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Ferente, Serena

Ferente, Serena


Serena Ferente, born in Galatina, Italy, in 1979. Ph.D. from European University Institute, Florence. Senior Lecturer in Medieval European History at King’s College London.

Fellow (1 Sept 2016 – 30 June 2017)

Europe between old and new: imagination and experience in the fifteenth century

Research Question

Did ‘the Middle Ages’ end in the fifteenth century? What was ‘Europe’ back then?

Project Description

I’m writing a new history of Europe in the fifteenth century, the age of transition between the ‘medieval’ and the ‘modern’ and a decisive era for the place of Europe in the world. The structure of the book is experimental and interdisciplinary, drawing upon art history, literary studies, the history of science and technology, anthropology. Each chapter in the four sections on Frontiers, States, Religion and Learning, starts with a specific case – stories, women and men, places, moments, some canonical, some almost entirely unknown – and expands to cover a cluster of connected topics, comparing geographical areas that stretch from Crimea to the Atlantic islands, and discussing continuity and change. The objective is to offer a perspective on a period with a character of its own, one of intense experimentation and open-ended processes – political, religious, economic, cultural.

Selected Publications

The Last Guelphs. Faction and the Language of Politics in Renaissance Italy, Cambridge Mass., Harvard University Press (expected in 2016)

‘The liberty of Italian city-states’, in Q. Skinner and M. Van Gelderen (eds), Freedom and the Construction of Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2013, vol. 1, pp. 157-175

‘Popolo and law: Sovereignty in Marsilius and the Jurists’, in Q. Skinner and R. Bourke (eds), Popular Sovereignty in Historical Perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, in press, 2015

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