The Participants

Antonella Alimento

Università di Pisa

Antonella Alimento has published articles on the diffusion and translation of ideas about free ports between Britain and Livorno and on the perspective of Carlo Ginori on the economic development of Tuscany in relation to Livorno and the Atlantic. She is also interested in the usage of Caribbean free ports by France and Britain in the eighteenth century.

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Nicholas Baker

Macquarie University (Sidney)

Nicholas Scott Baker’s research considers the multiple cultural, political, and economic connections between Florence (in particular) and the Iberian peninsula and empires. He has recently begun a new project that will produce a microhistory of globalization in the sixteenth century through analysis of the experiences of one family of Florentine merchants, and their extensive network of agents and partners, active in the emergent Atlantic economy between 1519 and late 1560s. He is particularly interested in exploring what globalization felt like, at its origin, for key players in its development.

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Giulia Bonazza

German Historical Institute (Rome) – Centre International de recherches sur les esclavages (Paris)

Her area of particular expertise is 18th-19th century Atlantic and Mediterranean slavery. Now she wants to investigate the involvement of Italian families in the Atlantic slave trade and who were the owners of the “Atlantic” and “Sub-Saharan” slaves in Italian cities. In parallel she has another project on the skin colour value of captives and slaves in the Atlantic and Mediterranean (1750-1886).

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Guillaume Calafat

Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1)

For the Atlantic Italies Network, Guillaume Calafat will co-write the biography of the English merchant and shipowner William Plowman, with Andrea Addobbati (Univ. di Pisa). They will focus on the entanglements of Caribbean and Mediterranean networks of traders and privateers at the end of the 17th century.

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Alida Clemente

Università di Foggia

By questioning the influence of transnational commercial and cultural networks in shaping the urban panorama of new consumptions and styles, the research of Alida Clemente aims at analysing the characteristics of the Neapolitan market for Atlantic merchandises as it emerges from Neapolitan commercial letter-books of the 1740s-1750s. This source allows us to trace the paths of merchandise, the changing links between Mediterranean and Atlantic markets, the way in which foreign merchants interacted, negotiated and perceived the local market and its main actors, as well as the roles played by Neapolitans in these networks.  

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Luca Codignola

University of Notre Dame – Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) – Université de Montréal

Luca Codignola’s research explores Roman Catholics in North American peripheries: from Newfoundland to Detroit, from Illinois to New Orleans, 1620s-1830s; the deeds, difficulties, and thoughts of priests, nuns, and missionaries whose life took place at a considerable distance from Québec and Baltimore; their relations with their hierarchical authorities, their multiethnic and ever-changing flock (including the natives), and the extent of their Romanization.

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Benedetta Crivelli

Università Bocconi (Milano)

The research of Benedetta Crivelli focuses on the circulation of goods and capitals across the maritime frontiers in the Mediterranean, with particular attention drawn to the interconnections between the Atlantic dynamics and the Eastern Mediterranean during the first modern age. The aim of the research is to reconstruct the networks of private credit and credit instruments that contributed to the rise of small-medium trading companies operating in the Mediterranean (and especially in Venice) and to explain how merchants organized trade circuits of exchange and distribution of goods, which were articulated within new spaces in order to create stable markets.

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David Do Paço

Sciences Po (Paris)

After a doctoral research on the social integration of the Ottoman merchants in the eighteenth-century Vienna, he examines trans-imperial circulations at a regional scale, paying particular attention to Trieste and Istanbul in the eighteenth century too. He joined the Atlantic Italies project because of his interest in exploring the social history of trans-regional circulations and the research he is currently running on the socio-political history of the cities of Trieste and Istanbul from US deposits, such as the National Archives at College Park, the Library of Congress, the Rice University Library or le Butler Library at Columbia University. A part of his present research aims to understand how commercial and political agents operating at Trieste and Istanbul managed to connect, in the Mediterranean, both the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.

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José Silva Évora

Arquivo Nacional de Cabo Verde – Universidade de Cabo Verde (Praia)

José Silva Évora’s research explores the interdependences between unequal land-ownership, access to water and power in rural communities on the Cape Verdean island of Santo Antão, focussing on the colonial and early post-colonial period of the twentieth century. As a member of the RESISTANCE project, he examines forms of peasants’ resistance against uneven land distribution in the nineteenth-century. Together with Roberto Zaugg, he is preparing an edition of the letters (1910-1924) of Giuseppe Frusoni, an Italian entrepreneur based in Cape Verde, to the republican activist Felice Albani and his wife Adele “Alina” Albani Tondi.

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Valentina Favarò

Università di Palermo

Valentina Favarò’s research focuses on the study of the border areas of the Spanish Monarchy in the Mediterranean and in Latin America. Moreover, her interest is turned to the study of transnational careers of ministers, military and religious in the different territories of the Spanish Monarchy, between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area. In particular, the study of careers is functional to analyze the circulation of knowledge and models of administration between the Iberian Peninsula, the Italian one and the viceroyalties of Peru and New Spain.

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Alejandro García Montón

Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla)

Since 2009, Alejandro García Montón has been working on how Genoese merchant-bankers reacted to the rise of Dutch and English entrepreneurs in long-distance trade during the seventeenth century. Challenging the traditional view of decay, Alejandro’s investigations reveal an astonishing dynamism of Genoese and, more broadly speaking, Italian networks in commercial circuits across and within different states and empires. This suggests that these Mediterranean traders adapted rather than collapsed. The Genoese response went beyond the Mediterranean and encompassed the Atlantic as well. Colonial riches like silver, indigo, cacao or cochineal abundantly circulated through Italian hands. European manufactures, Asian spices and African slaves were traded too by a myriad of entrepreneurs who, so far, had remained unnoticed for the historiography.

