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Ross Balzaretti

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I was educated at University College London (BA 1981-4; PhD 1985-89). My first academic job was at the University of Sheffield (1988-89) and the following year I was Rome Scholar in Italian Studies at the British School at Rome. I joined History at Nottingham in August 1990.

I have had fruitful collaborations at Nottingham with various colleagues including Karen Adler (2004-2010 as UK co-editors of Gender & History), Gaby Neher (Art History), Mark Pearce (Archaeology) and Charles Watkins (Geography) in long-standing research and teaching in the Italian region of Liguria. In 2013-14 I co-convened the History research seminar with Sasha Auerbach.

I collaborate with medievalist colleagues via the Medieval Research Cluster, the editorial board of Nottingham Medieval Studies (NMS) and within the cross-disciplinary Institute for Medieval Research (IMR). Many of us will be at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in July.

2004: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Summer 2006: British School at Rome researching their Special Collection of travel books.

2010-11: Donald Bullough Visiting Fellow in Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews.

2014: Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

I have given papers in Genoa, Brussels, Vienna, Glasgow, Rome, Isernia, San Marino, Siena, and London, Oxford, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Cambridge, Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham, St Andrews and Nottingham.

I have published in many leading journals including Archeologia medievale, Early Medieval Europe, Gender & History (including the most-downloaded article in 2008), History, History Workshop Journal, Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, Nottingham Medieval Studies, Past & Present, Times Literary Supplement

I have received research funding from the British Academy, AHRC, University of St Andrews, Paul Mellon Foundation for Studies in British Art, and the Scouloudi Foundation.

I have spoken regularly since 2006 at meetings of the Nottingham Dante Alighieri Society, a local group of Italian enthusiasts, which has always proved a source of interesting comments and reflections on my work.

Expertise Summary

I have supervised 8 doctoral students in diverse aspects of History (see below). I welcome proposals from potential doctoral students, most especially in the history of early medieval Europe and the history of Liguria (Italy) since the Roman period.

Teaching Summary

My teaching is research-led. Currently I am teaching Year 1 Learning History and Medieval World; Year 2, Blood and Treasure; Year 3 Landscape History of Liguria; MA Research Methods, Power and… read more

Research Summary

Books

Dark Age Liguria, was published by Bloomsbury on 28 March 2013.

I am currently finishing two further books:

The Lands of Saint Ambrose: Monks and Society in Early Medieval Milan (Brepols)

North Italian Histories (Manchester UP).

Articles in preparation

Storytelling in early medieval charters

Early medieval charters and landscape: Genoa and Milan compared

Representations of Hugh of Arles and his family

International journal editorship

I was editor of Gender & History for six years (2004-2010), as part of a team with Karen Adler (Nottingham), Ruth Karras, Regina Kunzel and Sarah C. Chambers (Minnesota), having been on its editorial collective since 1993.

In the period 2004-2009 Karen Adler and I edited more than 3,500 pages of text for the journal covering a very wide range of subjects. The presence of the journal here has helped us to develop a 'Gender Histories Network' which brings together local gender historians across the Arts and Social Sciences faculties.

We also instituted a Gender & History public lecture at Nottingham: past lecturers have included Ruth Mazo Karras (Minnesota), Atina Grossmann (NYU) and Efi Avdela (Crete).

Karen and I gave a seminar in May 2010 about the future of the field and the journal at the Department of History in Glasgow University, which has now taken over the UK editorship of G&H.

Doctoral research students

Completed:

Faye Taylor (AHRC funded): 'Miracula and Socio-Political Landscapes: Conques and Bobbio in the millennial period'.

Theresa Tyers: 'The Re-birth of Fertility: the Medieval Trotula and her travelling companions, 1250-1500'.

Robert Hearn: 'Comparative species history of wolves and wild boar in north western Italy since the Middle Ages' (co-supervised with Charles Watkins, Geography). Robert spent 2010-11 at the University of Genoa and worked there with LASA (Laboratory of Archaeology and Environmental History): www.dismec.unige.it/lasa/progetti.php He now has a post-doctoral position in the department.

Gender and HistoryRachel Middlemass (AHRC funded): Bodies of Men: Manhood and Masculinity c. 1100-c.1250'.

In progress:

Lucilla Mallart: 'Josep Puig i Cadafalch and the construction of modern Catalan identity, 1907-1925' (co-supervised with Maiken Umbach).

Theresa Phipps: 'Women, Power and Identity in Nottingham, c. 1350-1450' (co-supervised with Richard Goddard).

Pietro Piana (AHRC funded): 'History of Landscape Views in the Portofino Peninsula and Upper Val di Vara in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries' (lead school Geography, co-supervised with Charles Watkins and Gary Priestnall).

