HIS 387M • Pop Cul in Europe, 1650-1870
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Popular culture has been the focus of imaginative and controversial studies in the history of early modern Europe. This course will survey some of the most significant and some of the more recent work in this field. Students working in geographic areas outside Europe may find its themes or methodologies of use to their research interests. They are encouraged to pursue those interests in the final paper, although the core readings will be based on works in European historiography. The readings will examine a number of themes related to the relationship of popular and elite culture, specifically, how elite attitudes toward popular culture ranged from persecution, to tolerance, to appropriation. Major shifts in the practices and the rituals of everyday life as well as the intersection of literate practices and popular culture will also be explored. Course meetings will be organized around visits to particular collections of the University related to our themes, including the Popular Imagery Collection at the Humanities Research Center.
Writing assignments: During the weeks we read the secondary literature, students will take turns writing weekly discussion questions that will be the basis of weekly response papers by the other students. In the last four weeks of the course the emphasis will shift to the research interests of the individual students, and students may pursue a brief research project in primary or secondary sources related to their major research area in the pre-modern period, on a topic related to popular culture, within the rough chronological time frame, 1500-1850. The writing goal of the semester will be to produce a 10-page conference paper. The genre of the conference paper will be the focus of study, with the recent how-to manual on scholarly writing, Writing for Scholarly Publication as the main guide in that effort. During the last week of classes we will hold a mini-conference at which students will present their findings.
Readings will include (subject to availability) but not be limited to: M. Bakhtin, Rabelais and his World Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms P. Aries, Western Attitudes Toward Death Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe P. Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe D. Sabean, Power in the Blood D. Dugaw, Warrior Women and Popular Balladry Articles or short selections from, J.G. Herder, Antonio Gramsci, E.P. Thompson, Robert Darnton, Roger Chartier and others.