Sack of Rome (1527): the Triumph of Mannerism in Europe

Benvenuto Cellini, Christ supporting Saint Peter above the waves, inscription “Quare dubitasti?” (“Why did you doubt?”), 1530-1532, silver double carlin of Clement VII.
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The political accident that was the sack of Rome is a major landmark in the artistic history of Europe. Contemporaries insisted on its Protestant iconoclasm, which notably jeopardized the relics and sacred images of the Holy City, home of the Holy See and destination of pilgrimages. The sack dispersed the successors to Raphael along with the other actors of the first generation of Mannerists, thereby bringing about the immediate diffusion of the first Roman—as well as Florentine—manner, initially towards the main courts of Italy (1527 and 1528) and later to those of France (Fontainebleau) and ultimately Europe.

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EEC/EU and Development Aid from Lomé to Cotonou

Signature of the EEC/ACP Lomé Convention
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In 1957, an association agreement connected to the Treaty of Rome, laid the foundation for a policy of European development aid. Initially founded on the idea of a Euro-African free trade zone, it included almost exclusively Francophone African countries as part of a European Development Fund for investments of an economic or social nature. Beginning in the 1970s with the signing of the first Lomé Convention (1975), European development aid evolved considerably, with regard to both the number of countries involved and the instruments adopted. After being renewed three times, the Lomé Convention gave way in 2000 to the Cotonou Agreement, which made European aid compatible with the World Trade Organization and integrated the new priorities of the EU in the post-Cold War period.

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Queers in Europe

“Queer Liberation, Not Rainbow Capitalism demonstration,” Queer activists during LGBT Pride Parade in Dublin, Ireland July 2016

Since the sixteenth century, the word queer has meant “perverse” in English. The term spread in the United States in the late twentieth century to criticize and render obsolete both gender (man/woman) and sexual (homosexuality/heterosexuality) binarism through an analysis of their diversity. Its emergence on the European continent dates back to the 1990s, expressing itself within academia (through diverse publications of queer theory) and through the emergence of social movements distinguishing themselves from the traditional lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement. Queers in Europe created numerous national organizations reflecting the context of each country, notably in their relations with the LGBT movement, in addition to a perceptible transnational dynamic with respect to theoretical explorations and common European demonstrations.

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Moving Past Infertility

« Les vieux remèdes : pour guérir la stérilité », Publicité du laboratoire Paul Metadier, s.d.© Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de santé, René Descartes.“The Old Remedies: To Cure Sterility,” advertisement by the Paul Metadier laboratory, n.d.
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Since historians were late in taking interest in the subject, and bioethicists have hardly encouraged them, the history of infertility is often limited to that of the “new reproductive technologies” (NRT) that have appeared since the 1970s. Observed over two centuries, the history of infertility in Europe more broadly demonstrates the decline of resignation to biological fate, and illustrates the growing propensity to avoid sorrow and accomplish one’s intimate aspirations.

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Gender of Superstition

« Animal magnetism : The operator putting his patient into a crisis », dans Ebenezer Sibly, A Key To Physic and the Occult Sciences, 1814.“Animal magnetism: The operator putting his patient into a crisis,”  in Ebenezer Sibly, A Key To Physic and the Occult Sciences, 1814.
Albert de Rochas, L’extériorisation de la motricité [The externalization of motive power] (Paris: Chamuel, 1896), 189.
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The classical association between women and superstition underwent a renewal in the second half of the eighteenth century. Their visions, healing powers, and powers of necromancy were re-evaluated and reinterpreted between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, albeit in light of new medical or spiritual knowledge dominated by men in major European cities. Ancestral beliefs and popular rites, including when they were practiced by women, were collected as national or regional treasures, while witches were reintegrated within the national history and spirit of peoples. However, this re-evaluation was always fragile and was offset by great scepticism which sometimes got the upper hand, as in the late nineteenth century, and which sometimes yielded to other more political interests, as in the 1930s. With the subsequent spread of the notion that superstitions are no more than relics, the question of gender has become less important.