Rebecca Maryan, 'Humoral Theory in Religious Writing in England and Northern Europe, c. 1300-1450 (co-supervised with Rob Lutton).

Selected Publications

Gender & History, since 1993; Editor 2004-2010: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468-0424

Nottingham Medieval Studies: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/121656/

History Compass: http://history-compass.com/

Studies in the Early Middle Ages, co-editor of book series published by Brepols: http://www.brepols.net/Pages/BrowseBySeries.aspx?TreeSeries=SEM

Medieval Church Studies (Brepols), lead editor of this books series now based at Nottingham

My teaching is research-led. Currently I am teaching Year 1 Learning History and Medieval World; Year 2, Blood and Treasure; Year 3 Landscape History of Liguria; MA Research Methods, Power and Authority in the Medieval World; Palaeography.

Liguria fieldtrip

Since 1994, I have taught the landscape history of Eastern Liguria (with Prof. Charles Watkins in Geography) with an annual field trip to the small town of Varese Ligure. This module is unique in Britain, and has been favourably received in Italy. The module is 'The Landscape History of Liguria' (L83218). See: www.heacademy.ac.uk/hca/resources/detail/students_as_front_line_researchers

Students from Geography and History research collaboratively in small teams and produce a final, individual, 6000 word research project. More than 400 of these now exist and form a unique archive of field research in the area, which is actively used by Italian scholars. The projects are housed in the Museo contadino, in Cassego, Varese Ligure, which is directed by Don Sandro Lagomarsini. A wide range of fields have been investigated by students, including river management, fishing history and policy, local wine tradition, tourism, place name studies, archival work using parish registers, vegetation surveys, terrace management and much more besides.

Many colleagues have collaborated with us notably Diego Moreno (University of Genoa), Don Sandro Lagomarsini (Museo contadino di Cassego), Roberta Cevasco (University of Alessandria), Susanne Seymour (Geogaphy, Nottingham), Georgina Endfield (Geography, Nottingham), Mark Riley (Geography, Liverpool). Many local people have given their time to helping us in interviews and in other ways. In particular we are grateful to the Mayor of Varese, Michela Marcone, for long-standing help and support.

Past Research

Much of my past research has involved collaboration with scholars in other disciplines, and has resulted so far in three edited volumes:

(1) Presentations of the Self in Early Modern England, ed. with Amy Erickson (1995, Gender & History, Special issue)

(2) Narrative and History in the Early Medieval West , ed. with E. Tyler (2006).

Reviews: The Medieval Review TMR 07.10.08 (Elizabeth van Houts) quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx; Lesley Abrams, English Historical Review, cxxiii, 503 (2008), 997-999; Genevieve Young, Parergon 26.1 (2009), 280-283; Miranda Wilcox, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, July 2009, 399-401.

(3) Ligurian Landscapes, ed. with M. Pearce and C. Watkins (2004).

Launched by the Rector of the University of Genoa 13 December 2004 and reviewed by Angelo Torre, 'Un "tournant spatial" en historie? Paysages, regards, ressources', Annales HSS 5 (2008), 1127-1144. www.armand-colin.com/revues_article_info.php

Ligurian Landscapes

Past conferences

2007-2013: invited conference papers/lectures at ACCORDIA, London; University of Bologna; University of Padua; Institute of Historical Research, London; University of Genoa; University of Nottingham (Institute for the Study of Slavery; Gender & History); Free University, Brussels; London Medieval Society; University College London.

Future Research

My future research will be largely focused on Liguria.

(1) the history of travel to the region which I am continuing to research in local record offices.

(2) 'The Terrain of History' with Diego Moreno and Charles Watkins, a book about 20 years of fieldwork in the Val di Vara.

(3) Complete annotated English translation of the history of Varese Ligure written by Antonio Cesena in 1558.

Conferences and lectures 2013-14

SIS (Società Italiana delle Storiche), 4th congress, 14-16 February 2013, Padua/Venice

Green Memory: Dark Age Plants and their Histories, Nottingham Medieval @25, 21 June 2013

Politics and Texts in Late Carolingian Europe, c. 870-1000, 8-9 July 2013, St Andrews (my paper: 'Representations of Hugh of Arles (c. 885-948) and his family).

Storytelling in Cloister and Court, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, 2 Nov. 2013.

