Florence: Global?  

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Speakers: Lia Markey (Newberry Library), Giorgio Riello (EUI), Giulia Calvi (Universitàdi Siena/EUI), Brian Brege (Syracuse University), Alessio Assonitis (The Medici Archive Project), Valentina Conticelli (Galleria degli Uffizi), Justin Randolph Thompson (Black History Month Florence)

Abstract: When it comes to a cityscape that has shaped the popular visual and material impression of ‘The Renaissance’ only one name comes to mind. A name that has transcended location and evokes stories of power, money, intrigue, and fame: Florence. The city of Florence brings with it many associations, connections, imaginations, ideas, and stories. Yet, it seems Florence always exists in a cosmos of its own, a singular Florentine bubble. This roundtable talk shall introduce approaches and research in history and neighbouring disciplines to discuss and think about early modern Florence in a different light and tease out overlooked connections to introduce a global dimension to its rich history. The location of Florence necessitated a network of cities (such as the port city of Livorno), connections and infrastructures (such as the Botanical Garden) to bring in goods and people from the Mediterranean and across the globe. What different meanings and ideas can ‘Florence’ evoke? What global strategies did the Medici family pursue? What relevance did other Florentine families, places, people, and objects play in connecting Florence to the world and the world with Florence?

Sala del Consiglio, Villa Salviati