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Kinship, Community, and Self

Kinship, Community, and Self: Essays in Honor of David Warren Sabean

Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 316
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  • Book Info
    Kinship, Community, and Self
    Book Description:

    David Warren Sabean was a pioneer in the historical-anthropological study of kinship, community, and selfhood in early modern and modern Europe. His career has helped shape the discipline of history through his supervision of dozens of graduate students and his influence on countless other scholars. This book collects wide-ranging essays demonstrating the impact of Sabean's work has on scholars of diverse time periods and regions, all revolving around the prominent issues that have framed his career: kinship, community, and self. The significance of David Warren Sabean's scholarship is reflected in original research contributed by former students and essays written by his contemporaries, demonstrating Sabean's impact on the discipline of history.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-420-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. INTRODUCTION. Sabean’s Swabians: A Study of Kith and Kin
    (pp. 1-20)

    In 1964 theArchive for Reformation Historypublished an article on the theology of Moïse Amyraut (1596–1664), a French Protestant theologian best known for his expansion of John Calvin’s doctrine of predestination.¹ Like other theologians, Amyraut had tried to overcome the evident contradiction between God’s promise of universal salvation and the actual restriction of salvation to those whom God himself has elected. Any reader of theArchivein the mid-1960s could have marked this study’s neophyte author as a very promising specialist in the theology and doctrine of Reformed Protestantism’s golden age.

    In 1970 theAnnales de démographie historique...

  5. Part I. Kinship

    • CHAPTER 1 “As a Brother Should Be”: Siblings, Kinship, and Community in Carolingian Europe
      (pp. 23-36)

      In 800 ce, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor.¹ The event bestowed papal blessing on a Roman-Frankish union long in the making and highlighted the expansive and expanding dominion of Charlemagne, king of the Franks and Lombards (r. 768–814). But what Charlemagne built during his reign fragmented after his death. He had ruled largely alone (after his brother died three years into their dual reign) and left one heir, Louis the Pious (r. 814–40).² At Charlemagne’s death, however, Louis already had three sons: Lothar I (b. 795), Pippin I (b. 797), and Louis the German (b. 806). Following...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Legal Pitfalls of Marriage Brokerage in Nineteenth-Century France
      (pp. 37-48)

      In an 1836 issue of the satirical newspaperLe Charivari, lithographer Honoré Daumier published an image in his popular series of Robert Macaire caricatures, this one depicting the iconic con man as a “matrimonial agent.”¹ Daumier featured Macaire inLe Charivaribetween 1836 and 1838 in a variety of contemporary urban settings and situations, most of them focused on commercial society and its seemingly unregulated expansion into additional realms of life under the July Monarchy. A conceited and overblown character belonging to the entrepreneurial middle classes, Macaire often appeared as an unscrupulousagent d’affaires(business agent) who played on the...

    • CHAPTER 3 “Married to the Bottle”: Drunk Husbands and Wives in Wilhelmine Germany
      (pp. 49-60)

      David Warren Sabean’s two volumes on Neckarhausen are of course well-known. Their contribution to various historiographies—early modern Germany, the family,Alltagsgeschichte—has been well documented here as elsewhere. Both volumes bring readers closer to history “as it actually was” (wie es eigentlich gewesen), in a way that is more “real” than the great German positivist Leopold von Ranke probably intended. To be sure, Sabean’s requisitioning of postmortem inventories of agricultural implements and his recounting of the ubiquitous village gossip reveal as much or more about the early modern past than can diplomatic treaties and battle strategies. But what may...

    • CHAPTER 4 A Home for Mothers in Vienna: Community and Crisis
      (pp. 61-72)

      In May 1906 the Austrian League for the Protection of Mothers (Österreichischer Bund für Mutterschutz, ÖBfM) was formed by a committee of doctors, philosophers, and feminists. Like its sister association in Berlin, it was a progressive, bourgeois organization committed to social change in the lives of women. Unlike the Berlin organization, however, the ÖBfM was almost entirely devoted to the cause of unmarried mothers. Vienna had exhibited a high illegitimacy rate in the nineteenth century, combined with a similarly high infant mortality rate. Unlike other bourgeois or religious charities who addressed this problem by focusing on asylum for illegitimate children,...