Wanderings: a male space in the history of travel?, Victorian Masculinities, MIVSS, University of Nottingham, 16 January 2014

Early medieval charters and landscape, Institute of Historical Research, London, 7 May 2014

How Carolingian is Paul the Deacon's Historia langobardorum? Leeds IMC, July 2014

  • ROSS BALZARETTI, 2015. British women travellers and Italian marriages, c. 1789-1844. In: VALERIA BABINI, CHIARA BECCALOSSI and LUCY RIALL, eds., Italian Sexualities Uncovered: The Long Nineteenth Century (1879-1914) Palgrave. (In Press.)
  • HEARN, R., BALZARETTI, R. and WATKINS, C., 2015. The wolf in the landscape. Antonio Cesena and attitudes to wolves in sixteenth-century Liguria Rural History: Economy, Society, Culture. (In Press.)
  • ROBERT HEARN, CHARLES WATKINS and ROSS BALZARETTI, 2014. The cultural and land use implications of the reappearance of wild boar in North West Italy: a case study in the Val di Vara Journal of Rural Studies. 36, 52-63
  • BALZARETTI, R and WATKINS, C., 2013. The Landscape History of Liguria Fieldcourses of the University of Nottingham. In: CEVASCO, R., ed., La natura della montagna. Scritti in ricordo di Giuseppina Poggi Oltre edizioni. 204-10
  • BALZARETTI, R and WATKINS, C., 2013. Recent vegetation change at Palarino, Teviggio, Alta Val di Vara. In: CEVASCO, R., ed., La natura della montagna. Scritti in ricordo di Giuseppina Poggi Oltre edizioni. 522-28
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2013. Dark Age Liguria: regional identity and local power, c. 400-1020 Bloomsbury Academic.
  • BALZARETTI, R, LAGOMARSINI, S. and WATKINS, C., 2013. Remnant Vaccinium myrtillis on the lower slopes of Mt.. Zatta, Cassego and Scurtabò, Alta Val di Vara. In: CEVASCO, R., ed., La natura della montagna. Scritt in ricordo di Giuseppina Poggi Oltre edizioni. 507-13
  • BALZARETTI, R and WATKINS, C., 2013. Recent vegetation change following abandonment at Canevadigiolo, Teviggio, Alta Val di Vara. In: CEVASCO, R., ed., La natura della montagna. Scritti in ricordo di Giuseppina Poggi Oltre edizioni. 515-21
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2012. Fatherhood in Late Lombard Italy. In: NELSON, JANET L, REYNOLDS, SUSAN and JOHNS, SUSAN M., eds., Gender and historiography: Studies in the history of the earlier middle ages in honour of Pauline Stafford Institute of Historical Research London. 9-20
  • BALZARETTI, R, PIANA, P, MORENO, D and WATKINS, C, 2012. Topographical art and landscape history: Elizabeth Fanshawe (1779-1856) in early nineteenth-century Liguria Landscape History. 33, 65-81
  • BALZARETTI, R, 2012. Women, Property and Urban Space in Tenth-Century Milan. In: LIN FOXALL and GABRIELE NEHER, eds., Gender and the City before Modernity Wiley-Blackwell. 57-85
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2011. Lombard fathers Archeologia Medievale: Cultura materiale Insediamenti Territorio. 38, 45-57
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2011. Victorian travellers, Apennine landscapes and the development of cultural heritage in Eastern Liguria, c.1875-1914 History: Journal of the Historical Association. 96(324), 436-458
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2011. Women, property and urban space in tenth-century Milan Gender and History. 23(3), 547-575
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2010. Review of M. Richter, Bobbio in the Early Middle Ages (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2008) Catholic Historical Review. 98-100
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2010. Elites and silver in Milan and its region in the ninth century. In: DEVROEY, J-P, FELLER, L and LE JAN, R., eds., Les élites et la richesse au haut Moyen Âge entre vie et xie siècles Brepols. 403-437
  • BALZARETTI, R and WATKINS, C., 2009. Studying landscape history: fifteen years of undergraduate education and field work in the Alta Val di Vara In: Le Zone Umide archivi del paesaggio culturale tra ricerca e gestione, Proceedings of the International Workshop, Genoa 29-30 January 2009.
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2009. Review of Roberta Cevasco, Memoria verde. Nuovi spazi per la geografia Environment and History. 15(2), 257-259
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2008. Sexuality in Late Lombard Italy, c.700-800 AD. In: HARPER, A AND PROCTOR, C., ed., Medieval Sexuality: A Casebook London: Routledge. 7-31
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2008. Review-Article. Liudprand of Cremona Nottingham Medieval Studies. 52, 246-256
  • ADLER, K. H, BALZARETTI, R and MITCHELL, M., 2008. Practising Gender History Gender & History. 20(1), 1-7
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2006. Spoken narratives in ninth-century Milanese court records. In: TYLER, E.M. and BALZARETTI, R., eds., Narrative and history in the early medieval West Turnhout: Brepols. 11-38
  • BALZARETTI, R. and TYLER, E., eds., 2006. Narrative and History in the Early Medieval West Turnhout: Brepols.
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2005. Masculine authority and state identity in Liutprandic Italy. In: POHL, W. and ERHART, P., eds., Die Langobarden: Herrschaft und Identität Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 332-359
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2005. Review article. Agnellus of Ravenna, The Book of Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna, translated by D. M. Delyannis Nottingham Medieval Studies. 48, 233-237
