This article was first delivered as a talk at a symposium in honor of Jacques Revel. It focuses on Revel's manifold contributions as a scholar, teacher, and university administrator in order to reflect on the different meanings that the label “microhistory” has acquired over the past forty years. More specifically, it examines the evolution of the microhistorical approach in relation to the Italian, French, and American historiographical traditions in which it was most influential as well as to the rise of global history. The article is also an exercise in microhistory insofar as it emphasizes the tension between agency and structure in describing the ways in which the micro-historical trend has changed over time. It highlights the formidable ways in which personal ties shape knowledge and institutional building, but also acknowledges the larger forces that shaped the selective and creative appropriation of Italian microhistory in different national and temporal contexts.
Portraits of an Economic Persona
Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street (London: Penguin Books, 2007). Nicholl’s book is quoted as an example of ‘microhistorical’ biography by the social historian Matti Peltonen in his ‘What is Micro in Microhistory?’, in Theoretical Discussions
Historicizing Édouard Dujardin’s Les Lauriers Sont Coupés
Kelly J. Maynard
This article undertakes a historical analysis of Édouard Dujardin’s 1887 novel Les Lauriers sont coupés, best known for its infl uence on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Les Lauriers has been interpreted by literary scholars as a piece of experimental prose symptomatic of several intersecting aesthetic trends of the French fi n de siècle, most notably symbolism, Wagnerism, and modernism. However, I approach the novel through a microhistorical lens, using Dujardin’s letters, contemporary press materials, and maps of post-Haussmann Paristo focus on the author’s biography as well as the political, cultural, and social contexts of the mid-1880s. From this perspective Les Lauriers serves as an insightful barometer of the experiential complexities of a city and a society in the throes of transitioning to modernity. Working at the intersection of literary analysis and cultural history, this article provides compelling evidence of the mutually revelatory ties that bind a work of art and its context.
Masculinity as Performance Art in Postwar and Late Socialism
This article reflects on how the authors in this Special Forum collectively advance the work in the subfield of critical masculinity studies. The several significant themes emerging in this collection of articles include: persistent state intervention in gender relations, the impact of longstanding patriarchal norms, the rapidly changing postwar gender equilibrium, and the continuing significance of war and martial masculinity. Furthermore, the Special Forum illuminates the importance of micro-histories and ego-documents to the study of masculinities in Central and East Europe. Finally, by framing agency as a relational process affected by a variety of constraints, these authors’ work marks a productive forward movement for the future study of critical masculinity studies more generally.
Mothering Resistance in Early Eighteenth-Century Rome
This microhistory analyzes the efforts of a widowed mother, Teresa Boncompagni, to maintain custody of her only daughter, Cornelia. Teresa protested her brother-in-law's legal right to Cornelia's custody. The mother's resistance combined a savvy understanding of the Roman judicial system with an insistence upon the centrality of motherly affection and maternal daily care to the child's well-being. She argued that the concept of free will necessitated a period of childhood exempt from family pressure to marry the man her brother-in-law had chosen. Although Teresa's adversaries pronounced her views outrageous, and maternal affection and advocacy would later be sanitized to include affection but to exclude women's resistance, Teresa's efforts succeeded in convincing even her enemies that a good mother knew how to fight legally and that the emotional bond epitomized by affective mothering was paramount to the healthy development of the child.
HARGREAVES, Alec G . Empty Promises? Public Policy Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in France (Vol. 33, No. 3, 96) TRIVELLATO, Francesca . Microstoria/Microhistoire/Microhistory (Vol. 33, No. 1, 122) REVIEW ESSAYS GARRETT, Amanda . Is Integration a
Thinking Differently Under Colonialism
closes a restless career of being unsatisfied with disciplinary limitations, asking the same questions in different ways throughout her life. The span of her career reveals a gradual shift from a more quantitative sociology to microhistory. Her first work
Colonial Law Enforcement and the Search for Racial-Territorial Hegemony
, prison memoir, and micro-history ties together various themes common throughout the collection: colonial policing and violence, anticolonial resistance and struggle, nuanced portrayals of the colonized, and a reconsideration of the sites and meanings of
-victimized Picardy residents independent of Allied strategy. This article illustrates microhistory’s potential to, as Audoin-Rouzeau suggested, illuminate the depths to which “individuals, families, [and] communities … [were] integrated into warlike activity,” while
The Projects of Christophe Boltanski and Ivan Jablonka
microhistory, the protagonists are the living, with their revolts and their setbacks, their journeys and their normality, and not the beings-for-death…. The dead were not always dead, and it is important to give them life, their life. 7 La Cache Christophe