Microhistory in East Asia: A Lecture in Rome
On June 17th, 2014, while a visiting scholar at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, Professor Eugenio Menegon gave a lecture for the Third Doctoral Seminar on “Europe and East Asia: Cultural and Linguistic Contacts” at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the University of Rome “La Sapienza.” The seminar was sponsored by the Confucius Institute in Rome.
The lecture was entitled “Microhistory: An Italian Historiographical Tradition and Chinese-Western History.” An abstract below:
One of the challenges of the new global history is to bridge the particularities of individual lives and trajectories with the macro-historical patterns developing over space and time. The approach of Italian micro-history, particularly popular in the 1980s and 1990s, has been to excavate the life of small communities or individuals to test the findings of serial history and macro-historical approaches. Micro-history in the Anglophone world has instead focused more on narrative itself, and shown less interest for ampler historiographical conclusions. Francesca Trivellato recently suggested a need to “blend together social scientific analysis and narration… on the global stage” (“Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?” California Italian Studies, 2011). Sino-Western interactions offer a particularly fruitful field of investigation of phenomena that are traceable in economic and statistical series, thanks to the survival of detailed records of East India Companies and missionary agencies regarding their activities in China. Recent scholarship has started to offer new conclusions, based on such Western records, and matching records in the Chinese historical archive.
For a detailed program, see: http://www.istitutoconfucio.it/UserFiles/File/Europe%20and%20East%20Asia_def.pdf