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Valentin Groebner

Valentin Groebner is professor of medieval and Renaissance history at the University of Lucerne. He is the author of Liquid Assets, Dangerous Gifts and Who Are You? Identification, Deception, and Surveillance in Early Modern Europe.

Titles by This Author

Identification, Deception, and Surveillance in Early Modern Europe

Who are you? And how can you prove it? How were individuals described and identified in the centuries before photography and fingerprinting, in a world without centralized administrations, where names and addresses were constantly changing? In Who are You?, Valentin Groebner traces the early modern European history of identification practices and identity papers. The documents, seals, stamps, and signatures were—and are—powerful tools that created the double of a person in writ and bore the indelible signs of bureaucratic authenticity.

The Visual Culture of Violence in the Late Middle Ages

Destroyed faces, dissolved human shapes, invisible enemies: violence and anonymity go hand in hand. The visual representation of extreme physical violence makes real people nameless exemplars of horror—formless, hideous, defaced. In Defaced, Valentin Groebner explores the roots of the visual culture of violence in medieval and Renaissance Europe and shows how contemporary visual culture has been shaped by late medieval images and narratives of violence.