    • CHAPTER 5 Of Queens and Kinship: Politics and Legacies in the Colonial Pacific
      (pp. 73-84)

      Histories of the Pacific islands, particularly from the nineteenth century, are rich in legacies of kinship and politics. In scholarly ethnography, Rona Tamiko Halualani describes a visit to Hawai‘i’s Iolani Palace, seat of the last Hawaiian monarchs, and notes, “Throughout my childhood, I had fantasized about being the descendant of a famous ruler like Queen Lili’uokalani.”¹ The queen had battled for native Hawaiian sovereignty against encroaching foreigners in the late nineteenth century and was overthrown by American business and military interests in 1893. Down the road from Papeete, the Tahitian capital of French Polynesia, the Musée de Tahiti et des...

    • CHAPTER 6 The Making of a Japanese Rural Christian Community: Conversion through Family Networks in Late Nineteenth-Century Japan
      (pp. 85-96)

      A visit to the otherwise sleepy towns of Gunma Prefecture, generally considered a dull region at the northern edge of the Kantō Plains, reveals something remarkable: the presence of Christian churches, most dating from before the beginning of the twentieth century. They are spread throughout the region, from towns in the plains to villages nestled along the dramatic Agatsuma River gorge that wends its way toward the mountainous interior of Japan’s main island. Some of these churches, including the earliest in Annaka, are set apart from their surroundings and stand out with their distinct architecture. The humble church in Haramachi,...

  6. Part II. Community

    • CHAPTER 7 Divination and Community in Early Modern Thuringia
      (pp. 99-110)

      In early modern Germany, people from all ranks of society sought to predict the future and reveal hidden knowledge by consulting fortune-tellers, casting lots, and interpreting omens. Divination was ubiquitous, practiced by learned mages at court, illiterate cunning folk in the countryside, and ordinary individuals using customary forms of fortune-telling in their homes and workshops.¹ Since late antiquity, Christian authorities had opposed divination, which they viewed as a dangerous form of pagan diabolism that called God’s omniscience and omnipotence into question.² These negative attitudes persisted into the Reformation period, and Protestant theologians adopted most of the objections to divination developed...

    • CHAPTER 8 Paracelsus: Greed, Self, and Community
      (pp. 111-121)

      A passage from Paracelsus’sParamirum(written between 1530 and 1534) opens up the problem of how wealth and desire, society and self, sacred and profane, were intertwined in early modern thought:

      The flesh made out of earth is nature, and is subject to her measure and her justice. But the evil that arises from the flesh does not come from material nature, but springs from the intangible, ethereal body; it is this body which exceeds the measures of nature… . Consequently man has a second, immaterial body; it is the ethereal body, which Adam and Eve acquired in Paradise through...

    • CHAPTER 9 From Heretics to Hypocrites: Anti-Pietist Rhetoric in the Eighteenth Century
      (pp. 122-131)

      This essay follows David Warren Sabean’s model of exploring how political power and cultural beliefs and practices were intertwined with each other, and his method of closely investigating how groups delineated, defined, or imagined themselves and how they were delineated, defined, or imagined by others. Scholars of Pietism do not usually consider the opposition to the movement, even though they often define and delineate Pietism in relation to its opponents. This essay traces the rise and fall of Pietism as it was reflected in anti-Pietist rhetoric in the eighteenth century as a means of illustrating the reception of Pietism and...

    • CHAPTER 10 Finding Orthodoxy in the Baltic: Conservative Russia and the Baltic Region in the Nineteenth Century
      (pp. 132-144)

      The present essay grew out of research I began as a graduate student at UCLA under David Warren Sabean, who offered two valuable seminars early on in my studies: the first on “The Sacred and the Profane” and the second on “Religious Conversion in Europe and Beyond.” These seminars provided a rigorous and lively intellectual atmosphere as I became interested in the phenomenon of mass conversion to Orthodoxy and its aftermath in the Baltic. This essay represents one aspect of a larger project that is mostly about the interactions between peasants, clergy, and bureaucrats who were caught up in working...

    • CHAPTER 11 Women, Railways, and Respectability in Colonial India
      (pp. 145-156)

      On 15 July 1871 theKoh-i-Núrnewspaper published out of Lahore declaimed the increasing “depravity of the women of the Panjab” since the death of the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh (1839). It blamed this on the “discontinuance of moral and religious training” among women and the simultaneous spread of railways in the area.¹ TheKoh-i-Núr’s correlation between a spreading railway network and increasing female depravity was not shared by the imperial official William Muir, who was lieutenant governor of the North-West Provinces between 1868 and 1874. Stressing the “great social benefits” of encouraging Indian women to travel by railway, he...

