From Detail to Example - Perspectives from Microhistory

“A close-up look permits us to grasp what eludes a comprehensive viewing, and vice versa.” – Carlo Ginzburg

Microhistory opens up new and unusual perspectives through the meticulous reconstruction of individual fates and seemingly unimportant events. More than a chronicle of the basic experiences of ordinary people, microhistory seeks insights into major political events, societal transformations, and ideological movements by viewing them through the prism of everyday lives and peripheral details.

Work in progress:

Martin Schaad is currently preparing a book about a number of witch trials on the island of Poel in the baltic sea, which reveal late 17th century jurisprudence to have been highly susceptible to manipulation from below.


Related events:
Lectures in the field of microhistory have taken place periodically for the past several years. Speakers have included Robert Darnton, Natalie Zemon Davis, Mary Fulbrook, Carlo Ginzburg, Anthony Grafton, Rebekka Habermas, Andreas Magdanz, and Inga Markowitz.


Selected publications:
Martin Schaad: Der Hochverrat des Amtmanns Povel Juel. Ein mikrohistorischer Streifzug durch Europas Norden der Frühen Neuzeit, Bielefeld (transcript) 2020 (Open Access Publication)
Martin Schaad, Eine Rehabilitierungs-Maßnahme: Alfred Kurellas Kritik an Bertolt Brechts Lob der Parteidisziplin, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte, 3/2011
Martin Schaad, “Dann geh doch rüber…”: Über die Mauer in den Osten (2009)
Martin Schaad, ‘Dieser phantastische Idiot‘ oder: Eine kurze Typologie historischer Bedeutungslosigkeit, in Leuchtfeuer, 10 Jahre Einstein Forum (2003)