CfP: Applied microhistory: A workshop

Applied microhistory: A workshop.

 Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Tuesday, 15 March 2016.

As time puts things into perspective, the heated and sometimes misleading historiographical debates of the 1970s and 1980s on micro-history and its focus on small subjects seem to fade away. Yet in the meantime historical micro-analysis has emerged as a useful method to approach a very diverse set of questions in different fields of social sciences and humanities.

Micro-analysis focuses on the reduction of scale as an instrument to answer theoretical general questions, maintaining a dynamic tension between ‘emic’ and ‘etic’ perspectives. In so doing, it offers a logical procedure to infer general considerations from specific cases, regardless of their statistical representativeness. At the same time, this approach implies a contingent view of the relationship between agency and structure, highlighting the creativity of the former and the complexity of the latter.

This workshop aims at discussing the contribution of micro-analytical historical approaches to research in different fields, from the most classical focus on local communities to the challenge of studying at micro level global connections and institutions, as well at the organizational level. Contributors are invited to address the methodological issues implied in the use of a micro-analytical approach with reference to a diverse range of research fields.

Scholars interested in participating should send a title and short abstract of their proposed contribution by January 15 to Giovanni Favero (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia) –


Decker, Stephanie (2015) Mothership reconnection: Microhistory and institutional work compared. In T.G Weatherbee, P.G. McLaren, & A.J. Mills (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History (pp. 222-237). London: Routledge.

Fellman, Susanna & Rahikainen, Marjatta (Eds.) (2012) Historical Knowledge: In Quest of Theory, Method and Evidence. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Magnússon, Sigurour G. & Szijártó, Istvan M. (2013) What is Microhistory? Theory and Methods. London: Routledge.

Trivellato, Francesca (2011). Is there a future for Italian microhistory in the age of global history? California Italian Studies Journal, 2(1).