Historian Maartje van Gelder will discuss popular unrest and contestation in early modern Venice.
About the Seminar
The reputation of Venice as “La Serenissima”, “the most serene one”, is among the most enduring myths in European history. A key element of this myth is the absence of popular protest: while other cities went through cycles of violent revolts, early modern Venice alone seemed to lack iconic rebellions. Scholars consider popular contestation crucial in shaping early modern urban politics, yet the inhabitants of one of Europe’s most densely populated and diverse cities have been excluded from this narrative. This project challenges Venice’s reputation for exceptional political serenity, arguing that ordinary Venetians did shape politics. However, their impact has been systematically “forgotten”, thus effectively removing them from the political stage. This project is situated at the intersection of social history and memory studies and investigates the impact of the politics of oblivion, the organization of collective forgetting. Venice, a city obsessed with presenting itself as peaceful, forms the ideal laboratory.
About NIAS Seminars
NIAS Seminars are aimed to stimulate scientific cross-pollination within the NIAS academic community, but seminars are open to others who are interested. Please let us know if you wish to attend.