Roberto Zaugg

Assistant Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Bern (project director & co-coordinator of the network)

Sub-Project: Trade and Material Cultures of Red Coral between the Mediterranean and Atlantic Africa

After studying at the University of Florence and gaining a PhD at the University of Naples “Federico II”, Roberto Zaugg has worked at the University of Basel, at Sciences Po (Paris) and at the University of Lausanne, before joining the University of Bern in 2018. In his PhD thesis he has examined the condition of foreigners in eighteenth-century Naples. This has led him to engage with the history of judicial institutions, Mediterranean merchant diasporas, diplomatic relations, as well as the history of citizenship rights and migrations. In his post-doc years, he has extended the focus of his research to autobiographical writings, the slave trade, the cultural history of colonialism and – from a geographical point of view – to the German-speaking territories, the Atlantic world and West Africa. He is currently completing a project dealing with the manuscript journal of barber-surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger (1682-1696), which relates the author’s extended journeyman migration through the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic as well as his two trans-Atlantic voyages aboard Dutch and Brandenburg slave ships. More recently, he has reoriented his scholarly interests from German-Atlantic to Italian-Atlantic entanglements in the early modern era, building a research group at the University of Bern as well as the Atlantic Italies Network.  

Detailed CV

Selected Publications

Books and Special Issues

Guerre, maladie, empire, edited by Roberto Zaugg, special issue of Histoire, médecine et santé 10 (2016).

Union in Separation. Diasporic Groups and Identities in the Eastern Mediterranean (1100-1800), edited by Georg Christ, Franz-Julius Morche, Roberto Zaugg, Wolfgang Kaiser, Stefan Burkhardt and Alexander D. Beihammer, Roma 2015.

Stranieri di antico regime. Mercanti, giudici e consoli nella Napoli del Settecento, Roma 2011.

Articles and Book Chapters

“Le crachoir chinois du roi. Marchandises globales, culture de cour et vodun dans les royaumes de Hueda et Dahomey (XVIIe-XIXe siècle)”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 73 (2018), special issue Microhistoire et histoire globale, edited by Romain Bertrand and Guillaume Calafat, forthcoming.

“Grossfriedrichsburg, the first German colony in Africa? Brandenburg-Prussia, Atlantic entanglements and national memory”, in Shadows of Empire in West Africa. New Perspectives on European Fortifications, edited by John Kwadwo Osei-Tutuand Victoria Ellen Smith, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2018, pp. 33-73.

“Ship’s Surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger. A Hinterlander in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1682-1696”, in Slavery Hinterland. Transatlantic Slavery and Continental Europe, 1680-1850, edited by Felix Brahm and Eve Rosenhaft, Boydell & Brewer, Suffolk 2016, pp. 27-44, (with Craig Koslofsky).

“Hermes, the Leviathan, and the grand narrative of New Institutional Economics. The quest for development in the eighteenth-century Kingdom of Naples”, Journal of Modern European History 15 (2017), pp. 109-129, (with Alida Clemente).

“Guerres napoléoniennes, savoirs médicaux, anthropologie raciale. Le médecin militaire Antonio Savaresi entre Égypte, Caraïbes et Italie”, Histoire, médecine et santé 10 (2016), pp. 17-44, (with Andrea Graf).

 “Les siècles des Oettinger. Écrits et mémoires d’une famille allemande au fil des générations (1682-1936)”, Études de lettres 300 (2016), special issue Appel à témoins. Écrits personnels et pratiques socioculturelles (XVIe-XXe siècles), edited by Danièle Tosato-Rigo, pp. 183-216.

 “Entre europeização e africanização. A construção visual de Cabo Verde nos postais do periodo colonial”, Revista de Estudos Caboverdianos 4 (2012), pp. 167-193.

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Comprehensive publication list