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
Examiners: David Abulafia and Isabella Lazzarini
I am a historian of late medieval and Renaissance Europe, specialising in the political and social history of the Italian Quattrocento. I recently completed my doctoral studies (DPhil) at New College, where I held the Hugh Trevor-Roper Graduate Scholarship in History. 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. In April 2019, I will leave Oxford to take up a four-year research fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge.
For my doctorate, I investigated the world of borders in fifteenth-century northern Italy: how they were drawn, crossed and imagined; and what they can tell us about the spatial fabric of political and social life in the later middle ages. While revising my thesis for publication, I am now developing a new research project: inspired by my doctoral work on borders as sites of movement and control, the project will explore the role played by mobility in shaping power and social relations in early Renaissance Europe.
Other interests include: environmental history, especially the long history of rivers and mountain ranges; the cultural 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 political 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.