My research deals with late medieval and early modern written political culture: I am interested in the strategies and the difficulties with which political-administrative institutions governed the written word. The management of political and administrative writings (i.e. their production, publication, circulation, and preservation) generated continuous interaction between different institutions, and between institutions and their subjects: I believe that investigating such interaction can decisively improve our understanding of its actors (institutions and subjects), of the objects through which they came in contact (the writings). With my PhD project, I took the chancery of the last Sforza duke of Milan, Francesco II (1522-1535) as a case study to explore these questions. I have come to the conclusion that scholars should cease to see chanceries in an overwhelmingly top-down perspective, as mere 'writing desks' at the service of sovereigns. In fact, documents were often constructed in a bottom-up manner (by the sovereigns' aides, or within the court, or even by outsiders,) which is bound to change the prevailing centralised idea of political-administrative writing. In other words, I am rethinking early-Sixteenth written political culture in a more nuanced and participatory way as a basis for rethinking pre-modern authority at large.
Between June and July 2015, just before beginning the writing up of my PhD thesis, I was awarded two important research grants: the Society for Renaissance Studies and the Royal Historical Societyhave acknowledged the value and the originality of my work. Their contribution has been of crucial importance for funding my last research trip to the archives of Milan, Mantua, Modena, and Trent (October-November 2015).
Furthermore, in March 2016, I was awarded two short-term Fellowships from renowned American libraries: the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (John 'Bud' Velde Visiting Fellowship), and The Huntington Library (Mayers Fellowship). Thanks to these awards, I will have the opportuinity to study rare or unique Milanese books and manuscripts preserved in the United States. To download the research proposals that allowed me to win the Fellowships, clic here (John 'Bud' Velde Visiting Fellowship) and here (Mayers Fellowship).