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European World - Literature Report


The format of a ‘report’ or ‘review’ – introduced with a view to broadening the range of the department’s assessment methods – is an important vehicle of scholarly debate. With regard to the Language Requirement, it offers an ideal opportunity for in-depth engagement with approaches and ideas of authors writing in French, German, Italian or Spanish.

The Literature Report forms an integral part of the second-year core module ‘The European World 1500-1720’. All non-Renaissance stream single honours students are required to review two article-length pieces of secondary literature in the appropriate foreign language (totaling c. 50 pages) in a ‘Literature Report’ (written in English) of 2000 words. A choice of works for review appears in the ‘European World’ handbook / website. The report is due by noon on Friday of week 10 of term 2 (13 March 2009). Penalties will be applied for late submission and plagiarism in the usual way.

Tutors in ‘European World’ and / or language classes will spend time explaining the content and style of a typical review. There are also relevant resources in the ‘skills’ section of the module website. It is important to stress that the ‘Literature Report’ is intended (and marked as) a piece of historical writing (rather than as a linguistic or translation exercise), with the primary emphasis on how use of foreign language materials can enhance the overall quality of scholarly arguments. However, for the specific purpose of fulfilling the Language Requirement, the following guidelines need to be observed in all reports:  

  • at suitable points, students may offer appropriate quotation from the essays / book reviewed (i.e. in the same way as you would use quotation from English sources in order to advance the argument of an essay. Try to find particularly incisive and/or original passages rather than merely factual or uncontentious comments). Quotations should be accurately transcribed (including accents) and accurate translations provided in the footnote
  • at the end of the Report, students should give a bibliography of the works they have used to form their judgements on the essays / book reviewed.
  • the word limit of 2000 words is exclusive of bibliography and footnotes.

The Literature Report will be marked by seminar tutors and another qualified member of staff within a band of ‘0’ to ‘plus 6’.

Marks between ‘plus 3’ and ‘plus 6’ will be awarded to particularly good reports. As stated above, the main criterion will be the quality of the report as a piece of historical writing, apparent through (in order of priority):

  • competent handling of the review format
  • intensive engagement with concepts and ideas drawn from the recommended foreign language texts
  • wider knowledge of relevant debates, especially in non-English writing
  • use of appropriate and relevant quotations which advance the argument of the essay
  • discussion of significantly more than 50 pages of non-English texts (although this is not a precondition for the award of high marks)
  • accuracy of transcriptions and translations
Marks in the band ‘0’ to ‘plus 2’ will be awarded for essays with certain shortcomings, e.g.:
  • lack of engagement with concepts and ideas in foreign language texts
  • failure to employ the required amount of foreign language sources
  • selecting inappropriate or irrelevant quotations
  • inaccuracy of transcriptions in quotations, notes or bibliography (e.g. missing out or misplacing accents, or ignoring conventions about capitalisation)
  • failure to supply translations, or giving inaccurate or misleading translations
  • other formal problems

The bonus marks awarded will be added to the assessed half-unit of ‘European World’. Students who fail to submit a Report will be adjudged to have failed the assessed half unit of ‘European World’. As for other assessed work, plagiarism will be penalised in accordance with the severity of the offence.

Students in the Renaissance Stream
do not write a Literature Report, but their language work will be taken into account in the context of their advanced option, where they can gain up to 6 marks on the half unit.

Is it Worth the Trouble? Please do not think that the award of a couple of bonus points does not make much difference to a final mark. A very significant proportion of assignment marks hover around the class borderlines - especially between 58 and 62 and between 68 and 72. One or two marks more or less can make the difference between, say, a 2/2 unit mark and a 2/1 unit mark. This may well have a critical effect on the overall class of degree that you are awarded. This is all the more the case for failed units or half units.


