Academic Scholarship and Decolonial Activism

Roberto Zaugg, “Intrecci transimperiali nell’Atlantico moderno. Storiografia accademica e attivismo decoloniale in Germania e in Svizzera”, Storica 79 (2021), pp. 9-52.

On the one hand, this article discusses the historiographical rediscovery of those manifold threads that connected the Holy Roman Empire and the Swiss Confederacy to the Americas and to sub-Saharan Africa. On the other, it examines public debates and memorial activism aimed at promoting a «decolonisation of public space». It argues that, while exchanges between historical research and social activism have overall been fruitful, in some cases tensions have emerged between academic scholarship and decolonial claims.

Lotte di parte – popular unrests and factional conflicts in the Italian Wars in a new book by Carlo Taviani

Scholarship has focused on the Italian Wars of the early Sixteenth century from a variety of comparative perspectives. Only a few studies however have dealt with popular unrests and factional conflicts which have extensively characterized the Italian peninsula, especially the Venetian Terraferma, Lombardy, Brescia, Padova, Cremona, Pisa, Bologna, the area of Friuli, Genoa, Urbino, and Rome. This book focuses on some of these social and factional conflicts that often gave rise to mass exiles, popular unrest, and peace making rituals.

Lotte di parte. Rivolte di popolo e conflitti di fazione nelle guerre d’Italia (1494-1531), by Carlo Taviani, Viella, Roma 2021.

Geschichtskontor Historisches Seminar UZH – Roberto Zaugg and Carlo Taviani discuss upcoming articles

This fall semester, Carlo Taviani and Roberto Zaugg will present their upcoming articles as part of the Geschichtskontor. On 5 October, Carlo Taviani will discuss The ‹Maona›. A Study on Institutional Migration of Economic Organizational Forms (13th–16th Centuries). 7 December will be dedicated to Transimperiale Verflechtungen im frühneuzeitlichen Atlantik. Akademische Geschichtsschreibung und dekolonialer Aktivismus in Deutschland und der Schweiz by Roberto Zaugg.

Economic Reforms in the Kingdom of Naples – a new book by D. Ciccolella, A. Clemente and B. Salvemini

In 1734, when the Kingdom of Naples became once again independent under the rule of Charles of Bourbon after two centuries of Spanish dominion and almost three decades of Austrian rule, things began to move in Southern Italian politics and intellectual debates. Commerce was identified as a strategic sphere where nation building and international relations met with the legitimate expression of private interest. The monarchy sought to establish a unified royal sovereignty over the manifold and fragmented jurisdictions of the Old Regime state. Technical expertise other than legal knowledge began to play an increasing role in decision-making. Old and newly created institutions were called upon to create norms and regulations that would create a wealth-enhancing order. The projects and reforms of this period, however, were far from tracing a linear path, their outcome was all but certain.

This volume presents the edition of 330 documents: expert opinions requested by the king (consulte) in view of defining new normative rules and economic initiatives, petitions (rappresentanze) submitted to the sovereign, projects (progetti) for “good government” written by private individuals as well as letters by consuls and administrators. All together, this book offers extraordinarily rich insights into the economy, politics and intellectual debates of early Bourbon Naples.

Consulte, rappresentanze, progetti per l’economia del Regno di Napoli, vol. I, 1734-1739, edited by Daniela Ciccolella, Alida Clemente and Biagio Salvemini, CNR Edizioni, Roma 2021.

Download the book for free.

“Umanità contesa” – Alessandro Tuccillo’s new book on the Jesuit Giambattista Roberti, an eighteenth-century advocate of Atlantic slavery

The new book by Alessandro Tuccillo – who has just been appointed as associated professor at the Università di Torino – offers an accurate case study on conservative Catholic discourse against enlightened humanism and anti-slavery, focussing on two texts by Giambattista Roberti (1719-1786), an erudite Jesuit from Bassano, a small city on the Venetian mainland. Read more