- Italian Renaissance
- History of the Book
I have published on a range of themes in Renaissance studies, from books to Burckhardt. In my 2016 monograph, The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe: René of Anjou in Italy, I explored the way that René of Anjou, French prince and exiled king of Naples (1409–1480), sought, by means of his transnational network of agents and allies, to assert his Italian political agenda chiefly through a programme of cultural politics. I took a 'diplomatic' approach to Renaissance humanism, viewing it as a medium for political communication between 'hyper-literate' European elites. This book functioned as a case study of the way in which politics may be conducted through the infrastructure of cultural networks and even through cultural media, ranging from Latin orations to illuminated manuscripts of classical texts. I remain interested in the relationship between humanism and various forms of political action, including diplomacy, across Renaissance Europe.
At the same time, I see the Renaissance as an ideology -- the renovation of society based on the literary revival of antiquity -- and humanism as the movement that sought to make this happen. In 2015, I curated a Bodleian Library exhibition on Aldus Manutius, marking the 500th anniversary of the Venetian printer's death. Aldus worked in the same Venice as Bellini and Giorgione, and was part of the same circles as intellectual luminaries like Erasmus and Bembo. In my current work on Aldus, I seek to explore the intellectual and ideological background of the printing revolution by investigating these in the ambit of what was also the first explicitly humanist press in Europe. The result of this work will be the first-ever cultural history of the Aldine Press.
Other research interests include: the history of the Renaissance in east-central Europe (especially Hungary); Franco-Italian relations; the history and anthropology of art and art objects; Renaissance history-writing; and the modern historiography of the Renaissance, particularly the writings of Jacob Burckhardt, about whom I organized a conference marking the 150th anniversary of the classic Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien.
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies: http://neolatin.lbg.ac.at/