieth century interpretations: "six contemporary revolutions" (R. B. Merriman); the category of "iron century" (H. Kamen), the "crisis of the aristocracy (L. Stone), the" end of the Italian primacy "(P. Malanima); the "mirrors of the revolution" (F. Benigno).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
G. Muto La crisi del Seicento, in Storia moderna Donzelli 1998
P. Burke L’età barocca, in Storia moderna Donzelli 1998
F. Benigno Ripensare la “crisi del Seicento” in “Storica”, II, 5, 1996, pp. 7-52 Donzelli 1996
F. Benigno Specchi della rivoluzione, revisionismi storiografici a confronto, in “Storica”, 2, 1995, pp. 7-54 Donzelli 1995
Romagnani, Gian Paolo Storia della storiografia. Dall'antichità a oggi (Edizione 1) Carocci 2019

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination. The interview focuses on the broad lines of the history of Western historiography and on the in-depth readings and aims to ascertain the ability of the student to critically read a book, identifying its historiographical implications. The examination must also ascertain: the ownership of language and the conscious use of historiographical categories and terms, analytical and argumentative skills, the ability to contextualise a problem and to make links between different themes; the ability to formulate new problems starting from the readings made.