skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Fernanda Gallo

Dr Fernanda Gallo

University Lecturer in 19th Century Mediterranean History


I am a nineteenth-century transnational intellectual historian and my research places Italian political thought within continental Europe and the Mediterranean world(s), with a particular focus on Hegel’s reception in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

After graduating at the University of Naples Federico II, I have attained my PhD at the University of Lugano (Switzerland) in 2015. Before becoming University Lecturer in 19th Century Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge, I have worked as post doctoral researcher at the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London and at the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, developing a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on The shaping of European identities: Modernity and the Reformation in the Risorgimento political thought. I have also worked as Teaching Fellow at PoLIS at the University of Bath, where I became Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am collaborating with the SINERGIA research project Milan and Ticino (1796-1848). Shaping spatiality of a European Capital  and with the Research Network for the History of the Idea of Europe. I am also member of the board of the Institute for the Study of Ideas of Europe and founding member of the Society for Political Studies. I was appointed by the Italian Minister of Cultural Activities as a member of the National Committee for the celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Bertrando Spaventa (1817-2017).

Research Interests

My first book, From Patria to the State: An Intellectual Biography of Bertrando Spaventa looks at the intellectual biography of the main exponent of nineteenth-century Italian Hegelianism, focusing in particular on the political context of the Risorgimento. My second monograph, Regenerating the Nation. Hegel and the Italian Political Thought, 1840-1895 (under evaluation) examines how Italian intellectuals have rethought the idea of the rebirth of the Italian nation, through the lens of Hegel’s reception in Italy. It does so by adopting a transnational approach, focussing on how the ‘amalgamation’ of Hegel’s ideas with Italian culture led to a rethinking of historical and political concepts that greatly influenced the intellectual history of modern Italy and, indeed, of Europe as a whole.  

I am currently working on two new projects. The first is a history of Hegel’s reception in the nineteenth-century Euro-Mediterranean world(s), exploring how and to what extent the idea of Germanic freedom contributed to forging the transnational narrative of a backward Southern periphery of Europe, by considering the dissemination and the reception of works by Hegel in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. The second project focuses on the idea of space within intellectual history with a particular focus on the shaping of the European cultural capital of Milan between 1796 and 1848.

Research Supervision

I welcome inquiries from prospective students interested in the history of ideas of Europe and the history of modern Italy and the Mediterranean, especially projects concerned with the nineteenth- and twentieth-century political thought.


Key Publications

Dalla Patria allo Stato. Bertrando Spaventa, una biografia intellettuale, Roma: Laterza, 2012 
With Axel Körner (eds.), Hegel in Italy. Risorgimento political thought in Transnational Perspective, Special issue of Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 24/2 (2019). 
‘Challenging Intellectual Hierarchies. Hegel in Risorgimento Political Thought: An Introduction, with Axel Körner, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 24/2 (2019).