Debates in French
1. The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre

Text a)

J.-L.Bourgeon, ‘Les légendes ont la vie dure: à propos de la Saint Barthélemy et de quelques livres récents’, Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, 34 (1987), 102-16


Text b)

Marc Venard, ‘Arrêtez le massacre’, Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, 39 (1992), 645-61


Text c)

B. Diefendorf, ‘La Saint-Barthélemy et la bourgeoisie parisienne’, Histoire, économie et société 17 (1998), 341-52 [SRC]


Further reading (cf. seminar reading for Spring Week 5):
J.-L.Bourgeon, ‘Pour une histoire, enfin, de la Saint Barthélemy’, Revue historique, 282 (1989), 83-142
Denis Crouzet, Les Guerriers de Dieu, vol. II, pp. 14-30
Janine Estèbe, Tocsin pour un massacre: la saison des Saint-Barthélemy (1968), pp. 179-88, 199-205
G. Livet, Les Guerres de Religion (Que sais-je? series, 1962)

Important works in English are: Holt, Wars of Religion ch. 3; Knecht, Wars of Religion, ch. 6 of 1995 edn; Benedict, Rouen, ch. on massacre; Diefendorf, Cross, ch. 6; Sutherland, Massacre, chs. 17 & 18; A. Soman (ed.,), Massacre, ch. by Kelly & conclusion; Roberts, Troyes, ch. 7


 2. The Fronde(s)

Text a)

Robert Descimon, ‘Autopsie du massacre de l’hôtel de ville (4 juillet 1652): Paris et la “Fronde des Princes”’, Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 54 (1999), 319-51


Text b)

Moshe Sluhovsky, ‘La mobilisation des saints dans la Fronde parisienne d’après les Mazarinades’, Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 54 (1999), 353-74


Further reading (cf. long essay reading for Louis XIV, ‘Mazarin and the Fronde’):
Articles on the different groups of participants in the Fronde by Descimon & Jouhaud, Bonney, Constant and Bayard, in XVIIe Siècle (under ‘D’ for dix-septième), 145 (1984), 305-62
H.Méthivier, La Fronde (1984), pp. 135-49


Debates in German
1. The Unity / Diversity of the Reformation

Text a)

Bernd Moeller, ‘Die Rezeption Luthers in der frühen Reformation’, in: Berndt Hamm, Bernd Moeller, Dorothea Wendebourg, Reformationstheorien: ein kirchenhistorischer Disput über Einheit und Vielfalt der Reformation (Göttingen, 1995), 9-29 [SLC]


Text b)

Dorothea Wendebourg, ‘Die Einheit der Reformation als historisches Problem’, in: Hamm et al., Reformationstheorien, 31-51 [SLC]


Further Reading (cf. general reading for ‘Religious and Cultural Developments’, seminar reading for Autumn Week 7 and long essay reading on ‘Religious Developments’):
Cameron, European Reformation
Dixon, The Reformation in Germany
Kümin, ‘Introduction’, in his (ed.), Reformations Old and New
Lindberg, European Reformations
MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe’s House Divided
Haigh, English Reformations 


2. Early Modern Poor Relief as “Social Discipline”?


Text a)

Martin Dinges, ‘Frühneuzeitliche Armenfürsorge als Sozialdisziplinierung? Probleme mit einem Konzept’, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 17 (1991), 5-29


Text b)

Robert Jütte, ‘“Disziplin zu predigen ist eine Sache, sich ihr zu unterwerfen eine andere” (Cervantes): Prolegomena zu einer Sozialgeschichte der Armenfürsorge diesseits und jenseits des Fortschritts’, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 17 (1991), 92-101


Further reading (see also seminar reading for Autumn week 4):
T. Fehler, Poor Relief and Protestantism (1999)
R. von Friedeburg, ‘Reformation of Manners and the social composition of offenders in an East Anglian cloth village: Earls Colne, 1531-1642’, Journal of British Studies 29 (1990)
S. Hindle, On the Parish: The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England 1550-1750 (2004)
R. Hsia, Social Discipline in the Reformation: Central Europe 1550-1750 (1989)
O. Hufton, The Poor of Eighteenth-Century France (1974)
R. Jütte, Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe (1994)
B. Pullan, Rich and Poor in Renaissance Venice (1971)
K. Wrightson, D. Levine, Poverty and Piety in an English Village: Terling 1525-1700 (rev. edn, 1995)


