Early Modern History I - LM (Historical Anthropology) [Sede VR] (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Federico Barbierato
Federico Barbierato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1A, Sem 1B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Acquisition of a good command of the research tools related to early modern history, so that the student is able to critically use the sources and scientific literature related to one or more themes chosen as central to the course. The teaching activity will therefore aim to develop the individual research skills of the student as much as possible.


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. The second part will be focused on '"Popular" religion in Early Modern Italy: devotions, dissents, rituals". The themes of "lived religion", of materiality and of the daily articulations of religiosity are crucial elements for understanding the way of living the religion of the great majority of people in Early modern Europe. Alongside ecclesiological, theological and dogmatic questions, therefore, attention must be turned to the interweaving of these and forms of religiosity linked to traditions and rituals that are perhaps less aware, but decisive. During the course attention will therefore be paid to the more everyday aspects of religious practice, both in urban and rural contexts, with particular reference to the Early modern Italian States. Lessons will be given, among other things, on ecclesiastical organization, rituality, forms of control, inquisitorial activity, religious dissent, preaching, magical beliefs and witchcraft, the cult of the dead, the materiality of devotions. This section will be divided into a first part of presentation of general problems and a second part dedicated to the in-depth seminar of some issues through the direct analysis of sources. 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 M. Bellabarba e V. Lavenia (a cura di), Introduzione alla storia moderna, il Mulino, Bologna, 2018. 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 - L. Addante, Tommaso Campanella. Il filosofo immaginato, interpretato, falsato, Laterza, Bari, 2018 - A. Arcangeli, L'altro che danza. Il villano, il selvaggio, la strega nell'immaginario della prima età moderna, Unicopli, Milano, 2019 e P. Vignolo, Cannibali, giganti e selvaggi. Creature mostruose del nuovo mondo, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2009 - P. Scaramella, Gli amici dell'aldilà. Saggi di storia religiosa (sec. XV-XIX), Aracne, Roma, 2018 - 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 - N. Cusumano, Ebrei e accusa di omicidio rituale nel settecento. Il carteggio tra Girolamo Tartarotti e Benedetto Bonelli (1740-1748), Unicopli, Milano, 2012 - T. Kauffmann, I redenti e i salvati. Una storia della Riforma, Einaudi, Torino, 2018 - F. Trivellato, Il commercio interculturale. La diaspora sefardita, Livorno e i traffici globali in età moderna, Viella, Roma, 2016 - A. Prosperi, Un volgo disperso. Contadini d'Italia nell'Ottocento, Einaudi, Torino, 2019 - 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

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
M. Bellabarba, V. Lavenia Introduzione alla storia moderna il Mulino 2018

Assessment methods and criteria

General section
The assessment of the knowledge of the book Bellabarba, Lavenia, Introduzione alla storia moderna, 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.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, during ​the 2020 summer session the assessment modality will be modified as follows: online oral exam.