City and Nation in the Italian Unification: The National Festivals of Dante Alighieri (1865) New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

This study of the first national festival of modern Italy historically reconstructs the event, using a mass of un-catalogued and unpublished documents left by the organizers, which positions the Centenary as a platform upon which an alternative definition of Italian national identity emerged. Keynote Palazzo Vecchio. Reviews in: Modern Italy The Journal of Modern History The American Historical Review

Florence’s Embassy to Sultan of Egypt: An English Translation of Felice Brancacci’s Diary London and New York: Palgrave, 2019.

“This brief but rich and speculative book will be of particular interest to art historians who have often pondered the Brancacci Chapel, painted by Masaccio and Masolino, in relation to the life of its owner, Felice Brancacci, Florentine ambassador to Cairo. Felice comes alive in his important chronicle which is carefully glossed by the author, who also offers the reader a bold, new interpretation of Masaccio’s Tribute Money.” (Paul Barolsky, Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia, USA) Review in The Medieval Review.


“Messianic Time of the Now” Exhibition-Commentary, Visual Commentary on Scriptures,January 2022.JACOPO LIGOZZI Tobias and his Miraculous Fish, 1609, Pn and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with gold, on brown washed paper; squared with black chalk, 307 x 230 mm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, RF 5345, Recto, Photo: Thierry Le Mage © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY. AZITA PANAHPOUR. Persian Calligraphy Shattered Poem #58, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 97 x 147 cm, Collection of the artist, © Azita Panahpour. REMBRANDT VAN RIJN.The Archangel Raphael Leaving the Family of Tobit, 1637, Oil on wood, 66 x 52 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, INV 1736, Photo: Tony Querrec © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

Exile and Writing Between Florence and Persia: G.B. Vecchietti’s Judeo-Persian Tobit. , I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance, Vol 24, No 2, Fall 2021. Published for Villa I Tatti: The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies

This article discusses the only known Judeo-Persian version of the Old Testament book of Tobit acquired by Gioambattista Vecchietti in the Gulf city of Lār during his second journey to Persia and India (1600-1608). The diplomat-scholar’s interest in Tobit is situated within an early-modern post-Trentine Florentine encounter with the Persianate world. By inserting Tobit within a Persian Jewish genealogy, Vecchietti posits an original hermeneutic built on a poetics of voluntary exile not rooted in the Septuagint or the Vulgate. Vecchietti’s Persianate reading offers a new history of biblical exile and art that prefigures Vico’s humanism.

What is in a Name? Fillipo Napoletano’s Persian Hunt: Uffizi Galleries Hypervision. On Being Present Vol. II. February 2021.

A first study of little-known paintings (1624) for Cosimo II, establishes the significance of the original title of the paintings, in the context of Tuscan-Persian relations.

Shafii al-Sharif’s Subhat-al-Akhbar in the Medici Collection: Visualizing Royal Genealogy  in the Persico-Islamic and the Medici Courts I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 21, no. 1 (Spring 2018): 159-183.

This essay is the first investigation of a rare sixteenth-century Ottoman genealogical scroll that is archived in the Laurentian Library in Florence, the Subhat-al-Akhbar.The scroll’s preface identifies the author as Shafii al-Sharif, who addresses Sultan Süleyman as the sitting padshah, or king of kings. No reliable historiographical or biographical information on the production or provenance of al-Sharif’s scroll exists.

Sea of Oman: Ferdinand I, G.B. Vecchietti and the Armour of Shah Abbas I Rivista degli Studi Orientali, 2018; 51-71.

The study of a privileged relation between Safavid Shah ʽAbbas I of Persia and Ferdinand de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, two sovereigns who came to power simultaneously in the years that saw the waning of Portuguese domination in the Persian Gulf. An analysis of uncatalogued documents in the archives of the Medici Oriental Press, more- over if not more importantly, offers evidence concerning the commissioning and the meaning of the iconic Medusa (1596-1598) by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), which analysis, too, finds its ground in the relationship of the Shah ʽAbbas and Ferdinand.

The Burrato of the Bargello in Awam Ampka and Ellyn Toscano, eds., Resignifications: European Blackamoors, Africana Readings. Rome: Postcart, 2017. pp. 165-171.

What does the presence a black Moorish figure during a theatrical joust, where Persians were the champions, and Ethiopians set the rules, reveal about the cultural politics of the early modern Tuscan court culture?

Canonicity and Popularity in the Nineteenth Century: Dante 1865 in Joep Leerssen and Anne Rigney eds., Commemorating Writers in Nineteenth Century Europe: Nation Building and Centenary Fever (2014, Palgrave Macmillan)

This volume offers detailed accounts of the cults of individual writers and a comparative perspective on the spread of centenary fever across Europe. It offers a fascinating insight into the interaction between literature and cultural memory, and the entanglement between local, national and European identities at the highpoint of nation-building.

Anti-Hegemonic Nationalism: The 1865 Centenary Festa of Dante in Peter Arnade and Michael Rocke, eds., Power, Gender, and Public Life in Europe and America: Essays in Honor of Richard C. Trexler, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Research, Essays and Studies, University of Toronto, 2008.

Intellectual iconoclast, archival impresario, self-described profane student of sacrality and its practitioners, and avid theorist of public behaviour, urban politics, sexuality, gender, and power, Richard C. Trexler was one of the most important historians of our era. Eager to overturn conventional pieties, Trexler pushed boundaries, but always with admirable discipline and a command of his sources.

Can Interaction Design Civilize the Experience Economy? Interactions ACM, July-August 2013. (The Academic and Professional Journal of Computational Science).

The emerging experience economy offers a possibility for rethinking and designing new frameworks for social interaction more conducive to conviviality and civility. But such designing, or judgment of design can only be grounded upon and proceed from an understanding of the genealogies of interaction design. Interaction codes in civilité manuals and Natural Law are inherent in contemporary approaches to designing experience and interactive products and services. Any viable judgment of these can be possible only from a recognition, and then an elaboration, of the ethical and political implications of each of these codes. This is the task proper to the philosophical genealogy of forms in interaction design.

House of Fraser About Place Journal, Volume VI, Issue 2, October 2020

The pair used to sit at a corner table of Pret-a-Manger off Bedford Square. I had noticed them on my morning coffee stops before going to my post as visiting professor in one of the universities dwelling in the Bloomsbury district of London. Bloomsbury of the Dukes of Bedford and then of the Virginia Woolf and her modernist circle had morphed into an elegant set for international students and tourists. Two figures forming one shape had become a fixture in the periphery of my vision, a constant presence, a blot on my subconscious…