I am midway through studying my History PhD regarding the mental health, challenges and resilience strategies of women of the Italian Renaissance between 1350-1650. At present, I am primarily focusing on women of the mid and upper/noble classes due to the availability of primary source materials (although I would prefer to be able to include a far broader demographic - but that may be a possibility at some point in the future).
My source base is currently centred around Venice, Florence and Rome (which obviously I love as I get to visit these cities every so often!! One of the absolute highlights thus far, has been studying at the Cini Foundation, on San Giorgio, Venice....amazing! Others have been attending a Paleography course and two conferences regarding early modern witchcraft and early modern health at the Medici Archive Project in the centre of Florence under the directorship of Dr. Alessio Assonitis).
I have been looking at issues such as domestic violence, living through pandemics (plague, syphilis outbreaks etc), infant mortality, marriage, separation, judicial tribunals, suicide, melancholy, financial distress, sexual revenge, abortion, political and religious turmoil, exile, widowhood, enforced monachisation, eating disorders, impotence, virginity, reputation, prostitution, courtesans, stalking, misogyny, public shamings , the use of witchcraft, the supernatural and Christianity as coping strategies and so on! (The list is pretty extensive and continues to grow - it stimulates my mind all the time. I absolutely thrive on my research!)
In 2022, I delivered a set of 6 x public lectures across the South West and in London about 'my' Renaissance women (such as Costanza Bonarelli, Artemisia Gentileschi, Camilla Faa etc, as I am keen to make my research accessible both within academia but also to wider society too as there is so much potential to use my findings for the greater good.
Later this year (2023), I will be delivering papers at conferences ...watch this space!
(I am also a tutor to History undergraduates at the University of Bristol in the fields of Early Modern Europe, Medieval Europe and Decolonisation).
I have also recently written a book 'Implosion' of contemporary UK women's true stories of their lives imploding and how they survived their ordeals (which very much mirror the experiences of my Renaissance women). 'Implosion' is now being published by JMD Media and can be pre-ordered at:
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