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Microhistory: A Strategic Approach

By microhistory we mean the focus on detailed description and explanation of a specific event. By focusing on the scale of observation, aspects that would have otherwise remained unexplained are brought into view, and priority is given to activities, patterns of behaviour and institutions. These elements construct the framework in which the event itself becomes meaningful and comprehensible.

During the goal-setting phase, researchers of FHW collaborated to create and finally select this particular method of historical analysis. We hope that this new technology becomes useful as a means of presenting new scientific currents, in which concepts and methods of other scientific disciplines such as linguistics, literary theory, social anthropology and psychoanalysis are incorporated. In these terms, we are interested in reappraising Hellenic history from a different point of view, which will be based on:

  • the incorporation of issues of Hellenic history within the more general social and cultural framework.
  • the definition of the conceptual content of older familiar terms, and the attempt to create their contemporary equivalents.
  • an in depth analysis and interpretation of historical phenomena, rather than their simple reconstruction.
  • the paradigmatic reading of historical issues.

The above points all suggest a synthetic approach, which does not limit itself to an exhaustive supply of information, but aims at presenting a great many elements of social life, while preserving their mutual dependence, in order to illustrate paradigmatically a given social reality. Such an approach also takes into consideration the formation of conceptual horizons, mostly as these are expressed through the multiple readings of an event in different historical moments.