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Benedetta Borello

Sapienza – Università di Roma

Portraits, behaviors and inclusion: the construction of cultural and biological heritage through images during the 17th and 18th centuries


Dr. Benedetta Borello earned her PhD at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris) (2000) [Thesis title: Du patriciat urbain à la Chaire de Saint Pierre: les Pamphiljs du XV au XVIII siècle], and her PhD at the Università di Napoli L’Orientale (2000) [Thesis title: La socialità aristocratica a Roma: reti di relazioni femminili fuori e dentro la famiglia]. Currently, she is a research fellow at the Department of History of «La Sapienza» Università di Roma and she teaches Early Modern and Modern History at the Department of Humanities at the Università dell’Aquila.The main areas of her research activity are history of the family and gender history, history of the élites, network analysis and public opinion, especially in the early modern period. She has been a Research Fellow, ENBacH – European Network for Baroque Cultural Heritage, a project promoted and economically supported by the European Commission through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) which concerned and involved a network of 8 universities located in 6 different European countries (Universitat de Barcelona, Technische Universität, Dresden, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Greifswald, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales-Paris, Università di Roma «La Sapienza», Università di Teramo, Uniwersytet Warszawski, and Universität Wien). For this project she worked on «Spaces, publics and “public spheres” in baroque Rome». The problem of the definition of “public” and “public sphere” is put at the intersection between the history of publication, urban history, social and cultural history. To some extent, it is the space (and the place) that imposes norms to men and women who use the place to act as political subjects. By means of some examples, she entered the literary milieu of baroque Rome, showing its mechanisms of publication and censorship and, by means of the interactive map of Rome on the EnBACH website, she showed the spaces where political communication and religious controversy took place. In 2006 she was also Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. She is the author of Trame sovrapposte. La socialità aristocratica e le reti di relazioni femminili a Roma (XVII-XVIII secolo), (Naples, 2003), and Il posto di ciascuno. Fratelli, sorelle e fratellanze (XVI-XIX secolo) (Rome, 2016), and, with Renata Ago, she is the editor of Famiglie. Circolazione di beni, circuiti di affetti in età moderna (Rome, 2008) and the editor of Pubblico e pubblici di Antico Regime (Pisa, 2009). During her stay at the Italian Academy, she will be working on a book project dedicated to “Portraits, Behaviour and Inclusion. The Construction of Cultural and Biological Heritage through Images (Rome, 17th and 18th Centuries).” The project will consider the figures portrayed in their physical (the family home or the monastery) and historical (Rome in the 17th century) contexts and the visual effect achieved by the images.

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