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Sexologie : une science européenne (La)

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Le mot sexology est attesté dès les années 1860 en langue anglaise, mais ne prend son sens moderne de science de la sexualité que dans les années 1900, d’abord en allemand (Sexualwissenschaft) et néerlandais (seksuologie), puis en français, espagnol (sexología), italien (sessuologia). Interdisciplinaire, cette science se nourrit d’abord de nombreuses spécialités médicales, mais aussi des sciences humaines et sociales et des mouvements militants. Elle a pour ambition de comprendre la sexualité humaine et son développement tout en distinguant le « normal » du pathologique. Elle traite aussi des questions liées à la reproduction et à la santé sexuelle. Plusieurs temps peuvent être esquissés. Le dernier tiers du xixe siècle est celui la « psychopathologie sexuelle ». Dans le sillage de la réforme sexuelle et de l’eugénisme, la sexologie connaît un nouveau tournant dans l’entre-deux-guerres. Au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, cette discipline se renouvelle, sous l’influence américaine, et entre dans quelques universités.

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De Luther au luthéranisme

Lucas Cranach le Jeune, Jean Frédéric de Saxe et les réformateurs, 1543, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.

Le luthéranisme est une des confessions chrétiennes issue de la contestation de l’Église romaine par Luther au début du xvie siècle. Si son nom se réfère au célèbre réformateur, la mise en place d’une doctrine et d’Églises structurées n’est pourtant pas de son seul fait et ne se stabilise que vers le dernier quart du siècle. Reste que l’identité du luthéranisme demeure fortement marquée par la figure du réformateur dont les principales réflexions théologiques et pastorales sont finalement retenues : le salut par la foi en un Dieu miséricordieux, l’autorité de l’Écriture seule, la croyance en la consubstantiation, la prédication en langue commune et l’importance du chant dans son expression, la scission avec Rome et l’autorité déléguée au pouvoir politique pour organiser les Églises territoriales.

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Questions of Gender in French and European Protestantism

The consecration of two new bishops in the Church of Sweden by Archbishop Antje Jackelén (centre): Johan Dalman, Bishop of Strängnäs (left), and Mikael Mogren, Bishop of Västerås (right), Uppsala Cathedral, September 6, 2015.
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Questions of gender in French and European Protestantism revolve around three poles: participation in struggles within society for equal rights, inclusion and equality in Churches, and the production of feminist or LGBT theologies. Protestants took part in women’s earliest struggles during the nineteenth century but did so without producing a feminist theology. As the question of women’s access to pastoral ministry emerged during the first half of the twentieth century, female youth movements formed, leading to the creation of a Protestant feminism during the 1960s that was active in the fight for contraception and abortion. The first feminist theologies truly blossomed during the 1970s, particularly in Germany. LGBT Christian movements were born during the same period, especially in Great Britain in dialogue with the United States. In Churches, the debates concentrated on access for LGBT individuals to the ministry as priests, and requests for blessings for same-sex unions.

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Print Wars in Europe during the Sixteenth Century

Martin Luther (author), Lucas Cranach the Elder (engraver), Passional Christi und Antichristi, Wittenberg, 1521, A ii v°- A iij. This work sets side-by-side images from episodes in the life of Christ and the Pope, for the purpose of showing that the latter was none other than the Antichrist. Left page: Christ, beaten and mocked, receives a crown of thorns. Right page: The Pope, venerated by bishops and abbots, receives a tiara.
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Print played a central role in political and religious conflicts in Europe during the sixteenth century. Both Protestant reformers and defenders of the Catholic Church saw it as an effective instrument for raising awareness, informing the population, and garnering its support. The politicization of religious conflicts promoted the production and diffusion of texts that justified uprisings against authorities, explained the actions of these authorities, and formulated political theories. The publication campaigns organized by genuine specialists in writing became an indispensable element for any kind of mobilization. While the print runs were relatively modest in comparison to the vast majority of the illiterate population, print exerted an important influence, as it targeted the elites who possessed the power of action and who could serve as intermediaries towards oral forms of information diffusion. 

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Fraternization in the Armed Forces during the two World Wars.

The Christmas truce, 25th December 1914 on the Belgian front (Ploegsteert): British and German soldiers photographed together
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The fraternizations of the Western front during the First World War, which have received considerable media attention since the 2000s, have been transformed into memorial sites and symbols of the fraternity between the peoples of Western Europe. This use of fraternization in the discourse of a hypothetical “European memorial community” obscures the fact that fraternizations appeared in specific conditions and took different forms. They were initiated by soldiers and were for the most part fiercely opposed and condemned by senior officers.

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