Christian G. De Vito

Towards a Translocal Microhistory (Micro-Spatial History)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Microhistory; Global History; Translocality.

The essay aims to «spatialize» microhistory, that is, it proposes a microhistory sensitive to spatiality. I therefore seek to outline a historiographical approach capable of deconstructing the alleged universality of the macro-analytical categories used to describe historical phenomena that at the same time addresses the dialectics between the singularity of each site and the connections produced among sites by the circulation of individuals, objects, ideas, and representations. The essay is divided into four parts. The first section focuses on the way distinct microhistorical approaches have related to the issue of space. The second investigates research strategies that have emerged in the past decade in order to write «global microhistories». In the third section I highlight the key elements of a trans-local microhistory (or "micro-spatial history") through examples drawn from my research in the fields of convict labour and the history of psychiatry. The final section contends that trans-local microhistory is part of global history, and I draw out broader implications for the field.

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