Early Modern History (i+p) - II MODULO PARTE (P) (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Gian Paolo Romagnani
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IIB dal Apr 14, 2021 al May 29, 2021.

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

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Within the three-year degree courses in Humanities and Philosophy, the teaching of history is of fundamental importance to provide the spatial-temporal coordinates within which different civilizations have developed, not only in Europe. Modern history, in particular, proposes itself as a discipline of "context" to understand the profound transformations of the world between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. At the end of the course the student will have to know the main developments of European political, social and intellectual history from the end of the 15th to the first half of the 19th century.

The historical approach, based on research, examination and criticism of the sources and their interpretation (susceptible to different solutions) is an ineliminable moment not only of the humanistic disciplines, but of all knowledge.
At the end of the course the student will have to demonstrate to be able to critically examine a source and to critically interpret a text of history (also the manual) enucleandone the interpretative key, aware that the interpretations of historical facts can also be very different from each other, but must all be based on a proper examination of the sources.


Advanced Module: The Enlightenment of Philosophers and the Enlightenment of Historians. Comparative Interpretations
The course will cover the following topics:
1. The "crisis of European conscience"
2. Eighteenth-century Europe: politics and reforms
3. The economic revolutions of the modern age. The "great divergence"
4. Europe of the Enlightenment: different approaches
5. Philosophers' Enlightenment and Historians' Enlightenment
6. Reason and passion. Utopia and reform
7. The political thought of the Enlightenment
8. The different generations of Enlightenment
9. The Encyclopédie enterprise
10. Enlightenment and reforms in Italy
11. The Radical Enlightenment
12. Enlightenment and human rights
13. From New England to the United States of America

Progressed module 6 CFU (two volumes of your choice, one of the first and one of the second group):

- F. Venturi, Utopia e riforma nell’Illuminismo, Einaudi, Torino, 1970
- E. Tortarolo, L’Illuminismo. Ragioni e dubbi della modernità, Carocci, Roma, 1999
- V. Ferrone, Lezioni illuministiche, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2010 (parcolarmente indicato per gli studenti di Filosofia)
- J. Israel, Una rivoluzione della mente. L’illuminismo radicale e le origini intellettuali della democrazia moderna, Einaudi, Torino, 2011
- V. Ferrone, Il mondo dell’illuminismo. Storia di una rivoluzione culturale, Einaudi, Torino, 2019

- R. Chartier, Le origini culturali della Rivoluzione francese, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1991
- R. Darnton, Libri proibiti. Pornografia, satira e utopia all’origine della rivoluzione francese, il Saggiatore, Milano, 2019 [prima edizione: 1995]
- R. Darnton, L’età dell’informazione. Una guida non convenzionale al Settecento, Adelphi, Milano, 2007
- A. Trampus, Il diritto alla felicità. Storia di un’idea, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2008
- L. Hunt, La forza dell’empatia. Una storia dei diritti dell’uomo, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2010
- P. Delpiano, Liberi di scrivere. La battaglia per la stampa nell’età dei Lumi, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2015
- G. Tocchini, Arte e politica nella cultura dei Lumi. Diderot, Rousseau e la critica dell’antico regime artistico, Carocci, Roma, 2016

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
V. Ferrone Il mondo dell’illuminismo. Storia di una rivoluzione culturale Einaudi 2019 9788806240929
Lynn Hunt La forza dell’empatia. Una storia dei diritti dell’uomo Laterza 2010 9788842088820
D. Roche, Storia delle cose banali. La nascita del consumo in occidente Editori Riuniti 1999 8835947847
Jonathan Israel Una rivoluzione della mente. L’illuminismo radicale e le origini intellettuali della democrazia moderna Einaudi 2011 9788806206505
Franco Venturi Utopia e riforma nell’ illuminismo Einaudi 1970 8806298011

Assessment methods and criteria

To pass the second part of the exam requires the 'deepening of a research path related to a theme of history of the modern age by reading a historiographical text of which you will have to know not only the content, but the sources from which it was written, the cultural and political context in which it was conceived, recognizing the author as a historiographer bearer of a personal methodology and consequently of a key interpretation of historical events.

Written exam and subsequent oral exam (only for those who have passed the written test), to be taken in the same session of 'exams, also in the context of two different appeals.
The oral interview focuses on the monographic part and on in-depth readings and aims to ascertain the ability of the student to critically read a book not limited to the summary, but identifying the implications historiographical (who is the author, what background he comes from, what sources his research is based on, what his interpretative theses are). The oral test is also aimed at verifying.
- The property of language
- Analytical and argumentative skills
- The ability to link different themes
- The ability to formulate new problems