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Dr Sara Miglietti

Hello and welcome!

Last weeks at Warwick before moving to the States! From next year I will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literature of Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD). But I will be back in the UK in the summer of 2016 for a three-month Frances A. Yates Fellowship at the Warburg Institute in London.




My research at Warwick, supervised by Dr David Lines (Renaissance and Italian) and Prof Ingrid De Smet (Renaissance and French), is on early modern theories of environmental influence in Europe and the American colonies. More particularly, I seek to shed light on the relationship between such theories and the actual practices (medical, political, technological etc.) that they inspired and supported, so as to bridge the gap between the study of environmental ideas and that of environmental management in the early modern period. In order to do so, I draw from a wide range of multilingual sources, including missionary letters, travel accounts, colonial promotional literature, cosmographical compilations, medical writings, scientific papers, weather diaries, urban plans, historical works, and political treatises.

While my background is mainly historico-philosophical, with a special emphasis on French political thought, my current research is interdisciplinary and moves between intellectual history, comparative literature, the history of medicine, science, and political thought, and the environmental humanities. I work primarily on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but I also like to keep an eye on the 'longue durée' (Antiquity to present) in order to examine issues of continuity (or discontinuity), tradition and influence. My involvement in several editorial projects (some of which ongoing) has led me to view philological work as an essential component of my approach to historical research. I attach a particular importance to reading texts in their original languages: I am fluent in English, French, Italian and Latin, and have a fair command of ancient Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, German. More recently, I have developed a particular interest in the phenomenon of self-translation, which I have studied in early modern authors such as Jean Bodin and Francis Bacon, and plan to investigate further in future projects.

Other research interests of mine include sixteenth-century religious history; book history; utopianism; nineteenth-century political thought; and the work of Michel Foucault.

More on my dissertation here


Prior to moving to Warwick, I received a PhD in Philosophy from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and the University of Paris Descartes ('cotutelle de thèse'), with a dissertation on French political thinker Jean Bodin (1529-1596). My dissertation, a comparative edition and Italian translation of Bodin's masterpiece of historical methodology (Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem), was published in the spring of 2013 by Edizioni della Normale (Pisa). Before my PhD, I was a 'studentessa ordinaria' at the Scuola Normale Superiore, from which I received my MA in Philosophy in 2010 (with a thesis on French political thinker Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 1809-1865), and was jointly enrolled at the University of Pisa (BA 2006; MA 2008). I also spent research periods at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and Lyons, the Ecole Nationale des Chartes in Paris, and Harvard University.

Download my CV


My research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Rinascimento and History of European Ideas, and within collected volumes for Brill, Springer, the Edizioni della Normale, and the Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura. In 2013, I published my first book, a comparative edition (accompanied by a new Italian translation) of Jean Bodin's Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem, resulting from my earlier doctoral work (see below, 'Education').

I have delivered a number of conference papers, lectures and talks all over Europe and the US on authors such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Jean Bodin, Giordano Bruno, Michel de Montaigne, Francis Bacon, Robert Burton, Benjamin Constant, Alexis de Tocqueville, Carlo Rosselli, Michel Foucault.

I am a member of the Renaissance Society of America (at whose meetings I have regularly presented for the past three years) and of the Brisith Society for the History of Science. I am also involved in the ERP project (Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy, editor-in-chief Marco Sgarbi), the CMR project (Christian-Muslims Relations, editors-in-chief David Thomas and John Chesworth), and the Bodin project (University of Hull, principal investigator Howell A. Lloyd), and occasionally contribute book reviews to the online journal Materiali Foucaultiani.

More on my publications and presentations here



At Warwick, I teach on the MA Core Module on Renaissance Culture and Society and have co-designed and taught IT324 (Renaissance Literature and Thought, years 3&4) together with my supervisor, Dr David Lines. I have also participated in the team-taught Community Course on 'The European Renaissance' at Kenilworth (organised by Dr David Lines). Prior to that, I taught undergraduate courses at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) and graduate seminars on Renaissance Philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy).

More on my teaching here


I am fluent in Italian (my native language), English, French and Latin, and have a fair command of Spanish, Portuguese and German. I can also read ancient Greek... though with the help of a good dictionary! I occasionally work as a freelance translator and editor of both academic and non-academic texts from and into Italian, French, and English.

Outside academia...

... I enjoy travelling, writing, rock-climbing, and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors, which also includes volunteering with the Tocil Wood project. I am a committed vegetarian with a keen interest in sustainable living, and a genuine Beatlemaniac!

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S dot O dot Miglietti at warwick dot ac dot uk



CALL FOR PAPERS: "Authorial Translation in Renaissance Europe" (RSA Boston 2016)

Deadline: 15 May 2015

Organisers: Dr William Barton (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck); Dr Sara Olivia Miglietti (CSR Warwick)



Ruling Climate poster image

Ruling Climate - The Theory and Practice of Environmental Governmentality (1500-1800)

University of Warwick, 16 May 2015