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Group Identity in the Renaissance World


Item #9781107003606

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Hannah Wojciehowski is Professor in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts.
View author's profile here.

This book argues that the Renaissance, an era long associated with the historical development of individualism, in fact witnessed the emergence of radically new concepts of group identity. From the end of the fifteenth century, rapidly accelerating globalization intensified cross-cultural encounters, destabilized older categories of large- and small-group identity, and contributed to the rise of new hybrid group concepts. Drawing on insights from psychoanalysis, linguistics, and Simmelian social network theory, this book advances a theory of "group subjectivity" - perceptions, fantasies, and patterns of belief that guide the behaviors of individuals in groups and of groups themselves. Considering not only Europe but also South Asia, Africa, the Sugar Islands of the Atlantic, the Caribbean world, and Brazil, Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski reconsiders the Renaissance in global context, presenting micro-histories of group identity formation, and persuasively argues that we think of that transformational era as a "re-networking" of the world and its peoples, rather than a "rebirth."



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