by Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
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The Absent Jews
Kurt Forstreuter and the Historiography of Medieval Prussia
For nearly a century, it has been a commonplace of Central European history that there were no Jews in medieval Prussia—the result, supposedly, of the ruling Teutonic Order’s attempts to create a purely Christian crusader’s state. In this groundbreaking historical investigation, however, medievalist Cordelia Hess demonstrates the very weak foundations upon which that assumption rests. In exacting detail, she traces this narrative to the work of a single, minor Nazi-era historian, revealing it to be ideologically compromised work that badly mishandles its evidence. By combining new medieval scholarship with a biographical and historiographical exploration grounded in the 20th century, The Absent Jews spans remote eras while offering a fascinating account of the construction of historical knowledge.
Subjects: Jewish Studies History: Medieval/Early Modern
Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation
Between Text and Practice
Hausmair, B., Jervis, B., Nugent, R., & Williams, E. (eds)
How can we study the impact of rules on the lives of past people using archaeological evidence? To answer this question, Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation presents case studies drawn from across Europe and the United States. Covering areas as diverse as the use of space in a nineteenth-century U.S. Army camp, the deposition of waste in medieval towns, the experiences of Swedish migrants to North America, the relationship between people and animals in Anglo-Saxon England, these case studies explore the use of archaeological evidence in understanding the relationship between rules, lived experience, and social identity.
Archeologies of Confession
Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017
Johnson, C. L., Luebke, D. M., Plummer, M. E. & Spohnholz, J. (eds)
Modern religious identities are rooted in collective memories that are constantly made and remade across generations. How do these mutations of memory distort our picture of historical change and the ways that historical actors perceive it? Can one give voice to those whom history has forgotten? The essays collected here examine the formation of religious identities during the Reformation in Germany through case studies of remembering and forgetting—instances in which patterns and practices of religious plurality were excised from historical memory. By tracing their ramifications through the centuries, Archeologies of Confession carefully reconstructs the often surprising histories of plurality that have otherwise been lost or obscured.
Subjects: History: Medieval/Early Modern Memory Studies
Conversion and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Germany
Luebke, D. M., Poley, J., Ryan, D. C., & Sabean, D. W. (eds)
The Protestant and Catholic Reformations thrust the nature of conversion into the center of debate and politicking over religion as authorities and subjects imbued religious confession with novel meanings during the early modern era. The volume offers insights into the historicity of the very concept of “conversion.” One widely accepted modern notion of the phenomenon simply expresses denominational change. Yet this concept had no bearing at the outset of the Reformation. Instead, a variety of processes, such as the consolidation of territories along confessional lines, attempts to ensure civic concord, and diplomatic quarrels helped to usher in new ideas about the nature of religious boundaries and, therefore, conversion. However conceptualized, religious change— conversion—had deep social and political implications for early modern German states and societies.
Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
The Emperor's Old Clothes
Constitutional History and the Symbolic Language of the Holy Roman Empire
For many years, scholars struggled to write the history of the constitution and political structure of the Holy Roman Empire. This book argues that this was because the political and social order could not be understood without considering the rituals and symbols that held the Empire together. What determined the rules (and whether they were followed) depended on complex symbolic-ritual actions. By examining key moments in the political history of the Empire, the author shows that it was a vocabulary of symbols, not the actual written laws, that formed a political language indispensable in maintaining the common order.
Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
Emotions, Bodies, and Things in Germany, 1500–1950
Hillard, D., Lempa, H., & Spinney, R. (eds)
Of the many innovative approaches to emerge during the twenty-first century, one of the most productive has been the interdisciplinary nexus of theories and methodologies broadly defined as “the study of emotions.” While this conceptual toolkit has generated significant insights, it has overwhelmingly focused on emotions as linguistic and semantic phenomena. This edited volume looks instead to the material aspects of emotion in German culture, encompassing the body, literature, photography, aesthetics, and a variety of other themes.
Germany and the Black Diaspora
Points of Contact, 1250-1914
Honeck, M., Klimke, M., & Kuhlmann, A. (eds)
The rich history of encounters prior to World War I between people from German-speaking parts of Europe and people of African descent has gone largely unnoticed in the historical literature—not least because Germany became a nation and engaged in colonization much later than other European nations. This volume presents intersections of Black and German history over eight centuries while mapping continuities and ruptures in Germans' perceptions of Blacks. Juxtaposing these intersections demonstrates that negative German perceptions of Blackness proceeded from nineteenth-century racial theories, and that earlier constructions of “race” were far more differentiated. The contributors present a wide range of Black–German encounters, from representations of Black saints in religious medieval art to Black Hessians fighting in the American Revolutionary War, from Cameroonian children being educated in Germany to African American agriculturalists in Germany's protectorate, Togoland. Each chapter probes individual and collective responses to these intercultural points of contact.
The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered
Coy, J.P., Marschke, B., & Sabean, D.W. (eds)
The Holy Roman Empire has often been anachronistically assumed to have been defunct long before it was actually dissolved at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The authors of this volume reconsider the significance of the Empire in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Their research reveals the continual importance of the Empire as a stage (and audience) for symbolic performance and communication; as a well utilized problem-solving and conflict-resolving supra-governmental institution; and as an imagined political, religious, and cultural "world" for contemporaries. This volume by leading scholars offers a dramatic reappraisal of politics, religion, and culture and also represents a major revision of the history of the Holy Roman Empire in the early modern period.
Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
Imperial Culture and Colonial Projects
The Portuguese-Speaking World from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries
Curto, D. R.
Beyond the immeasurable political and economic changes it brought, colonial expansion exerted a powerful effect on Portuguese culture. And as this book demonstrates, the imperial culture that emerged over the course of four centuries was hardly a homogeneous whole, as triumphalist literature and other cultural forms mingled with recurrent doubts about the expansionist project. In a series of illuminating case studies, Ramada Curto follows the history and perception of major colonial initiatives while integrating the complex perspectives of participating agents to show how the empire’s life and culture were richly inflected by the operations of imperial expansion.
Kinship in Europe
Approaches to Long-Term Development (1300-1900)
Sabean, D. W., Teuscher, S., & Mathieu, J. (eds)
Since the publication of Philippe Ariès’s book, Centuries of Childhood, in the early 1960s, there has been great interest among historians in the history of the family and the household. A central aspect of the debate relates the story of the family to implicit notions of modernization, with the rise of the nuclear family in the West as part of its economic and political success. During the past decade, however, that synthesis has begun to break down. Historians have begun to examine kinship - the way individual families are connected to each other through marriage and descent - finding that during the most dynamic period in European industrial development, class formation, and state reorganization, Europe became a “kinship hot” society. The essays in this volume explore two major transitions in kinship patterns - at the end of the Middle Ages and at the end of the eighteenth century - in an effort to reset the agenda in family history.
Managing Northern Europe's Forests
Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology
Oosthoek, K. J. & Hölzl, R. (eds)
Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.
The Mirror of the Medieval
An Anthropology of the Western Historical Imagination
Fazioli, K. P.
Since its invention by Renaissance humanists, the myth of the “Middle Ages” has held a uniquely important place in the Western historical imagination. Whether envisioned as an era of lost simplicity or a barbaric nightmare, the medieval past has always served as a mirror for modernity. This book gives an eye-opening account of the ways various political and intellectual projects—from nationalism to the discipline of anthropology—have appropriated the Middle Ages for their own ends. Deploying an interdisciplinary toolkit, author K. Patrick Fazioli grounds his analysis in contemporary struggles over power and identity in the Eastern Alps, while also considering the broader implications for scholarly research and public memory.
Names and Naming in Early Modern Germany
Plummer, M. E. & Harrington, J. F. (eds)
Throughout the many political and social upheavals of the early modern era, names were words to conjure by, articulating significant historical trends and helping individuals and societies make sense of often dramatic periods of change. Centered on onomastics—the study of names—in the German-speaking lands, this volume, gathering leading scholars across multiple disciplines, explores the dynamics and impact of naming (and renaming) processes in a variety of contexts—social, artistic, literary, theological, and scientific—in order to enhance our understanding of individual and collective experiences.
The Rise of Market Society in England, 1066-1800
Focusing on England, this study reconstructs the centuries-long process of commercialization that gave birth to the modern market society. It shows how certain types of markets (e.g. those for real estate, labor, capital, and culture) came into being, and how the social relations mediated by markets were formed. The book deals with the creation of institutions like the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London, as well as the way the English dealt with the uncertainty and the risks involved in market transactions. Christiane Eisenberg shows that the creation of a market society and modern capitalism in England occurred under circumstances that were utterly different from those on the European continent. In addition, she demonstrates that as a process, the commercialization of business, society, and culture in England did not lead directly to an industrial society, as has previously been suggested, but rather to a service economy.