Borders and the Politics of Space in Late Medieval Italy:
Milan, Venice and their Territories in the Fifteenth century
Supervisors: John Watts and Nicholas Davidson
I am a DPhil candidate at New College, where I hold the Hugh-Trevor Roper Doctoral Scholarship. Previously, I studied History (BA) and Historical Sciences (MA) at the University of Milan, and qualified as archivist and palaeographer following the two-year postgraduate course of the Italian state archives.
My current work explores the spatial dimension of political and social life in the Late Middle Ages. Specifically, my doctoral research focuses on the world of borders in fifteenth-century northern Italy: how they were drawn, crossed and disputed; and what they can tell us about contemporary notions of power over space, the nature of the state in this period, the experience of everyday mobility, and the ways in which people mapped and described the space that surrounded them.
My next project combines mobility studies with the history of communication, looking particularly at the European itineraries of Italian diplomats and informants at the beginning of the early modern period. Other interests include: environmental history, especially the long history of rivers and mountain ranges; the history of cartography and record-keeping; the application of digital methods (GIS, SNA) and new relational approaches (entangled history, histoire croisée) to the study of the past; and the interdisciplinary connections between history and the social sciences (notably geography and social theory).
In the year 2016/2017, I served as academic officer for the Oxford History Graduate Network (OHGN) and as student representative on the Graduate Joint Consultive Committee (GJCC). In this capacity, I set up and convened the 'Work in Progress' seminar (Oxford's first, faculty-wide, graduate seminar) and a bi-weekly academic writing group ('Shut Up and Write') using peer support and accountability to boost productivity, improve mental health and promote a sense of community among doctoral students.