Medioevo e riviste storiche italiane: uno sguardo di medio periodo (1960-2012)

ANNO 54 2013
Giuseppe Petralia

The Middle Ages and historical journals in Italy: a medium-term view (1960-2012)
After the end of the Second World War, a new generation of scholars deeply changed the methods and themes of medieval history in Italy. This renewal also affected the two general historical journals that had long existed on the scene («Rivista storica italiana» and «Nuova rivista storica»), as well as both leading periodicals specializing in medieval studies («Bollettino dell’Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo» and «Studi medie-vali»). During the sixties and seventies, as in other sectors of the discipline, structural and social history represented the main issues and the most important field of debate. Medieval history claimed ever more space in the pages of more recent journals («Qua-derni storici», «Società e storia», and, more gradually, «Studi storici») and a new sectoral review was founded («Quaderni medievali»). The peak of the success and fortune of medieval history came during the eighties. At the same time, as interest in economic and social structures declined, politics and institutions acquired new importance, while religious and ecclesiastical historians constituted a more distinctive branch of study, with the High and Late Middle Ages being established as two separate areas. The main innovation of the last twenty years – i.e. the turn to linguistics and culture – was never the focus of debate in Italian journals and historiography, but influenced recent research all the same. Nevertheless, interest in material resources is currently returning to the fore. In the meantime, new and active journals («Storica» and «Reti medievali. Rivista») are being created. Lastly, academic practices are moving towards a likely change: the ranking of academic journals may cause more concentration of semi-nal essays and increased historiographical debate in leading Italian historical reviews.

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