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2004. The history of the countryside in sixteenth-century Varese Ligure. In: BALZARETTI, R., PEARCE, M. and WATKINS, C., eds., Ligurian landscapes: studies in archaeology, geography & history London: Accordia Research Institute, University of London. 113-128
  • BALZARETTI, R., PEARCE, M. and WATKINS, C., eds., 2004. Ligurian Landscapes: Studies in Archaeology, Geography and History London: University of London, Accordia Reseach Institute.
  • BALZARETTI, R., PEARCE, M.J. and WATKINS, C., 2004. Ligurian landscapes: microhistory and environmental history. In: BALZARETTI, R., PEARCE, M.J. and WATKINS, C., eds., Ligurian landscapes: studies in archaeology, geography and history London: Accordia Research Institute. 1-6
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2004. Peasants. In: KLEINHENZ, C., ed., Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia London: Routledge. 868-871
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2004. Viticulture. In: KLEINHENZ, C., ed., Medieval Italy: an encyclopaedia London: Routledge. 1157-1158
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2004. Agriculture. In: KLEINHENZ, C., ed., Medieval Italy: an encyclopaedia London: Routledge. 6-8
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2004. Land Tenure and Inheritance. In: KLEINHENZ, C., ed., Medieval Italy: an encyclopaedia London: Routledge,. 599-601
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2004. Fieschi. In: KLEINHENZ, C., ed., Medieval Italy: an encyclopaedia London: Routledge. 336-337
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2002. Liutprand of Cremona's sense of humour. In: HALSALL, G., ed., Humour, history and politics in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 114-128
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2001. Sexual cultures in the early medieval West. In: SAMSON, R., ed., Indecent Exposure. Sexuality, Society and the Archaeological Record Glasgow: Cruithne Press. 147-161
  • BALZARETTI, R., 2000. Monasteries, Towns and the Countryside: Reciprocal Relationships in the Archdiocese of Milan, 614-814. In: Towns and their Territories between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages Leiden: Brill. 235-257
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1999. Theodelinda, 'most glorious queen': Gender and Power in Lombard Italy Medieval History Journal. 2(2), 183-207
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1999. Men and Sex in Tenth-century Italy. In: Masculinity in Medieval Europe Harlow: Longman. 143-159
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1999. The Politics of Property in ninth-century Milan. Familial Motives and Monastic Strategies in the Village of Inzago Mélanges de l'École française de Rome. Moyen Âge. 111(2), 747-770
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1999. Review article: San Vincenzo al Volturno. History rewritten? Early Medieval Europe. 8, 387-400
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1998. "These are things that men do, not women": the social regulation of female violence in Langobard Italy. In: Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. 175-192
  • BALZARETTI,R., 1997. Review of W Davies and P Fouracre (eds), Property and Power in Early Medieval Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1995 Economic History Review. 50(2), 393-394
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1996. Cities, emporia and monasteries: local economies in the Po Valley 700-875. In: Towns in Transition. Urban Evolution in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages Aldershot: Scolar Press. 213-234
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1996. Charlemagne in Italy History Today. 46(2), 28-34
  • BALZARETTI, R. and ERICKSON, A., 1995. Gender & History, Special issue: Presentations of the Self in Early Modern England
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1995. Cities and Markets in Early Medieval Europe. In: AUSENDA, G., ed., After Empire: Towards an Ethnology of Europe's Barbarians. Boydell Press, Woodbridge. 113-142
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1994. The Curtis, the Archaeology of Sites of Power. In: La Storia dell'alto medioevo Italiano (vi-x secolo) alla luce dell'archeologia 99-108
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1994. Michel Foucault, Homosexuality and the Middle Ages Renaissance and Modern Studies. 37, 1-18
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1994. Update: Dark Age Italy The Historian. 41, 9-11
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1994. The Monastery of Sant'Ambrogio and Dispute Settlement in Early Medieval Milan Early Medieval Europe. 3(1), 1-18
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1992. Debate: Trade, Industry and the Wealth of King Alfred Past and Present: A Journal of Historical Studies. 135, 142-150
  • BALZARETTI, R, 1992. Images of Dark Age Milan Medieval World. 4, 48-54
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1992. The Creation of Europe History Workshop Journal. 33, 181-196
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1991. History, archaeology and early medieval urbanism: the north Italian debate Accordia Research Papers. 2, 87-104
  • BALZARETTI, R., 1991. Milano e i milanesi Nottingham Medieval Studies. 35, 155-160
  • BALZARETTI, R., 'Students as front line researchers: the Landscape History of Liguria' HEA Subject Centre for History. Available at: <www.heacademy.ac.uk/hca/resources/detail/students_as_front_line_researchers>

Department of History

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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