I am interested in the processes of circulation, reception and interpretation of political texts in early modern Europe. I am mainly an historian of ideas, whose interests are in the interplay between political theory, historical context, and practical politics. My researches in early modern and modern history are marked by a transnational approach.
For the BA thesis on 'The Restoration in the correspondence of the Florentine resident, 1660-1663' I have conducted an intensive research on manuscript sources (diplomatic reports, official documents of Medici's government) in the Fondo Mediceo del Principato at the Archivio di Stato di Firenze. Since receiving my PhD I worked intensively in many scientific and heritage libraries and public and private archives in Italy, USA and the UK.
I am thus able to work on both manuscript and printed sources in Italian, English, French, and Spanish from the 16th century onwards.
Folger Shakespeare Library
August 2012 - November 2012
I was awarded a Mascioli Fellowsip for the project 'The influence of Grotius's De imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra on the English Revolution, 1640-1660'.
Professore a contratto
The University of Florence (Italy)
October 2010 - April 2012
I designed and taught a course on history of political thought, focusing on Hugo Grotius's and Thomas Hobbes's influence on the political and religious culture of the English Revolution.
Professore a contratto
The University of Florence
March 2009 - April 2011
I taught Modern History for mature working students (most of whom were primary school teachers) delivering two modules on the history of democracy in Europe from Montesquieu to Mazzini. I have thus had experience of teaching to both small and large classes, and have learned how to relate to both young and mature students.
Luigi Firpo Foundation and University of Chicago, Centre in Paris.
January 2008 - January 2012
Participant in the International research project 'Hypermachiavelism. Machiavellianism and Machiavellianisms in the Western Political tradition (16th-20th century). As a member of the research unit on Machiavellianism in Tudor and Stuart eras, I have developed a research project on the influence of Machiavelli's works in the political thought of the English Revolution, 1640-1660.
University of Florence
January 2008 - January 2010
Participant in the national research project PRIN 'Challenging centralism. Decentralizzazione e associazione nel pensiero politico moderno e contemporaneo' (funded by Italian Ministry of University and Research). Research project: W.J.Linton and English republicanism (1840-1855). I have explored Linton's attempt to redapt Giuseppe Mazzini's republican ideas to the tradition of English republicanism, dating to the experience of seventeenth-century 'commonwealthsmen'. This project led to two edited volumes in 2007 and 2010.
Fondazione Luigi Firpo. Centro Studi sul Pensiero Politico. Turin (Italy)
January 2007 - January 2008
Title of the project: „The representations of the Ottoman Empire in Italian political writing, 1571-1609‟. As a one-year Research fellow at the prestigious „Luigi Firpo. Centre for Political Studies‟ (Turin, 2007) I have studied the representations of the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian political writing. The Italian representations of the Ottoman society, government, and military organization, resulted from the application of interpretative schemes and categories which were drawn from existing literature and oral culture. In two essays appeared on BHR and Il Pensiero Politico (List of publications nos: 24, 26) I have examined books, diplomatic reports, warfare documents, travel accounts, diaries, and both manuscript and printed news coming from the Middle-East.
Professore a contratto.
The University of Florence
October 2007 - March 2009
I taught Early Modern History at the University of Florence, and the course's subject was the rise of the nation-state in Europe.
University of Florence
January 2005 - January 2007
Participant in the national research project PRIN 'Democrazia e società civile dal 16 al 20 secolo' (funded by Italian Ministry of University and Research). I developed a project on Anthony Ascham and English political thought, 1648-1650 which led to the publication of a monograph (2008).
Cultore della materia of Early Modern History and History of Political thought
Department of Social Studies. University of Florence
January 2004 - January 2007
From 2004 to 2007: „Cultore della materia‟ („Assistant to the Professor‟) of “History of Political Thought”, Department of Social Studies, University of Florence. ‘Cultore della materia’ or ‘Assistant to the Professor’. The post holder is expected to hold seminars and tutorials, examine and grade examinations in collaboration with a tenured Professor, and supervise undergraduate and specialised degree thesis. Unpaid.
My research and teaching interests are in early modern history, with a special focus on the history of political ideas. I am interested in the circulation and reception of political texts between Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. I have worked on the Italian representations of Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil Wars in the seventeenth century. I have worked on the influence of Machiavelli on English political thought from 1649 to 1660. I am currently researching the reception of the works of Hugo Grotius in seventeenth-century England.
Current research interests
I am currently working on the reception of the works of Hugo Grotius in England. This path-breaking study was awarded a Fellowship at The Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington DC), and I am currently developing the project with the support of leading international scholars from the UK (University of Oxford, Hull, East Anglia, and London), New Zealand (University of Auckland), and the Netherlands (Erasmus University Rotterdam). This research project has already led to many publications in International journals and edited books. I am also under contract for a book on Anthony Ascham’s political thought (1648-1650) to be published by Manchester University Press, in which I point to his uses of Grotius during the English Revolution. My next step would be writing a volume on Grotius’ reputation in 17th-century English culture. This work could be of a major importance. In my opinion it will not only reveal a major strand in the complex intellectual history of the English Revolution and its aftermath; it will also provide important perspectives into the way in which English writers participated in a European political and religious culture, with interconnections traceable to the Low Countries, Italy, Germany and perhaps elsewhere.
