by Subject: Early Modern History
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The Absent Jews
Kurt Forstreuter and the Historiography of Medieval Prussia
For nearly a century, it has been a commonplace of Central European history that there were no Jews in medieval Prussia—the result, supposedly, of the ruling Teutonic Order’s attempts to create a purely Christian crusader’s state. In this groundbreaking historical investigation, however, medievalist Cordelia Hess demonstrates the very weak foundations upon which that assumption rests. In exacting detail, she traces this narrative to the work of a single, minor Nazi-era historian, revealing it to be ideologically compromised work that badly mishandles its evidence. By combining new medieval scholarship with a biographical and historiographical exploration grounded in the 20th century, The Absent Jews spans remote eras while offering a fascinating account of the construction of historical knowledge.
Subjects: Jewish Studies Early Modern History WWII History
Archeologies of Confession
Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017
Johnson, C. L., Luebke, D. M., Plummer, M. E. & Spohnholz, J. (eds)
Modern religious identities are rooted in collective memories that are constantly made and remade across generations. How do these mutations of memory distort our picture of historical change and the ways that historical actors perceive it? Can one give voice to those whom history has forgotten? The essays collected here examine the formation of religious identities during the Reformation in Germany through case studies of remembering and forgetting—instances in which patterns and practices of religious plurality were excised from historical memory. By tracing their ramifications through the centuries, Archeologies of Confession carefully reconstructs the often surprising histories of plurality that have otherwise been lost or obscured.
Subjects: Early Modern History Religion
Conversion and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Germany
Luebke, D. M., Poley, J., Ryan, D. C., & Sabean, D. W. (eds)
The Protestant and Catholic Reformations thrust the nature of conversion into the center of debate and politicking over religion as authorities and subjects imbued religious confession with novel meanings during the early modern era. The volume offers insights into the historicity of the very concept of “conversion.” One widely accepted modern notion of the phenomenon simply expresses denominational change. Yet this concept had no bearing at the outset of the Reformation. Instead, a variety of processes, such as the consolidation of territories along confessional lines, attempts to ensure civic concord, and diplomatic quarrels helped to usher in new ideas about the nature of religious boundaries and, therefore, conversion. However conceptualized, religious change— conversion—had deep social and political implications for early modern German states and societies.
Subject: Early Modern History
Germany and the Black Diaspora
Points of Contact, 1250-1914
Honeck, M., Klimke, M., & Kuhlmann, A. (eds)
The rich history of encounters prior to World War I between people from German-speaking parts of Europe and people of African descent has gone largely unnoticed in the historical literature—not least because Germany became a nation and engaged in colonization much later than other European nations. This volume presents intersections of Black and German history over eight centuries while mapping continuities and ruptures in Germans' perceptions of Blacks. Juxtaposing these intersections demonstrates that negative German perceptions of Blackness proceeded from nineteenth-century racial theories, and that earlier constructions of “race” were far more differentiated. The contributors present a wide range of Black–German encounters, from representations of Black saints in religious medieval art to Black Hessians fighting in the American Revolutionary War, from Cameroonian children being educated in Germany to African American agriculturalists in Germany's protectorate, Togoland. Each chapter probes individual and collective responses to these intercultural points of contact.
The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered
Coy, J.P., Marschke, B., & Sabean, D.W. (eds)
The Holy Roman Empire has often been anachronistically assumed to have been defunct long before it was actually dissolved at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The authors of this volume reconsider the significance of the Empire in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Their research reveals the continual importance of the Empire as a stage (and audience) for symbolic performance and communication; as a well utilized problem-solving and conflict-resolving supra-governmental institution; and as an imagined political, religious, and cultural "world" for contemporaries. This volume by leading scholars offers a dramatic reappraisal of politics, religion, and culture and also represents a major revision of the history of the Holy Roman Empire in the early modern period.
Subject: Early Modern History
Kinship in Europe
Approaches to Long-Term Development (1300-1900)
Sabean, D. W., Teuscher, S., & Mathieu, J. (eds)
Since the publication of Philippe Ariès’s book, Centuries of Childhood, in the early 1960s, there has been great interest among historians in the history of the family and the household. A central aspect of the debate relates the story of the family to implicit notions of modernization, with the rise of the nuclear family in the West as part of its economic and political success. During the past decade, however, that synthesis has begun to break down. Historians have begun to examine kinship - the way individual families are connected to each other through marriage and descent - finding that during the most dynamic period in European industrial development, class formation, and state reorganization, Europe became a “kinship hot” society. The essays in this volume explore two major transitions in kinship patterns - at the end of the Middle Ages and at the end of the eighteenth century - in an effort to reset the agenda in family history.
Subjects: Early Modern History General Anthropology
Managing Northern Europe's Forests
Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology
Oosthoek, K. J. & Hölzl, R. (eds)
Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.
Names and Naming in Early Modern Germany
Plummer, M. E. & Harrington, J. F. (eds)
Throughout the many political and social upheavals of the early modern era, names were words to conjure by, articulating significant historical trends and helping individuals and societies make sense of often dramatic periods of change. Centered on onomastics—the study of names—in the German-speaking lands, this volume, gathering leading scholars across multiple disciplines, explores the dynamics and impact of naming (and renaming) processes in a variety of contexts—social, artistic, literary, theological, and scientific—in order to enhance our understanding of individual and collective experiences.
Subjects: Early Modern History General Cultural Studies
The Rise of Market Society in England, 1066-1800
Focusing on England, this study reconstructs the centuries-long process of commercialization that gave birth to the modern market society. It shows how certain types of markets (e.g. those for real estate, labor, capital, and culture) came into being, and how the social relations mediated by markets were formed. The book deals with the creation of institutions like the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London, as well as the way the English dealt with the uncertainty and the risks involved in market transactions. Christiane Eisenberg shows that the creation of a market society and modern capitalism in England occurred under circumstances that were utterly different from those on the European continent. In addition, she demonstrates that as a process, the commercialization of business, society, and culture in England did not lead directly to an industrial society, as has previously been suggested, but rather to a service economy.