Biography

I spent part of my childhood in London and Washington D.C., and grew up in Italy. I became interested in Iberian history when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Pisa, before moving to the Scuola Normale Superiore for my PhD. I completed my thesis on the early modern Portuguese imperial ideology in 2008. Then I taught in Viterbo and Florence before coming to Exeter College in 2017. What I like most about Oxford is its vibrant and global intellectual community. At Exeter I have the chance to have exciting conversations with historians and scholars of Golden Age Spanish Literature in a friendly and informal atmosphere. In my spare time, I love to pick up a novel and go to read it in a café.

Research

I am interested in the history of the early modern empires of Portugal and Spain. The multiple ways in which the Iberian explorations contributed to the shaping of political and cultural interactions across the globe has particularly fascinated me. I am now carrying out new research on visual dissent and the art of political insult in the Portuguese and Spanish overseas possessions. My other major field of interest is the history of the Iberian religious world, especially the Inquisition, missions and the agency of converts.

Teaching

I teach Exeter undergraduates in all aspects of early modern history. I am keen to hear from potential graduate students interested in the early modern Iberian world or early modern global history more generally.

Selected publications

‘Stones of Contention: Factions, Statues and the Political Use of Memory in Early Modern Goa,’ in Urte Krass (ed.), Visualizing Portuguese Power: The Political Use of Images in Portugal and Its Overseas Empire, 16th–18th Century (Diaphanes, 2017), 173–195.

‘Inventing the Antiquities of New Spain: Motolinía and the Mexican Antiquarian Traditions,’ in Benjamin Anderson and Felipe Rojas (eds.), Antiquarianisms: Contact, Conflict, Comparison (Oxbow, 2017), 109–133.

‘Too Much to Rule: States and Empires across the Early Modern World,’ Journal of Early Modern History 20, 6 (2016): 511–525.

‘Trading with the Muslim World: Religious Limits and Proscriptions in the Portuguese Empire (ca. 1480–1570),’ in Francesca Trivellato, Leor Halevi and Cátia Antunes (eds.), Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000–1900 (Oxford University Press, 2014), 91–107.

‘Conscience and Empire: Politics and Moral Theology in the Early Modern Portuguese World,’ Journal of Early Modern History 18, 5 (2014): 473–494.

‘Saltwater Conversion: Trans-Oceanic Sailing and Religious Transformation in the Iberian World,’ in Giuseppe Marcocci, Wietse de Boer, Aliocha Maldavsky and Ilaria Pavan (eds.), Space and Conversion in Global Perspective (Brill, 2014), 235–259.