The Capacities of Microhistory

23 January 2018 (Tue), 6.15pm - 7.30pm
At Saga Common Lounge

Microhistory (the intensive historical investigation of a relatively small subject) has four distinct advantages over traditional macro-oriented social history: it is appealing to the general public, it is much closer to reality, it conveys personal experience directly and, with all the lines branching out from the event, person or community in the focus of the investigation, it points towards the general. Since too heavy reliance on either of these four characteristics can produce specific distortions of the microhistorical work, historians should attempt to reach a balance.” (“Four Arguments for Microhistory” in Rethinking History, The Journal of Theory and Practice). The lecture gives an overview of microhistory, concentrating on its Italian origins, its definition, the theoretical problems is raises.