Jean Boutier (ENG)

Boutier photoJean Boutier is Directeur d’Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences sociales (Marseille) and former director of the Norbert Elias Centre in Social Sciences (2002-2011).

Specialist of comparative social history of early modern Europe, he has lectured in many universities in Europe, the United States and India. He has been Fulbright Scholar (Cornell, 2001), Marc Bloch Professor (Berlin, 2008), and Fellow of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (New Delhi, 2009). He belongs to the editorial board of several scientific journals or collections (Enquête. Anthropologie, Histoire, Sociologie, Paris; Storia di Firezne et Ricerche Storiche, Florence; Mediterranea, Bari; Storia e storie del Mediterraneo, Catane; Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome, Rome; OpenEdition Italia, Turin). He is currently working on a comparative study of the European nobilities through the Grand Tour (16th-18th c.).

In 2006 he founded the “Etienne Baluze prize”, first European prize for comparative local history.

His published works (20 books and more than one hundred articles in French, Italian, German, English and Spanish) span a wide range of subjects, dealing with the main social, political and cultural dynamics of European society.

His main publications on the education of the early modern nobilities:

  •  “L’accademia dei giovani nobili negli anni di Cosimo III”, in La Toscana di Cosimo III. Atti del convegno Pisa-San Domenico di Fiesole (FI) 4-5 giugno 1990, éd. par F. Angiolini, V. Becagli, M. Verga, Florence, EDIFIR, 1993, p. 205-224.
  • “L’institution politique du gentilhomme. Le “Grand Tour” des jeunes nobles florentins, XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles”, in Istituzioni e società in Toscana nell’età moderna. Atti delle giornate di studio dedicate a Giuseppe Pansini, Firenze, 4-5 dicembre 1992, Rome, Pubblicazioni degli Archivi di Stato, 1994, I, p. 257-290.
  • “De l’académie royale de Lunéville à l'”Accademia dei nobili” de Florence. Milieux intellectuels et transferts culturels au début de la Régence”, in Il Granducato di Toscana e i Lorena nel secolo XVIII. Incontro internazionale di studio, Firenze, 22-24 settembre 1994, éd. Alessandra Contini et Maria Grazia Parri, Florence, Olschki, 1999, p. 327-353.
  • « Le grand tour : une pratique d’éducation des noblesses européennes (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles) », in Le voyage à l’époque moderne, Bulletin de l’Association des Historiens modernistes des Universités, n°27, Paris, Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2004, p. 7-21.
  • « Le Grand Tour des gentilshommes et les académies d’éducation pour la noblesse : France et Italie, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle », in Rainer Babel et Werner Paravicini (éd.), Grand Tour. Adeliges Reisen und europäische Kultur vom 14. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert. Akten der internationalen Kolloquien in der Villa Vigoni 1999 und im Deutschen Historischen Institut Paris 2000, « Beihefte der Francia », 60, Ostfildern, Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2005, p. 237-253.
  • « Le « Grand Tour » des élites britanniques dans l’Europe des Lumières : La réinvention permanente des traditions », dans Marie-Madeleine Martinet, Francis Conte, Annie Molinié, Jean-Marie Valentin (dir.), Le chemin, la route, la voie. Figures de l’imaginaire occidental à l’époque moderne, Paris, Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2005, p. 225-242.
  • « L’académie de Lunéville-Nancy. Education nobiliaire et culture équestre dans la Lorraine ducale (1699-1737) », dans Lunéville, la cité cavalière par excellence. Perspectives cavalières du siècle des Lumières au XXe siècle. Actes du VIIIe colloque de l’Ecole Nationale d’Equitation, 22, 23 juillet 2005, Lunéville, sous la direction de P. Franchet d’Espérey, Paris, Agence Cheval de France, 2007, p. 81-95.
  • « Institutions royales et références italiennes : l’académie pour l’éducation de la noblesse à Aix-en-Provence au début du XVIIe siècle », Provence historique, n°231, janvier-mars 2008, p. 3-17.
  • « Compétence internationale, émergence d’une ‘profession’ et circulation des savoirs : le tuteur aristocratique dans l’Angleterre du XVIIe siècle », dans M.P. Paoli (éd.), Saperi in movimento, Pise, Edizioni della Normale, 2009, p. 149-177.
  • « «  Il grande teatro del mondo ». L’apprendistato aristocratico della politica (XVII-XVIII secolo) », in A. Arisi Rota (éd.), La formazione del diplomatico e del politico, Milan, F. Angeli, 2009, p. 154-183.


A European Model of Education for the Nobilities:

Noble Academies in Europe, 1550 – End of the 18th Century

In the 1550s a new kind of educational institution designed specifically for the nobility emerged in several European countries, mainly noble academies or academies for the nobility. Although universities and colleges have been the object of numerous studies and overviews at the European scale (particularly the University model), noble academies have elicited only monographies of a very local kind or at best a few preliminary enquiries on a national scale. Yet, this educational model, with some variations that would require further precision, imposed itself in the principal Western European countries and took root both in Northern and Central Europe. Its establishment, though less massive than the colleges, was nonetheless very dense (several dozens are known and inventoried). My paper, based on a methodical inventory, and a solid cartographical geography of the circulations they allowed, will show how the model of  the “cortegiano/courtier”, forged in Italy, was constructed thanks partly to the educational activities of these noble academies. Organized around the equestrian arts and fencing, this educational model with a social and professional purpose was one of the principal actors in the modernization of the noblities (from initiation in modern languages, military mathematics and “political sciences” to body discipline through dance and music…). Noble academies were thus one of the sites of production of a new, increasingly and resolutely transnational aristocratic culture, which they helped diffuse, especially by accepting foreign nobles. In this framework, I will also analyze the presence of nobles from Central and Eastern Europe in these academies from the second half of the 16th century.

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