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ePortfolio of Valentina Tomassetti

Biography and Education

My historical formation started in Rome, my hometown, where I obtained my BA at La Sapienza - University of Rome. In 2012 I moved to London, where I studied for an MA in History at Goldsmiths College. Before joining the History Department at Warwick as a PhD candidate, I came back to La Sapienza to complete an MSc in Historical and Religious Sciences.


My PhD project, provisionally titled Born Naked and Shameless - An Anatomy of Shame Through Early Modern Art, is supervised by Professor Rebecca Earle and has been generously funded by the History Departmental scholarship.

My research investigates the gendered dimensions of shame in early modern Italy. I am interested in understanding how shame was taught and prescribed to women through the use of cultural objects like paintings and books. My work is particularly focused on the embodied features of feminine shame, like blushing, downcast eyes and face covering, and their practices in everyday life. My thesis undercovers the preventative use of shame as guarantor of women's chastity and honour.


MSc in Historical and Religious Sciences (cum Laude) - Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

MA in History - Goldsmiths College, University of London

BA in Historical and Religious Sciences (cum Laude) - Sapienza University of Rome, Italy


2016 – 2020: Departmental Doctoral Scholarship, University of Warwick

April 2018: Annual Conference Travel Bursary, Social History Society

April 2018: Gendered Emotions Conference Travel Bursary, University of Sheffield

August 2018: Annual Workshop Series on Passion, HRC - University of Warwick

December 2018: Non-UK Research Expenses Grant, The Royal Historical Society

January 2019: RSA Travel Grant, The Renaissance Society of America


2018-2019: HI203, The European World 1500-1750

Selected Conference Papers

The Construction of Female Shame in Early Modern Italy.

Social History Society Annual Conference, Keele University – UK, June 2018

At First Blush: Shame as Gender Discriminator in Early Modern Art.

International Society for Cultural History, UmeĆ„ University – Sweden, June 2017

A Bride with Red Cheeks. Gender Discrimination and Emotional Practises in Early Modern Europe.

Bedford Centre for the History of Women - Royal Holloway University of London, June 2017

Memberships and Affiliations

Social History Society

Women's History Network

Renaissance Society of America

Royal Historical Society

Language skills

Italian: Native speaker proficiency

English: Full professional proficiency

Spanish: Full professional proficiency

Latin: Advanced proficiency

French: Intermediate proficiency

Professional Development

Resources and Techniques for the Study of Renaissance and Early Modern Culture

The Warburg Institute, London (22-25 May 2017)

PhD Students Training Day – Pre 1600

The British Library, London (20 February 2017)

Workshop on Emotion History with Prof. Barbara Rosenwein

Sheffield University, Sheffield (10-11 September 2018)

Research Interest

- History of Shame

- History of Emotions

- Cultural History

- Gender Studies

- History of Women

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Valentina Tomassetti

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