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Mapping Religion (and Emotions) in the Protestant Valleys of Piedmont, 1655-1689

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Date: Friday 25 October 2013.
Time: 1.00pm-2.00pm.
Venue: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, The University of Adelaide.
Presenter: Dr Giovanni Tarantino (The University of Melbourne).
Enquiries: Tel. 08 8313 2421  janet.hart@adelaide.edu.au
All welcome.

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The Alpine territory inhabited by the Piedmontese Waldensians is variously represented in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century cartography. These variations reflect the religious and political leanings of those who made and used them, depicting, for instance, the efforts made by the Capuchins to re-Catholicize the area, or the House of Savoy’s subjection of the territory.
But even more significant is the cartography produced by the Waldensians, in that it charts a process of appropriation and a transformation of the ghetto within which the repressive Sabaudian legislation had set out to confine them into a small country to be proud of, whose religious and cultural identity they were (and are) determined to preserve. Purely territorial definitions thus turned into distinctive banners of a religious and ecclesial minority community, an ‘emotional community’ made more aware and prouder of its own cultural identity by the shared experience of persecution, marginalization and derision.
The adventurous and dramatic story of a small valley world became emblematic of the many European episodes of diversity, dispersal and rejection. And the ‘affective cartography’ of the Waldensians is a reminder to practitioners in the history of emotions of the importance of this particular source – the geographic map – which contains an abundance of information but has, to date, received little consideration in the historic investigation of emotions.