Family strategies, ambitions of preeminence and power management. The example of Del Balzo family in Terra d’Otranto (14th-15thcentury), by Luciana Petracca
In recent times, the history of feudal nobility has experienced a renewed historiographic interest, mainly sparked by new readings and methodological perspectives marked by interdisciplinary approaches. Such an investigation, far from being limited to the field of mere prosopographical description, can also prove useful in evaluating the historical processes, the social mechanisms and the politico-institutional systems peculiar to the context where the feudal nobility operated. In this sense, the current contribution aims at retracing the history of one of the Kingdom’s most influential families of French origin, the Del Balzo (with reference to the line which settled in the Terra d’Otranto), and its several branches, including the most renowned one, the Del Balzo Orsini. Besides allowing for an in-depth analysis of the political dynamics of the Angevin-Aragonese Mezzogiorno, the history of the family represents an interesting case study to investigate the strategies implemented by the main dynasties of the Kingdom to strengthen their power, expand their sphere of influence and gain economic advantage and preeminent positions.
Keywords: Feudality; Del Balzo Family; Power Strategies; Ambitions of Preeminence.
‘The Career of Penance’. Convert prostitutes and society in Bologna between 16th and 17th century, by Vincenzo Lagioia
Between 16th and 17th centuries many foundations (monastries and homes) of ecclesiastic origin were founded to protect former prostitutes. A phenomenon well-known to historiographic study, that of the Converted Prostitutes is a religious and social fact of great importance within the framework of the Italian cities of the ancient regime. Regulating the morally unacceptable behaviours by means of the insertion of women in spaces and places of correction and redemption is the duty of the Church and in the interest of the secular powers. So in Bologna in 1689 alongside the already functioning monastery of the saints Philip and James (1567) was born the home of Saint Maria Egiziaca for converted women who, finding themselves in a state of penury, entrusted themselves to the charity of the archbishop and to the “conservators” (a counsel of lay administrators) of the Institute. The Bolognese experience acquires a significant and paradigmatic character within the historical and social panorama of the peninsula, while the pastoral activity of the archbishops Paleotti, Boncompagni and Lambertini allows us to reflect on the methods of regulating the bodies and the female sexuality of women directed along a pathway of religious conversion.
Keywords: Converted Prostitutes; Female Sexuality; Women’s History; Nuns; Bologna.
Outside the mental hospital. Large-scale internment and family custody of psychiatric patients in Italy at the end of 19th century, by Fabio Milazzo
The contribution analyzes the issue of the “Great internment” asylum in Italy at the end of the nineteenth century and the medical policies adopted to face it. In particular, the contribution focuses on the mental health policies of the mentally ill and their spread in Italy. The study is based on the information reports sent by various provincial administrations to the Deputation of Cuneo and collected in the province archives. The reports describe the situation of asylums in the provinces, the weight on the provincial budget and the accidental adoption of family assistance policies for the alienated. In conclusion, at the end of the nineteenth century, the domestic custody of the insane in Italy is quite widespread, even if the reality is uneven and differently practiced.
Keywords: Disciplinary institutions; History of Psychiatry; Madness; Social Control; Liberal Italian State.
Subversive women in the Great War. Three profiles in comparison, by Daria De Donno
Historiography, on the impulse of women’s studies, has long wondered about the relationship between women-war-subjectivity, laying the foundations for investigations that over time have probed in depth the dynamics of war contexts thought of as female, with particular attention in recent years to the theme of conflict and popular protest against the conflict. Starting from these reflections, the essay focuses the attention on female activism in the First World War captured from the point of view of involvement on the anti-militarist and revolutionary front, starting from three exemplifying biographical profiles of other paths of dissent not yet emerged from the testimonies. They were Rita Maierotti, Grazia Baldassarre and Ortensia De Meo, three “subversives” with roles of responsibility in the socialist party, who took up the challenge of mobilizing the potential forces in movement of Southern Italy to coordinate and channel them into anti-war resistance, with the longer-term perspective of contributing to the construction of an inclusive and democratic society.
Keywords: Women’s Studies; Great War; Dissent; Subversive Women.
Subjectivity, History, memories, by Patrizia Gabrielli
The essay broadly reconstructs the origins and the activities promoted in about forty years by The National Diary Archive of Pieve Santo Stefano, placing them in the framework of the historiographical changes matured in Italy since the 1960s. Throughout this decade, a wide-ranging debate takes place that, questioning consolidated interpretative paradigms adopted by historical research, opens up new themes and perspectives of analysis, leading to the affirmation of social history and micro-history. By illustrating these passages, read as prerequisites for the enhancement of subjectivity in historical research, the main issues of the debate on self-narrative sources are examined also in the field of political and gender history.
Keywords: Self-Narrative Sources; Life Histories; National Diary Archive of Pieve Santo Stefano; Historiography.
Some remarks on the Aldo Moro case, by Matteo Albanese
What is the state of the art on Moro’s kidnapping? During the last three decades historians and social scientist tried to better understand the reasons behind this attack and the outcomes for the Red brigades and more important for the Italian political life. In light of the last Parliamentary Commission this article summarizes the debate about this paradigmatic case and pose new question regarding the complicated historical and political connections among Italian Communist Party and the Red Brigades. Which grammar of power did they have? According to the work I may say that their analysis couldn’t be a tool to understand the reality of a complex country such Italy in 1978. Is it possible that the lack of a more sophisticated understanding of political power by the Red Brigades can be used to better understand the drama of Aldo Moro and Italian democracy at that stage?
Keywords: Kidnapping of Aldo Moro; Red brigades; PCI.
History and interpretations of youth vs police clashes in Thatcherian Britain, by Simone Duranti
Forty years after the most serious clashes in contemporary British history between the youths of the inner cities and the police, the name of Brixton remains a peculiar symbol of the political and cultural confrontation between Thatcherism and the Myth of “The Enemy Within”. The present essay examines the 1981 disturbances (which involved issues of race, class and public order) and shows how Thatcher’s governments, with the fundamental help of the media system, tried to interpret the crisis of British society and the decline of the multicultural paradigm.
Keywords: British Riots; Thatcherism; Law and Order.
Infamy, Sabbath and Anti-society in the Witchcraft System. Notes and Reflections on Some Trials (XVIth-XVIIth centuries), by Domizia Weber and Daniele Santarelli
This paper deals with the connection between infamy, sabbath and witchcraft accusation, taking inspiration from some trials taking place in XVI and XVII northern-central Italy, and reflecting on the antisocial behavior of witches, perceived as a danger for established order. It will be highlighted how, while the classic stereotype of the witch is challenged and outdated, a steady constant is the reputation of the witch as an essential element of persecution. Finally, it will be underlined how a Digital Humanties perspective could be helpful to offer an overview of witchcraft system that even the most recent synthesis do not offer.
Keywords: Witchcraft; Sabbath; Infamy; Inquisition.