Rural History 2015

Panel 58

Organizers: García González, Francisco (1); Gómez Carrasco, Cosme Jesús (2)

Affiliation: 1: Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain; 2: Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Title: The difficulties in renewing the Rural History in Europe. Clichés, stereotypes and historiographical routines, from XVI to XX century

"One of the main difficulties in renewing the Rural Histoy has to do with the importance of the unifying capacity of the cliché and the stereotype. Up to this day, many of the stereotypes and common places that historiography has been joining together remain the same. This ensures a growth in the number of works aimed at reinforcing a recognizable script, at prolonging historiographical routines or at considering as unchanging truth what is actually a stereotype. Lineal arguments that condition the vision of rural past. This is what causes an obvious risk of ignoring the complexity of the processes and different aspects in sufficient detail. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to analyze the transmitted portraits and understand the gap between reality and its representation, between what really was and the proposed constructions to know this past. Perhaps in the current historiography imaginary remains a certain interpretation of the bourgeois and agrarian revolution. It is not easy to understand the peasant sectors if, as the modernization theory indicates, the cities should be the engine of the capitalist progress. This fact increased a negative perception of the peasantry, identified with economic and social backwardness. The unnatural simplifications emphasize several prejudices that mark the distance and highlight the differences. A self-interested discourse that expanded the idea of the rural world was a burden and an echo of the past.
The objective of the session is to reflect on images and representations of the rural world in Europe and their modes of transmission and dissemination through teaching and research. In the papers will be present the construction of clichés and stereotypes from the historiography, the images created on the rural world, social representations, and teaching of this knowledge in education from a comparative perspective between Germany, France, Portugal and Spain."



Chair: Francisco García González, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Discussant: Cosme Jesús Gómez Carrasco, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Paper 1: Old maids, sorcieres, zitelle or poor widows. Prejudices and scorn in the perception of widows and single old women in the 19th century

Monica Miscali, University of Oslo, Norway

Paper 2: Writing the social history of rural Europe: literacy, civil law practice, and money (Tirol, sixteenth century)

Margareth Lazingher, University of Siegen, Germany

Paper 3: Urbanisation and economic development: a rethinking starting from early modern Lombardy

Matteo Di Tullio, Bocconi University, Italy

Paper 4: The image of the peasant in French historiography

Nadine Vivier, Université du Maine-Le Mans, France

Paper 5: Distorting Rural Europe (17th-19th centuries). The teaching and transmission of clichés and stereotypes

Cosme J. Gómez Carrasco, University of Murcia, Spain; Francisco García González, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015