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 Sascha 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. I am currently a BSR Ambassador.
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.
I have supervised 8 doctoral students to completion and am currently supervising 6 more in diverse aspects of History (see below). I welcome proposals from potential doctoral students, most especially in the history of early medieval Europe (especially gender and sexuality), and the history of Liguria (Italy) since the Roman period. A specific project is the Anglican presence in Victorian Italy, focusing on a combination of archival and fieldwork (surviving buildings on the Italian Riviera and non-Catholic cemeteries in Genoa and Livorno). Two of my current students are funded by the AHRC via the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership
PLEASE NOTE: I will be Head of History from August 2015 and therefore will teach only a part of my current commitments between 2015 and 2018. For the year 2018/19 I will be on research leave and not… read more
Dark Age Liguria, was published by Bloomsbury on 28 March 2013.
I am currently finishing The Lands of Saint Ambrose: Monks and Society in Early Medieval Milan (Brepols). This book has been submitted and is currently being prepared for publication.
'Chestnuts in charters: evidence for specialised production in early medieval Genoa and Milan', in Italy and Early Medieval Europe: Essays Presented to Chris Wiickham, co-edited by Ross Balzaretti, Julia Barrow and Patricia Skinner, to appear as a Past & Present Supplement (OUP) in 2017.
'Early Medieval Genoa', in Carrie Benes (ed.), Companion to Medieval Genoa (Brill, Leiden).
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECT (Leverhulme Research Project Grant)
British amateur topographical art and landscape in NW Italy 1835-1915, with Charles Watkins and Pietro Piana
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.
BOOK SERIES EDITORSHIPS (Brepols)
I was a founder editor of Studies in the Early Middle Ages (SEM), published by Brepols.
I am currently co-editor of the Brepols series, Medieval Church Studies, which is now based in the History Department at Nottingham. Proposals for monographs and edited volumes are welcomed.
DOCTORAL RESEARCH STUDENTS - 14 to date
Completed (8): Dr Faye Taylor, Dr Theresa Tyers, Dr Robert Hearn.
Dr Rachel Middlemass, Dr Teresa Phipps, Dr Pietro Piana, Dr Lucila Mallart, Dr Rebecca Maryan.
In progress (6): Laura Grazia di Stefano, Michele Baitieri, Chiara Ravera, Timothy McManus, Marco Panato, David Robinson.
Dr Raffaella Bruzzone, Marie Curie Fellow, arrived at Nottingham in May 2014. She is working across Geography and History, on the project 'The circulation of naturalistic knowledge in Modern Europe (1500-1850): a micro analytical perspective (CIRCKNOW)'. I am involved in mentoring this project alongside Prof Charles Watkins in Geography.
Dr Roberta Cimino, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow from February 2015. Her project is called 'The royal fisc in Carolingian and Post-Carolingian Italy'. Roberta is based in History and I am the principal mentor for this project.
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. 26(1), 1-16
BALZARETTI, R., PIANA, P. and WATKINS, C., 2015. Travelling in Italy during Turner's Lifetime Available at: <http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/ross-balzaretti-pietro-piana-and-charles-watkins-travelling-in-italy-during-turners-r1176438>
PLEASE NOTE: I will be Head of History from August 2015 and therefore will teach only a part of my current commitments between 2015 and 2018. For the year 2018/19 I will be on research leave and not teaching.
My teaching is research-led. I am also an advocate for student-led teaching, especially in seminars. Currently I am teaching Year 1 Learning History; Year 2, Sexuality in Early Medieval Europe; Year 3 Victorians in Italy; Landscape History of Liguria; MA Power and Authority in the Medieval World; Palaeography.
LIGURIA FIELDTRIP (1994-present)
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.
Video made by Myles Grover of the trip in 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R_ybc68HDI
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 former Mayor of Varese, Michela Marcone, for long-standing help and support.