First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
LE02122758, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2014/15

Information on the course unit
Degree course 5 years single cycle degree in
IA1870, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE
Department of reference Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in PRIMARY TEACHER EDUCATION (Ord. 2011)

Teacher in charge VITTORIA FEOLA M-STO/02
Other lecturers ANDREA CARACAUSI M-STO/02

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Other M-STO/02 Modern History 9.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 5th Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 63 162.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 Commissione 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 FEOLA VITTORIA (Presidente)
MOLINO PAOLA (Membro Effettivo)
6 Commissione 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 FEOLA VITTORIA (Presidente)
MOLINO PAOLA (Membro Effettivo)
5 Commissione 2016/17 01/12/2016 30/11/2019 VIGGIANO ALFREDO (Presidente)
CARACAUSI ANDREA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: No previous knowledge of early modern history is required.
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims to:
1. familiarise students with early modern European history from both local as well as global, interconnected perspectives;
2. focus on the main early modern forms of State and government, with especial attention to the differences between States and Empires;
3. consider first, inter-cultural commerce, secondly, the circulation of knowledge, and, lastly, religion-driven political violence in relation to State-Empire dynamics;
4. push students to reflect critically about such themes, as, first, trade and knowledge globalisation, secondly, religious toleration, and, thirdly, religious-driven resistance theories and acts against the sovereign powers.
Examination methods: A written paper of max 15 pages about a topic from within those covered in class, and an oral exam on the texts discussed during the course. Students who do not attend classes should contact the lecturers to fix an ad hoc arrangement.
Assessment criteria: Students will be tested for:
1. their knowledge of the themes covered in class and analysed in the textbooks
2. knowledge and comprehension of concepts and methods relating to Renaissance studies
3. the ability to apply newly-acquired knowledge in an autonomous way
4. the ability to reason in a logical way, to build a critical argument, to answer questions in a critically constructive and pertinent way
Course unit contents: Europe witnessed the rise of the so-called 'modern national State' on the one hand, stemming from and antagonising the old Medieval dualism Pope-Empire. On the other hand, older, composite state and imperial entities re-organised themselves in the wake of America's discovery. New colonial empires emerged, letting Europe spill out over the whole world. At the same time, the Reformation broke up Western Christendom's unity, thereby presenting faith as a defining element of individual and institutional identities. The rise of the confessional State meant wars of religion, civil wars, revolutions. At the same time, the discovery of the Americas across the Atlantic, and the new sea route to the Indies in Asia brought about a movement of people, goods, and knowledge which was unprecedented in nature and scale as far as European and global history was concerned. The course considers early modern European history from three different, yet interconnected perspectives, as reflected in three modules, namely, intercultural commerce, circulation of knowledge, and political violence.
The first part (Prof. Caracausi, 21 hours) will focus on commercial diasporas, as well as on the ways in which they connected non-European worlds to Europe. Especial attention will be dedicated to the role of trade in intercultural exchanges, the relation b between family and trade, merchants' correspondence, language and communication codes, the role of trust, and the link between diasporas, States and Empires.
The second part of the course (Prof. Molino, 21 hours) will focus on the production and mobility of knowledge from an imperial perspective. It will consider the actors (agents, merchants, missionaries, experts), places (courts, archives, libraries, public squares) and the means (letters, books, maps). The question to try and answer is, whether the form of State called 'Empire' played an essential role in the production and circulation of knowledge. The starting point will be the Spanish Empire at the end of the 16th century, only to move on to 17th-century Holland, and thence on to France between Colbert and Napoleon.
The third part of the course (Prof. Feola, 21 hours) will deal with the relation between religion-driven political violence, the production and mobility of knowledge, and the foundation of the British Empire (1640-85). England was a 17th-century political and scientific laboratory, experiencing civil wars, tyrannicide, both tolerant and intolerant legislation, a ferocious press, and the rise of experimental science. Unlike the Continent, 17th-century England boasted a minimal level of press censorship, and this, at a time when Cromwell's successful invasion of Ireland and new colonies in North America secured England's leadership in the foundation of the British Empire. The question at stake is, what was the relation between religion, violence, State and Empire-building within the peculiar British context of free and booming circulation of news and scientific works?
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Each module will refer to a core of readings which students and lecturer will be discussing together. All modules share the same historiographical orientation, as well as an emphasis on seminar-based teaching with some lecturing, too.
Students are warmly encouraged to take a critical approach to texts and ideas, as lecturers insist students should feel free to think and share their points of view. Lecturers believe that both students and teachers form one and only community of teachers and learners.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Students who do not attend classes should contact the lecturers to fix an ad hoc arrangement.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Trivellato, Francesca., Trivellato, Francesca. Il commercio interculturale : la diaspora sefardita, Livorno e i traffici globali in età moderna.. Roma: Viella, 2016. Introduzione + capp. 5-8 (compresi), pp. 7-32, 177-294. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Maria Pia Donato, L'archivio del mondo. Quando Napoleone confiscò la storia. Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2019. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pietro Adamo, La libertà dei santi. Milano: Franco Angeli, 1998. pp. 165-370 Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Story telling
  • Concept maps
  • Peer feedback
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Reflective writing

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Gender Equality