- The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350–1750
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Maps
- List of Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: ‘Early Modern’ Europe and the Idea of Early Modernity
- The Cartographic Emergence of Europe?
- Weather, Climate, and the Environment
- Disease and Medicine
- Historical Demography
- Travel and Communications
- Languages and Literacy
- Printing and Printedness
- A Revolution in Information?
- Economic and Social Trends
- The Social Order
- Households and Family Systems
- Social Roles and Individual Identities
- Consumption and Material Life
- The Agrarian West
- The Agrarian East
- Country and Town in Mediterranean Europe
- Towns and Urbanization
- The Christian Church, 1370<i>–</i>1550
- Protestantism and its Adherents
- Early Modern Catholicism
- The World of Eastern Orthodoxy
- The Transformations of Judaism
- Islam and Muslims in Europe
- Cultures of Peoples
- Belief and its Limits
- Index of Names and Places
- Index of Subjects
Abstract and Keywords
The popular culture of early modern Europe is best conceptualized as ‘the cultures of peoples’ because of the continent’s diversity. Historians of popular culture have explored the interdisciplinary territory between history and anthropology, art history, literary theory, gender, and cognitive studies. Few fields have been more transformed by the methodological and theoretical shifts of the history profession. Such inquiries have overturned generalizations about the dependence of popular culture on elite culture, the monolithic nature of popular culture, and the supposed shortcomings of its religious practices. Attention to popular culture has revealed the impact of ordinary people on state development, the porous boundaries between learned and popular knowledge, and the selective appropriation of elite culture for popular purposes. This chapter assesses current dilemmas in the field, including contemporary confusion between microhistory and micronarratives and the potential pitfalls of seeking a contemporary audience for the study of popular cultures.
Caroline Castiglione, History Department, Brown University
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