Photo of Carlo Ginzburg

Carlo Ginzburg

Professor Carlo Ginzburg is a pioneer in the field of microhistory

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Year graduated 2016

Eminent Italian historian, Professor Carlo Ginzburg has been awarded an honorary doctorate to mark his lifetime contribution to historical research.

Ginzburg was born in 1939 in Turin, Italy. He received a PhD from the University of Pisa in 1961, and has held teaching positions in several universities across Italy and America, including the University of Bologna, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

His areas of specialism range from the Italian Renaissance to early modern European history, and he is a pioneer in the field of microhistory – intense investigations of well-defined topics leading to broader generalisations.

Professor Ginzburg has published a significant number of papers and books on topics from witchcraft and agrarian cults in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (1966), to Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes (1984).

His book, The Judge and the Historian (1999), interrogated the moral and scientific duty of historical representation, and was described as an ‘attack on magisterial malfeasance equal [to] the war of Emile Zola one hundred years ago’ (Choice Magazine 2002).

Professor Ginzburg is also credited as being instrumental in the Vatican’s decision to open the Inquisition Archives to researchers, following his 1979 letter to Pope John Paul II. He was awarded the 2010 Balzan Prize for his contribution to the humanities, and was elected an International Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2013.