Debates in Italian
1. Approaches to Italian State Building

Text a)

Marcello Fantoni, ‘Corte e stato nell’ Italia dei secoli XIV-XVI’, in: G. Chittolini et al. (eds), Origini dello Stato: Processi di formazione statale in Italia fra medioevo ed età moderna (Bologna: Mulino, 1994), 449-66


Text b)

John Najemy, ‘Stato, commune e “universitas”’, in: Chittolini et al. (eds), Origini dello Stato, 647-69


Further reading (cf. general reading on ‘politics and state formation’ above]:
Julius Kirshner (ed.), The Origins of the State in Italy 1300-1600 (Chicago, 1996)


2. The origin of the ‘Myth of Venice

Text a)

G. Fasoli, ‘La nascita di un mito’, in: Studi storici in onore di Gioacchino Volpe (1958) [DG 404.S8; xerox copy available in Venice library]


Text b)

F. Gaeta, ‘Alcune considerazioni sul mito di Venezia’, in: Bibliotheque d’Humanisme et de Renaissance 23 (1961)


Further reading:
F. Gilbert, ‘The Venetian Constitution in Florentine political thought’, in N. Rubinstein (ed.), Florentine Studies
J. Grubb, ‘When myths lose their power: four decades of Venetian historiography’, JMH 58 (1986)
R. Finlay, ‘The immortal republic: the myth of Venice during the Italian Wars (1494-1530)’, SCJ 30 (1999)
D. Rosand, Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State


Debates in Spanish


1. The Comuneros rising

Text a)

José Antonio Maravall, Las Comunidades de Castilla: una primera revolución moderna ( Madrid, 1979), 176-211


Text b)

Pedro Aguado Bleye, Manual de Historia de Espana, vol. II ( Madrid, 1964), 419-27 [SRC]


Further reading (cf. seminar reading for Spring Week 4):
W. Blockmans, Charles V (2002)
J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain (1971)
S. Haliczer, The Comuneros of Castile: the Forging of a Revolution, 1475-1521 (Madison, 1981)
M. Rady, Emperor Charles V (2002)
Pedro Sánchez León, Absolutismo y Comunidad: Los Origenes Sociales de la Guerra de los Comuneros de Castilla (Madrid: Siglo XXI Ed., 1998)
H. L.,Seaver, The Great Revolt in Castile: a Study of the Comunero movement of 1520-1521 (New York, 1966)


2. The Decline of Spain 

Text a)

Angel García Sanz, ‘Auge y decadencia en España en los siglos XVI y XVII: economia y sociedad en Castilla’, in: Revista de Historia Económica 3 (1/1985), 11-27 [SRC, under ‘Kümin’]


Text b)

Jean-Paul Le Flem et al., La frustración de un imperio (1476-1714), Historia de España tomo 5 (Barcelona, 1982), 91-124


Further reading (for English resources, esp. those by Elliott, Kamen and Lynch cf. seminar reading for Spring Week 8):
Antonio Domínguez Ortiz, Crisis y decadencia de la España de los Austrias (Barcelona, 1971)
Angel García Sanz, Desarrollo y crisis del Antiguo Régimen en Castilla la Vieja: economía y sociedad en tierras de Segovia de 1500 a 1814 (1977)
José Antonio Maravall, La cultura del Barroco: análisis de una estructura histórica (2a ed., Barcelona, 1980)
Antoni Simon Tarrés et al. (eds), 1640: la monarquía hispánica en crisis, Serie General ‘La sociedad’; 221 (Barcelona, 1992)