First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP7078717, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
LE0607, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination CULTURE HISTORY IN EARLY MODERN AGE
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge VITTORIA FEOLA M-STO/02
Other lecturers PAOLA MOLINO M-STO/02

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

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione 2017/18 01/06/2018 30/11/2019 FEOLA VITTORIA (Presidente)
MOLINO PAOLA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Keen interest in the subject. Familiarity with some of the main European or extra-European early modern history topics. Working knowledge of English is required for a number of readings.
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims to familiarise students with some of the main themes in early modern cultural history at master’s level. It does so by looking at the interconnections between the development of political institutions with the production and circulation of knowledge.
By the end fo the course students should have gained a good grasp of cultural history’s methodologies, thereby being able to read and contextualise given primary sources; they should likewise be able to relate them to the appropriate historiographical contexts in relation to such issues as sovereignty, as well as the definition and circulation of knowledge in the early modern worlds.
Examination methods: Students who are attending classes are expected to actively participate in in-class discussions; moreover, they are required to turn in an assignment, take an oral exam, and study course hand outs. Students who will not be attending classes, instead, are required to agree on their course programme with the lecturers.
Assessment criteria: Exam is made up of:
A) a written assignment, 7-10 Word pages long. Students will agree on a topic with the lecturers at the beginning of the course.
B) active participation in in-class discussions on the basis of readings handed out through Moodle, as well as an oral discussion on the subject of their written assignment.
C) knowledge of, and ability to critically think about the assigned readings, as well as of two monographs of their choosing to pick from among those in the bibliography for the oral exam.
Course unit contents: The Early Modern Cultural History course analyses the relationship between forms of political power (State, Empire, organised religion) vis a vis the production and circulation of knowledge from late Humanism to the nineteenth century. It targets in particular political entities, places, institutions and actors which defined the relation between knowledge and power in the early modern worlds.
Two lecturers teach the course: Vittoria Feola (40 hours) e Paola Molino (20 hours). After holding a joint introductory class they will be teaching classes in turns. Classes are five-hour thematic units:

Thematic unit 1: ‘Paper’ states and empires: early modern archives (Paola Molino).

Thematuc unit 2: The political uses of libraries within and without Europe (Paola Molino).

Thematic unit 3: News production, circulation and censorship, orally, handwritten, and in print (Paola Molino along with a guest speaker).

Thematic unit 4: Philology and observation in early modern Europe (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 5: The contribution of the Republic of Letters to new forms of learning and power (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 6: Sovereignty, the study of nature, and the circulation of knowledge in early modern England (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 7: Sovereignty, the study of nature, and the circulation of knowledge in early modern France and the Low Countries (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 8: Political and scientific Newtonianisms (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 9: The eighteenth century, political rights, and women (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 10: Knowledge from afar: colonial empires. (Paola Molino)

Thematic unit 11: Collections, taxonomies, actors, places of knowledge (Vittoria Feola).

Thematic unit 12: The nineteenth century between new cultural canons and new State formations (Vittoria Feola).
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is seminar-based and organised around thematic units. Each one is made up of lecture, discussion of assigned readings, including primary sources, and students’ oral presentations. Students are required to read an article and/or a primary source about the class which they will be attending next. They will find readings in Moodle prior to class. Readings will form the object of in-class discussions during which students are warmly invited to critically talk about them. Moreover, each student will give an oral presentation in class about the topic of their written assignment. During the course digital humanities tools will enhance students’ learning experience with primary source material.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Texts and documents which form the object of in-class discussions, and which are on Moodle, are integral parts of the course syllabus; students, therefore, are required to study them in view of the oral exam. Besides, for the oral exam each student will pick two books from within the following list.
Students who are not attending classes are required to agree with the lecturers on an ad hoc syllabus.
Erasmus students wishing to study English-language works will find that the following bibliography contains a few more English works than its Italian version. They are welcome to pick works in Italian, English, or French. For specific requests about books in other languages, students are encouraged to discuss this with the lecturers.

Ancients and Moderns in Early Modern Europe. Comparative Perspectives, a cura di Patrick Bullard e Aléxis Tadié, Oxford, 2016.

