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Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?


At first sight, global history and microhistory have little in common, and this essay takes stock of where their methods and goals diverge. But in the past two decades a host of scholars have written microhistorically-inflected studies of men and women whose lives transcended narrowly bounded geographical, religious, and linguistic areas. The article assesses what these studies have in common with and how they differ from the main contributions that Italian microhistorians articulated in publications, which appeared from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. It then suggests complementary and alternative ways of drawing inspiration from Italian microhistory to nourish the future agenda of global history.

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