Dynastic Marriages and Cultural Interaction Between Sixteenth-Century Italy and France
Supervisors: Professor David Parrott, Professor Filippo de Vivo
My research interests concern the cultural history of late-Renaissance Italy, and Europe more broadly. I am particularly interested in the creation, promulgation, and material manifestations of authority; persecutions of minorities and illicit sexuality; court culture; rituals and spectacle; and material culture.
My DPhil thesis will investigate the dynastic marriages between France, Ferrara, and Florence in the sixteenth-century. Five marriages took place between these courts during this period, uniting political interests and ensuring dynastic alliances and continuity. I will explore these events as moments of cultural interaction, however, unlike recent scholarship which has emphasised the positive cultural exchange which took place during such mergers, I will be researching possible antipathy or distrust towards the other party, or stereotypes evident in the accounts of the celebrations, particularly on national grounds. My hypothesis is that despite the lack of consolidated states, there was a strong concept of national consciousness in both Italian and French courts, especially in regards to the other. With the Reformation and the Italian Wars as a backdrop, tensions between the Bride’s entourage and the courtiers in her new home would be inevitable.
This research is funded by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and a Graduate Scholarship from Jesus College.
Education and Experience
I completed an MSt in Early Modern History at Oxford in 2020, and was awarded the prize for best dissertation in cohort. My BA (Hons) in History and Italian Studies was awarded by McMaster University (Canada), but completed at the University of Warwick.
Other training and experience includes participation in the Italian Archives and Palaeography course at the Medici Archives Project in Florence (2019), training and experience in object handling and cataloging projects at the Ashmolean (2018-present), and volunteering as a digital fellow with Early Modern Letters Online (2019-2020).
I am the convenor of the Oxford Court Studies group, an interdisciplinary seminar series which which explores the political and cultural aspects of courts. For more information, or to present a paper, please email me. The seminars will continue in Hilary and Trinity 2023.
- ‘Loco et Tempore: Projections of Strength and Prudence in Alfonso d'Este's Granata Svampante'. Emblematica, 5 (2022) (peer-reviewed)
- 'Sixteenth-century Renaissance Utopianism: Conceptions of Ideal and Virtuous Governments in Gasparo Contarini’s Treatise on Venice, and Thomas More’s Utopia’. Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval & Renaissance Studies, vol. 51 (2020) pp. 131–156. (peer-reviewed)
- Review of Artisans, Objects, and Everyday Life in Renaissance Italy: The Material Culture of the Middling Classes by Paula Hohti Erichsen. Renaissance and Reformation 44, no. 3 (2021), 291–293.
- Review of A Renaissance Marriage: The Political and Personal Alliance of Isabella d’Este and Francesco Gonzaga, 1490-1519 by Carolyn James. Renaissance and Reformation 43, no. 3 (2020) pp. 319–321.