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Wanxin Du

I am a current PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick (supervisor: Dr Jonathan DaviesLink opens in a new window). I am interested in economic, social, political, and legal history in early modern Italy, especially in the history of the grand duchy of Tuscany in the 16th and 17th centuries.
My PhD project 'Violent Crimes and Criminal Justice in the State of Siena, 1590-1650', explores the patterns and changing rates of violent crime such as homicide, assault, and sexual violence in the Stato nuovo di Siena, an essential part of the grand duchy of Tuscany, between the late sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries. It also investigates the daily administration of criminal justice, including judicial and extra judicial conflict resolution as well as punishment, in order to demonstrate the intricate network of power relations between the Medici grand duke, the governor of Siena, the captain of justice, and the local magistrates. Set in the context of seventeenth-century crisis in the grand duchy of Tuscany, it hopes to provide a new insight into the current historical debates on the levels of violence, the socio-economic roots of crime, and the nature of state formation in early modern Italy, challenging traditional views of absolutism.


Research Interests

  • Renaissance and Early Modern Italy
  • History of Florence, Siena, and Tuscany
  • Violence, Crime, and Criminal Justice in Early Modern Europe


  • Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies, University of Warwick, UK, 2022-present
  • M.A. in World History, Fudan University, China, 2019-2022
  • B.A. in World History, Tianjin Normal University, China, 2015-2019

Research and Language Trainings

  • Winter Seminar in Palaeography and Archival Studies, Medici Archive Project, Jan 2024
  • Specialised Italian Intermediate for Renaissance Research, Warburg Institute, Oct 2022-Mar 2023
  • Italian Palaeography, University of Warwick, Oct-Dec 2022 & Jan-Mar 2024

Scholarships and Awards

  • Eva Schler Fellowship, Medici Archive Project, 2023-2024
  • China Scholarship Council-University of Warwick Scholarship, 2022-2026
  • Outstanding Graduate of Fudan University, 2022
  • Tung Scholarship, Fudan University, 2020-2021



  • "The Legislation on Arms Control in Grand Ducal Tuscany, 1574-1685', CSR PhD Work in Progress Seminar Series, University of Warwick, 6 June 2024
  • "Archival Research on Violent Crimes and Criminal Justice in Grand Ducal Siena, 1590-1650", Samuel H. Kress & Eva Schler 2024 Fellows Research Report, Medici Archive Project, 22 May 2024