Dr Fernanda Gallo

Associate Professor in 19th Century Mediterranean History
Fellow and Director of Studies in History and Politics at Homerton College
I am a transnational historian of Modern Italy and the Mediterranean, with a particular focus on Southern Europe  (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece). I am History Faculty leader for Part II in the History and Politics Management Committee  and I direct studies for History and Politics students at Homerton College. I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

After graduating at the University of Naples Federico II, I have attained my PhD at the University of Lugano (Switzerland) in 2015. Before joining the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, I have worked as Teaching Fellow in Italian History and Politics at PoLIS at the University of Bath, 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 am involved in several international research project such as "SPAZId’TALIA. Material and immaterial spatiality of the Italian national construction from the Cisalpine Republic to the end of Fascism", in collaboration with the École française de Rome (Jan 2022 - Dec 2026); the SINERGIA project "Milan and Ticino (1796-1848). Shaping spatiality of a European Capital", funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2018 - 2022); and the Research Network for the History of the Idea of Europe. At Cambridge, I coordinate the Mediterranean History Research Cluster (2021-2023). 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).
My first book, "From Patria to the State: An Intellectual Biography of Bertrando Spaventa" [written in Italian "Dalla patria alla Stato. Bertrando Spaventa, una biografia intellettuale" and published by Laterza in 2012] 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, 1832-1900 (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press - Ideas in Context) 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.
I contribute to the core lectures for the Modern European element (Papers 17 and 18) in Part I and I teach a Part II Specified Subject for final year undergraduates on "Rethinking Europe from the Mediterranean Shores, 1796-1914". At the MPhil level, I teach an option on "The Modern Mediterranean" for the Modern European and World History MPhils
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.


Tags & Themes

Key publications

Regenerating the Nation: Hegel and the Italian Political Thought, 1832-1900, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press (Ideas in Context), 
Dalla Patria allo Stato. Bertrando Spaventa, una biografia intellettuale, Roma: Laterza, 2012

With Matthew D’Auria (eds.) Mediterranean Europe(s): Rethinking Europe from its Southern Shores, Routledge (forthcoming 2021)

‘A transnational perspective on Constant’s Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangieri and the Risorgimento, 1826-1860’, in T. David, P. Eichenberger, L. Haller, T. Straumann, C. Wirth (eds.), Transnationale Geschichte der Schweiz - Histoire transnationale de la Suisse, Zurich, Chronos Verlag 2020

with Axel Körner, ‘Challenging Intellectual Hierarchies. Hegel in Risorgimento Political Thought: An Introduction', Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 24/2 (2019).

‘The Rise of the Ethical State in Italy: Neapolitan Hegelians and Risorgimento Political Thought, 1848-1876’, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 24/2 (2019).

‘The Shaping of European Modernities: The Renaissance and the Neapolitan Hegelianism, 1848- 1862’, History, 103/356 (2018)

Other publications

Book review of Wolf Lepenies, Die Macht am Mittelmeer: Französische Träume von einem anderen Europa, Hanser Verlag, München 2016, in H-Soz-Kult, 2018.

'La costruzione dell’identità nazionale e le interpretazioni del Rinascimento nell’hegelismo napoletano', in G. Vacca and M. Musté (eds.), 'Bertrando Spaventa tra coscienza nazionale e filosofia europea', Rome, Viella, 2018

‘La sfida alla “Supremazia Protestante”: Le origini della modernità e l’Hegelismo napoletano’, Giornale critico della filosofia italiana, n. 3, 2017

‘Gli Hegeliani di Napoli e il Risorgimento. Bertrando Spaventa e Francesco De Sanctis a confronto, 1848-1862’, LEA. Lingue e Letterature d’Oriente e d’Occidente, n. 6, 2017

‘Francesco De Sanctis interprete del Rinascimento’, Rivista di Letteratura italiana, n. 1, 2017

‘Philosophical revolution and the shaping of European consciousness: Bertrando Spaventa’s “La filosofia italiana nelle sue relazioni con la filosofia europea”’, Phenomenology and Mind, n. 8, 2015

‘Il manoscritto “De Anima” di Bertrando Spaventa’, Logos. Rivista di filosofia, n. 6, 2011

‘Introduzione: Ethos Repubblicano e Pensiero Meridiano’, with F. Frediani, in F. Gallo and F. Frediani (eds.), Ethos Repubblicano e Pensiero Meridiano, Reggio Emilia, Diabasis, 2011.

‘Dalla religione civile al sentimento religioso: il Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangieri di Benjamin Constant, in F. Gallo and F. Frediani Ethos repubblicano e pensiero meridiano, Reggio Emilia, Diabasis, 2011

‘Dialogo intorno all’educazione civica’, in R. Forlenza and I. Belloni, Questioni civiche. Forme, simboli e confini della cittadinanza, Reggio Emilia, Diabasis, 2010