The project aims to reconstruct practices and knowledge related to the “wonderous” in the early modern Kingdom of Naples. The attempts to define what was thought not to be part of the ordinary course of nature are of fundamental importance to understand the evolution of European identity/ies: indeed, the establishment of these boundaries also meant the drawing of lines of inclusion and exclusion.
This is why the research group will retrace the work of political, theoretical, social and cultural negotiation that was carried out to distinguish the supernatural from the natural (and the related preternatural).
This history will be a window through which to look at the evolution of the overall cultural identity/ies of southern Italy, always a crossroads of secular and ecclesiastical powers, of ethnic and religious minorities, of unauthorized cults, of a literature, of an iconography and scenic-illusionistic practices that did not always conform to the dictates of the Church. The interdisciplinary project will develop the methodological suggestions of the most recent historiography by combining them with skills in digital humanities, which will also make it possible to reconstruct the illusionistic devices that have been the vehicle and expression of the Neapolitan “wonderous”.
Coordinatore Prof. Francesco Paolo de Ceglia