I am an Early Modern historian (PhD University of Florence), with a significant background in art history (Sapienza Università di Roma) and post-doctoral research and teaching experience in the history of knowledge and science (Florence, European University Institute). I was IEF Marie Curie Fellow at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz (Historisches Seminar – Kunsthistorisches Institut), where I have been teaching courses in the history of knowledge (2013-). I was also awarded international fellowships in Münster, Paris and Washington DC.
At the Humboldt Universität Berlin (wiss. Miterbeiterin at the Zentralinstitut für katholische Theologie- Historische Theologie 2020-), I have launched my new project on non-European objects and their complex biographies with a “dispersed” workshop on Missionary objects and collecting (16th-20th centuries). In Berlin, I am also cooperating as an external expert with the Max-Plank Institute for the history of science– Dept. 1 (2020-).
My research work and publications explore knowledge production and circulation issues, censorship, cultural mediation, missionary agency, and the political role of knowledge and artefacts with a strong focus on Rome in an entangled and global perspective (16th-19th centuries). After my Natural desiderio di sapere: Roma barocca fra vecchi e nuovi mondi, Roma, Viella, La corte dei papi, 2019, I started working on a new book project (English) on Baroque Rome as an ambiguous and fluid space of cultural mediation, exploring entanglements between knowledge networks, the Papal confessional, and universalistic politics from a trans-imperial perspective. In parallel, I am working on the missionary object collective project, to be published in a «Quaderni Storici» special issue.
As the editor, I am currently preparing this special issue for the international peer-review Journal «Quaderni Storici» to be published in early 2022. With the aim to launch and develop a collective research agenda, I have designed and convened between March and April 2021 a new seminar series, which explores missionary engagement with objects and collecting through time and space.
Missionary objects and collecting draws attention to the complex dynamics of both physical mobility and cultural transformations permeating the tension between objects produced by local indigenous communities worldwide and the missionary agency since the 16th century. This collective project investigates entanglements of missionary object collecting within the competitive and conflictual colonial spaces and highlightes the essential role of religion in defining their complex meanings while continuously reconfiguring their contexts. The seminar series investigated missionary practices of object attention, selection, accumulation, and monopolisation. Indeed, we retraced creative practices of resistance and efforts to keep indigenous worship alive; we engaged with anti-idolatry campaigns and addressed both the material destruction and epistemic aggression of the sacred matter. At the same time, we explored missionary travels and circulations across the world, triggering complex perception and reception dynamics, display and exposition creating new publics, as well as competing patrimonialisation processes the objects embody through time and space.
Our regular zoom meetings allowed us to exchange our work with colleagues, academics and curators from many different countries, in a highly interdisciplinary environment and to establish promising partnerships, as the ones with Sapienza Università di Roma, Università di Roma Tre, Museo delle Civiltà Roma. Thanks to all participants for their valuable contribution to such a collective undertaking!
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
University of Bologna
4 March 2021, 5-7 pm
Handling sacrifice. Reception and perception of Mesoamerican knives in early modern Italy
Sapienza Università di Roma
11 March 2021, 5-7 pm
The Franciscan struggle against “sacred matter” in the New Spain (1524-1615)
University of Caen Normandie
25 March 2021, 5-7 pm
Instrumentos de misión y objetos de idolatría en Filipinas: un ensayo de etnografía misional en tiempos del arzobispo Felipe Pardo (1677-1689)
Discussant (English): Birgit Tremml Werner - Linnaeus University Växjö and Kalmar
University of Florence
1 April 2021, 5-7 pm
“O Nigrizia O morte”. Le collezioni coloniali nei musei missionari in Italia 1882-1943.
Discussant (English): Elena Canadelli – University of Padua. The presentation has been kindly hosted by Antonio Clericuzio, Università Roma Tre
University of Tuscia Viterbo
15 April 2021, 5-7 pm
Il museo cinese di Parma nella prima metà del Novecento
Discussant (English): Elisabetta Corsi –Sapienza Università di Roma
The presentation has been kindly hosted by Elisabetta Corsi and Sergio Botta, Sapienza Università di Roma
University of Leiden
22 April 2021, 5-7 pm
Searching for Athanasius Kircher’s Brazilian collection
The presentation has been kindly hosted by Antonio Clericuzio, Università Roma Tre and Loretta Paderni, Museo delle Civiltà - Roma. Discussant: Filippo Comisi, Museo delle Civiltà – Roma
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
29 April 2021, 5-7 pm
The origins of Propaganda Fide Museum. Tairona artefacts in Baroque Papal Rome.
in cooperation with: