This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2016-2017

HIST 13184-9: European Microhistories: Rogues, Outcasts, Lovers, Adventurers

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Instructor: Alexander Martin

To understand the vast forces that have created our world, some historians turn to “microhistory,” the study of people who might at first glance seem “average” but whose lives were in fact anything but average. Europe since the Renaissance is rich in such stories: the peasant woman who accepted an imposter as her long-lost husband; the miller’s wife accused of witchcraft; the introspective executioner who kept a journal of his beheadings; and many others. In this course, we will read microhistories of Europeans from the Renaissance to the modern period and ask ourselves: what do they reveal about the human condition and the art of the historian, and what insight do they give into the larger dynamics that have shaped the past, that is, History with a capital H?