    • CHAPTER 12 Adventures in Terrorism: Sergei Stepniak-Kravchinsky and the Literary Lives of the Russian Revolutionary Community (1860s–80s)
      (pp. 157-169)

      They were all crazy and they were all wrong,” David Warren Sabean once said of the people of the past. It was an off-the-cuff remark, flung at graduate students in one of his seminars in the late 1990s, but it captures in a nutshell Sabean’s democratic historical mind and, as such, made a lasting impression. “They were all crazy and they were all wrong” is not an expression of triumphant historicism, but in fact the very opposite: if all the people of the past were crazy and wrong, it stands to reason that all the people of the present are,...

    • CHAPTER 13 Power in Truth Telling: Jewish Testimonial Strategies before the Shoah
      (pp. 170-182)

      InPower in the Blood: Popular Culture and Village Discourse in Early Modern Germany, David Warren Sabean offers a mode of reading as much as an interpretation of early modern German peasant culture. “Inside a village,” Sabean instructs, “the way in which relations are perceived and constructed are close to practice, and certain key terms are constantly reiterated. These concepts and terms are what we are looking for. We also want to use villagers’ conceptions to refine our own and to subject them to criticism.”¹ With Sabean as our guide, a text becomes a village, alien chatter, articulate expression. The...

  7. Part III. Self

    • CHAPTER 14 For the Love of Geometry: The Rise of Euclidism in the Early Modern World, 1450–1850
      (pp. 185-201)

      The intellectual history of early modern Europe is replete with classical “-isms.” An assortment of scholars have explored the conflicts between the Aristotelianism that emerged dominant—albeit weakened—from the Middle Ages and insurgent systems, such as Epicureanism (also called Atomism), Platonism, Skepticism, and Stoicism, that undermined it.² Yet, amid the contemporary discussion of the resulting battles, the influence on early modern thought of Euclidism has been overlooked.

      Rooted primarily in the encounter with the spatial works of Euclid of Alexandria (fl. 300 bce), Euclidism is a culture of projecting and manipulating homogeneous space that flourished between 1450 and 1850....

    • CHAPTER 15 A Private Repulsion toward Public Women in the Letters of Caspar von Voght and Germaine de Staël
      (pp. 202-215)

      Caspar von Voght, a prominent figure of Hamburg’s upper bourgeoisie, wrote in 1826 that he had “always had an aversion to women … tormented with the desire to have an historical existence.”¹ He was speaking here of Germaine de Staël, the Swisssaloniérecentral to European romanticism. Voght’s sentiments remained constant throughout his life despite the intimate correspondence he had shared with de Staël from 1808 through 1811. Two days before their initial meeting in 1808, Voght had already written more or less the same about de Staël, noting that he felt “a peculiar repulsion toward relationships with famous women.”²...

    • CHAPTER 16 Honor and the Policing of Intra-Jewish Disputes in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Germany
      (pp. 216-229)

      For centuries, honor served to distinguish and enforce status differences in the hierarchical, corporate world of medieval and early modern Europe. Honor—the kind and degree one possessed, as well as the ability to retain or lose it—was serious business. It was the most important component of an individual’s (and a group’s) symbolic capital, and it translated into all of the important things in life: status, power, marriage, jobs, and more. Germans and Europeans, we know from a large literature, were consequently obsessed with acquiring and defending honor, most dramatically with the duel.¹ That obsession, as I have recently...

    • CHAPTER 17 You Are What You Reform? Class, Consumption, and Identity in Victorian Britain
      (pp. 230-244)

      In addressing the relationships between self, community, and larger forms of social organization in the modern era, we find a remarkable resource in the work of David Warren Sabean. Sabean presents a model for how historians can ask these kinds of complex questions about social relationships and the generation of meaning, based on a fundamentally historicist approach that finds clues to historical actors’ ideas, relationships, frames of reference, and points of debate through the careful and creative sifting of multiple forms of evidence. His scholarship teaches us never to take meaning or context for granted, and to think about the...

  8. Conclusion
    (pp. 245-250)

    In academe, influence comes in many different forms, none of them exclusive of the others entirely. The rarest of these might be called the professional factory model: scholars who exert influence in a profession by building up seminars or institutes of advanced study, whose graduates go on to populate, even dominate, the fields into which they have been placed. One that comes to mind is the institute founded by Heiko Oberman, one of the foremost historians of late medieval and Reformation-era theology, at the University of Arizona. Oberman and his institute sponsored a huge number of graduate students over the...

    (pp. 251-254)
    (pp. 255-276)
  11. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 277-282)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 283-290)