The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World

ISBN 9780367530334
Published April 29, 2022 by Routledge
604 Pages

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World is a comprehensive examination of recent discussions and findings in the exciting field of cultural history.

A synthesis of how the new cultural history has transformed the study of history, the volume is divided into three parts – medieval, early modern and modern – that emphasize the way people made sense of the world around them. Contributions cover such themes as material cultures of living, mobility and transport, cultural exchange and transfer, power and conflict, emotion and communication, and the history of the senses. The focus is on the Western world, but the notion of the West is a flexible one. In bringing together 36 authors from 15 countries, the book takes a wide geographical coverage, devoting continuous attention to global connections and the emerging trend of globalization. It builds a panorama of the transformation of Western identities, and the critical ramifications of that evolution from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, that offers the reader a wide-ranging illustration of the potentials of cultural history as a way of studying the past in a variety of times, spaces and aspects of human experience.

Engaging with historiographical debate and covering a vast range of themes, periods and places, The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World is the ideal resource for cultural history students and scholars to understand and advance this dynamic field.

Table of Contents

General Introduction  Part 1: Shaping Western Identities, 1250–1500  Introduction  1. Culture of Politics in the Middle Ages: Rituals to create and confirm political order  2. Cultures of Conflict  3. Material Cultures of Living: Spatiality and Everyday Life  4. Travel, Mobility, and Culture in Europe  5. Cultural Encounters and Transfer  6. Practices of Communication: Literacy, Gestures and Words  7. Making Sense of One’s Life and the World  8. Conceiving of Medieval Identities  9.  Body, Sexuality and Health  10. Contextualizing Medieval Emotions  Part 2: Europe meets the Globe: Western Identities in Question, 1500–1750  Introduction  11. God’s Green Garden: Interactions between humans and the environment  12. Material Cultures of Living: European Attitudes to Novelties  13. Reverence, Shame and Guilt in Early Modern European Cultures  14. Making Sense of the World: The Creation and Transfer of Knowledge  15. The Self: Representations and Practices  16. The Experience of Time  17. Written Communication: Publication, Textual Materiality and Appropriations  18. Mobility, Global Interaction and Cultural Transfers in the Age of Cultural Encounters  19. Faces of Power and Conflict  Part 3: The Western World and the Global Challenge, from 1750 to the present  Introduction  20. Enlightenment, Revolution and Melancholy  21. Individualism and Emotion in Modern Western Culture  22. Health and Illness, the Self and the Body  23. Family, Home and Variations in Domestic Life  24. Natural Disasters and Modernity  25. Cultures of Mobility  26. The Cultural Life of the Senses in Modernity  27. Media and Mediatization  28. Indigenous and Postcolonial Cultures  29. Violence and Trauma: Experiencing the Two World Wars  30. The Cold War Cultures and Beyond  31. The Culture of Commerce and the Global Economy  32. Epilogue: Cultural History in Retrospect

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Alessandro Arcangeli is Associate Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Verona, Italy, the author of a reference book on cultural history and its methods and a scholar in Renaissance studies. He chaired the International Society for Cultural History from 2013 to 2017.

Jörg Rogge is Academic Director and Adjunct Professor of History, Middle Ages, at the University of Mainz, Germany, and specialized in the history of urban and noble societies. He is the current Chair of the International Society for Cultural History.

Hannu Salmi is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Turku, Finland, Academy Professor for the years 2017–2021 and a historian of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was the first chair of the International Society for Cultural History from 2008 to 2013.


'This is a remarkable volume covering a vast range of themes, periods and locations. It will be essential for advancing scholarship and supporting the next generation of academic work in the field.'

Professor Hugo Frey, Professor of Visual and Cultural History, University of Chichester, UK