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Francesco Guidi Bruscoli

Università di Firenze

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli’s research focuses on the activity of Italian merchant-bankers in European Atlantic states between the fifteenth and the sixteenth century. In particular, he is interested in studying their multi-layered collaboration with the Oceanic voyages organised by Portugal, England and France: how they contributed in terms of capital (attracting investments from all corners of Europe), men (some of them travelled on-board the ships in various capacities) and know-how (both geographical and technical).

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Klemens Kaps

Johannes-Kepler Universität Linz

Since 2011, Klemens Kaps has been studying the trade connections and mercantile networks between Habsburg Central Europe and the Hispanic Monarchy in the 18th century running through the port cities of Trieste, Genoa, Barcelona and Cádiz. The current research project he is leading aims to revisit Habsburg Central Europe’s perception as land-locked and inward-looking economic space and addresses both the mechanisms of merchants’ agency between different cultural groups as well as the impact of export markets and commodity imports for Central Europe’s socioeconomic transformation in the course of the 18th century.

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Silvia Marzagalli

Université Côte d’Azur (Nice)

Silvia Marzagalli’s current research deals with United States shipping in the Mediterranean during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. She is also interested in consular information and consular networks. As P.I. of two programs founded by the Agence Nationales de la Recherche, she has produced an online database on shipping (ANR Navigocorpus) and is currently working on a project in digital humanities to query the database and visualize uncertain historical data though a dynamic interface (ANR PORTIC).

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James W. Nelson Novoa

University of Ottawa

The research of James Novoa deals with a group of Portuguese merchants who acted as intermediaries between Tuscany, Iberia and the Americas (esp. Brazil) during the Iberian Union of Spain and Portugal (1580-1640), providing access to knowledge about the New World and its products, commodities and naturalia. He explores interactions between this group and the Medici, in particular during the reign of Grand Duke Ferdinand (1587-1609). In order to understand their role between the Old and New World, their interactions within Tuscan society and their strategies for acquiring social capital, the project analyses the flow of goods which they brought to Tuscany from the Iberian and Atlantic worlds and that they exported to the Iberian Peninsula.

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Riccardo E. Rossi

Universität Zürich

In his PhD project Riccardo Rossi analyses the trade and consumption of Atlantic commodities in the Italian-speaking Alpine valleys belonging to the Old Swiss Confederacy and the Three Leagues between 1650 and 1850. On the one hand, this study aims to offer a quantitative analysis of consumption patterns in these rural areas. On the other, it applies a micro-historical approach to explore the practices that changed as a result of the consumption and trade of foreign commodities.

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Anne Ruderman

London School of Economics

Anne Ruderman’s research looks at the role of Venetian beads in the transatlantic slave trade. Specifically she looks at how European slave-ship outfitters worked with (and sometimes against) Venetian state officials to manufacture and distribute beads that would sell well in the marketplaces of Atlantic Africa. This project is part of a larger monograph that investigates how European slave-ship outfitters tried to ascertain and meet African consumer demand in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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Carlo Taviani

Deutsches Historisches Institut (Rome) – Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Florence)

Carlo Taviani’s collaborative project focuses on Genoese traders between Africa, the Atlantic, and the New World (1450-1530). The project will develop a set of data which will allow studying trade relations that, up to now, have been overshadowed by famous figures of explorers (Usodimare, Da Noli, Columbus etc). Around 1500, Genoese networks – which were previously oriented towards Africa – shifted towards the New World. Although Genoa was distant, it remained the central hub of this system. Through an analysis of notary records in Genoa, and their entanglements with Spanish and Portuguese archives, we are documenting the role of the Genoese in the trade of enslaved people and goods from Africa.

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Giorgio Tosco

European University Institute (Florence)

Giorgio Tosco’s project analyses two seventeenth-century Italian states, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Republic of Genoa, that tried to make their merchant marines enter trans-oceanic trade. The aim of this study is to see how the Tuscan and Genoese state structures interacted with some merchant communities (such as the Genoese and Tuscan traders in Portugal, or the Dutch-speaking ones in Livorno and Genoa), in order to shape trade policy.

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Alesssandro Tuccillo

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Alessandro Tuccillo’s current research explores the interactions between Atlantic slavery and the political and cultural contexts of Italian states (18th-19th centuries). His interests focus on three areas of investigation: the circulation of anti-slavery ideas; the involvement of Italian states in the diplomatic campaign for the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, promoted by Great Britain and France; the controversial relationship between the Catholic Church and the question of the legitimacy of slavery.

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Robert Wells

Indiana University Southeast (New Albany)

In his dissertation “The White Cross and the Cardinal: The Knights of Malta between Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds, 1555-1765” he focuses on the involvement of the Order of Malta (or Order of Saint John) in France’s American and North African colonies from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. He argues that the Order and a significant number of its French members form a link between European expansionism in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, two parts of the world that scholars (particularly of French history) still treat in isolation from each other.

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Roberto Zaugg

Universität Zürich

Roberto Zaugg’s research explores how German and Italian-speaking territories were connected – through migration and trade – to the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa. He is working on the manuscript journal (1682-1696) of Johann Peter Oettinger, a seventeenth-century barber-surgeon who travelled on Dutch and Brandenburg slave ships, as well as on the trade and material cultures of coral beads between the Central Mediterranean and Atlantic Africa (15th-19th centuries). Together with José Silva Évora, he is preparing an edition of the letters (1910-1924) of Giuseppe Frusoni, an Italian entrepreneur based in Cape Verde, to the republican activist Felice Albani and his wife Adele “Alina” Albani Tondi.

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