This book is a microhistory study of village settlements in early modern Northwest Italy that aims to expand the notion of place to include the process of producing a locality; that is, the production of native local subjects through practices, rituals and other forms of collective action.
Undertaking a micro-analytical approach, the book examines the customs and practices associated with typically fragmented and polycentric Italian village settlements to analyze the territorial tensions between various segments of a village and its neighbors. The microspatial analysis reveals how these tensions are the expressions of conflictual relationships between lay, ecclesiastical and charitable bodies culminating in a "culture of fragmentation" that impacts local economic and political practices. The book also traces how the production of locality survived throughout the nineenth and twentieth century and is still observed today. In this light, the study of practices and policies of locality over time that this book undertakes is an essential tool to better understand the nature and role of these social bonds in today’s society.
Archival records and the methods for approaching this source material are included within the text, making it an accessible and invaluable book for students and teachers of social and cultural history.
Table of Contents
Part I Matrices
1. Community Building: Brotherhoods, Bodies and Municipalities
2. The Eucharist and the Generation of Space
3. Separate Lands
Part II From Law to Culture
5. Possession and Fiscality
6. Vindication and Oblivion
Part III After the Flood
7. Tourism and Civic Uses
8. Production of Locality Today
Angelo Torre is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy. He studied early modern micropolitics through religious and jurisdictional sources. He wrote Il consumo di devozioni (1995) and edited Per vie di terra (2007) and is currently the editor of the journal Quaderni storici.