Archivi e archivisti in Italia tra medioevo ed età moderna, a cura di Filippo de Vivo, Andrea Guidi e Alessandro Silvestri, Roma, 2016.

Brendecke, Arndt, The Empirical Empire. Spanish Colonial Rule and the Politics of Knowledge, Berlino, 2016.

Charle, Christoph, Les intellectuels en Europe au XIXe siècle. Essai d’histoire comparée, Parigi, 1993.

Connaissances et pouvoirs: les espaces impériaux (XVIe - XVIIIe siècles), France, Espagne, Portugal, a cura di Charlotte de Castelnau-L'Estoile, Pessac, 2005.

Craveri, Benedetta, La civiltà della conversazione, Milano, 2011.

Critique du zèle. Fidélités et radicalités confessionnelles. France, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle, a cura di Chrystel Bernat e Frédéric Gabriel, Parigi, 2013.

Delbourgo, James, Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane, Harvard 2017.

Duffy, Eamon, La grande storia dei papi: santi, peccatori, vicari di Cristo, Milano, 2011.

Engaging Colonial Knowledge. Reading European Archives in World History, a cura di Ricardo Roque e Kim A. Wagner, New York, 2012.

Feola, V., Elias Ashmole and the Uses of Antiquity, Parigi, 2013.

Ferrone, Vincenzo, Storia dei diritti dell’uomo: l’Illuminismo e la costruzione del linguaggio politico dei moderni, Roma, 2014.

Infelise, Mario, Prima dei giornali: alle origini della pubblica informazione (secoli XVI–XVII). Roma, 2002.

Marcocci, Giuseppe, Indios, cinesi, falsari. Le storie del mondo del Rinascimento, Roma-Bari, 2016.

McClellan, Andrew, Inventing the Louvre: art, politics, and the origins of the modern museum in eighteenth-century Paris, London, 1994.

Miller, Peter, Peiresc’s Europe, New Haven, 2000.

Miller, Peter, Antiquarianism and intellectual life in Europe and China, Ann Arbor, 2012.

Olmi, Giuseppe, L’inventario del mondo: catalogazione della natura e luoghi del sapere nella prima età moderna, Bologna, 1997.

Shank, John Bennett, The Newton Wars and the beginning of the French Enlightenment, Chicago, 2008.

Shea, William R., Artigas, Mariano, Galileo a Roma: trionfo e tribolazioni di un genio molesto, Venezia, 2009.

Silent Messengers. The Circulation of Material Objects of Knowledge in the Early Modern Low Countries, a cura di Dupré Sven e C. Lüthy, Berlino, 2011.

Soll, Jacob, The Information Master: Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Secret State Intelligence
System, Ann Arbor, 2009.

Toscano, Maria, Gli archivi del mondo: antiquaria, storia naturale e collezionismo nel secondo Settecento, Firenze, 2009.

Una vita tra i libri: Bartolomeo Gamba, a cura di G. Berti, G. Ericani, M. Infelise, Milano, 2008.

Vivo, Filippo de, Patrizi, informatori, barbieri. Politica e comunicazione a Venezia nella prima età moderna, Milano 2012.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Bots, H., Waquet, F., La Repubblica delle Lettere. Bologna: --, 2005. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Burke, P., Storia sociale della conoscenza: da Gutenberg a Diderot. Bologna: --, 2002. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hunt, L., La storia culturale nell'età globale. Pisa: --, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Skinner, Q., Le origini del pensiero politico moderno. Bologna: --, 1989. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Trevor-Roper, H., Protestantesimo e trasformazione sociale. Bari: --, 1969. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Bots, H. Waquet, F., Commercial literarium. Amsterdam: --, 1994.
  • Burke, P., A social history of knowledge: from Gutenberg to Diderot. London: --, 2000.
  • Hunt, L., Writing history in the global era. London: --, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Trevor-Roper, H., Religion, the Reformation, and social change, and other essays. London: --, 1967. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Skinner, Q., The foundations of modern political thought. Cambridge: --, 1978. Cerca nel catalogo