In the next five years I intend to consolidate this transnational approach to the history of European political ideas by expanding the range my research as to include the influence of Northern European political authors on 17th century English political culture. The Rutgers University Libraries and others libraries and collections present in both the Philadelphia and the surrounding area (for instance also including the Library of Congress and the Folger Shakespeare Library at Washington DC) have very strong collections of sources related to the early modern European history, which would allow me both to carry on a significant part of my research project in the British reception of Grotius and Northern European political and religious ideas. This work would open up the possibility of a genuinely European history of ideas that has reception and transmission at its core
Skills and achievements
Since 2008 I have designed and taught courses in early modern and modern history and history of political thought.
I have taught to both small and large classes, and had experience of teaching also to mature working students.
All my courses in European history and history of political thought from 15th to early-19th century have been imbued with my current research interests.
I have learned from experience the importance of tailoring the courses's subject on the intellectual and experiential background of the students. For example, in 2011-2012 I have taught a course on Grotius's and Hobbes's influence on the English revolution to students who had no familiarity either with these authors or with the historical context for their works. Such experience has been overall very positive: I have received very positive feedback by the students, and they gained very good grades in the final examination.
I serve as co-editor of books reviews on the seventeenth century for the Journal Il Pensiero Politico. For the edition of the collective volume Mazzini e la Democrazia in Europa (Florence: Centro Editoriale Toscano, 2008) I had to transcribe and collect a number of interventions and discussions made by Italian leading scholars of political thought, during a series of seminars and book presentations held at Florence, Genoa, and Perugia in 2007 on the theme of Mazzini's particpation in the European debate upon democracy. I have thus worked in close collaboration with the editor CET, particpating in the various stages of the publication process. I also sucessfully proposed to CET publisher to re-issue a revised edition of Salvo Mastellone's very popular two-volume Storia Ideologica d'Europa (1st ed. 1978-9), which had appeared on reading lists for undegraduates and postgraduates for a very long time. The revised and up-to dated edition of this book, which was originally intended as an handbook for students of early modern history and history of political thought, was published by CET in 2011 and 2012, and now appears on reading lists for undegraduate students at the universities of Chieti-Pescara, Genoa, Naples, and Florence.
This research has already led to publications, including a book prefaced by Professor Glenn Burgess and a few chapters and essays .
I am currently under contract for a book on Anthony Ascham‟s political thought to be published by Manchester University Press, in which I will point to his uses of Grotius‟s political and religious ideas in support of Parliament.
I have been awarded a 3-month fellowship at Folger Shakespeare Library for a project on the influence of Grotius‟s De imperio on the political and religious culture of the English Revolution, 1640-1660.
I have already made academic presentations including a seminar paper delivered at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London based on the discoveries of the research conducted at Folger.
The English Reception of Hugo Grotius's Political and Religious Ideas in the Seventeenth Century
I am currently working on the reception of the works of Hugo Grotius in England. This path-breaking study was awarded a Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC), and I am currently developing the project with the support of leading international scholars from the UK (Oxford, Hull, East Anglia, and London), and the Netherlands (Huygens Institute, The Hague). This research project has aòready led to many publications in International journals and edited books.
Order and Conflict. Anthony Ascham and English Political Thought, 1648-1650 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, under contract, 2013), c. 180 pages.
Grozio ed il Pensiero Politico e Religioso Inglese, 1632-1678 with Preface by Glenn Burgess (Florence: Centro Editoriale Toscano (CET):Politeia, 2010), 179 pages.
„James Harrington, Grotius, and the Hebrew republic‟, in G. Mahlberg and D. Wiemann (eds), European Contexts for English Republicanism (Farnham: Ashgate, forthcoming 2013), c. 17 pages.
„Political and Ecclesiological Contexts for the Seventeenth-century English Translations of Grotius‟ De veritate, 1632-1686‟ in H. Blom (ed.), De veritate’s Enlightenment. Grotius’ apology and the European debate on religion (Leiden-Boston: Brill, forthcoming 2013).
„Political and Ecclesiological Contexts for the Seventeenth-century English Translations of Grotius‟ De veritate, 1632-1686‟, Grotiana (33, 2012), pp. 1-18.
„Hugo Grotius and the English Republic. The Writings of Anthony Ascham, 1648-1650‟, Grotiana (32:2011), pp. 40-64.
„James Harrington e il pensiero politico di Grozio, 1656-1660‟, Il Pensiero Politico (1:XLV, 2012), pp. 25-39.
„Clement Barksdale translator of Hugo Grotius. Erastianism and Episcopacy in the English Church, 1651-1658‟, Seventeenth Century (2:25, 2010), pp. 265-280.
„Grozio e la difesa della repubblica inglese. Gli scritti di Anthony Ascham, 1648-1650‟, Il Pensiero Politico (1:XLII, 2009), pp. 3-22.
Qualifications & Certifications
PhD, History of European Political Thought
University of Perugia
Sciences of Education. Program for High School Teachers in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione. University of Florence.
Istituto Tecnico Industriale (vocational)
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