Production of Locality in the Early Modern and Modern Age: Places

March 26, 2021

Pier Mattia Tommasino (Columbia University) in conversation with Angelo Torre (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy & IAS Princeton) on the occasion of the publication of his book: Production of Locality in the Early Modern and Modern Age: Places (Routledge, 2020).

The 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 nineteenth 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.

This was a virtual event held on March 26, 2021. This event is part of the Italian and Mediterranean Colloquium series, sponsored by the European Institute & the Department of Italian.