Dr Fernanda Gallo

Associate Professor in 19th Century Mediterranean History
Fellow and Director of Studies in History and Politics at Homerton College
I am an historian of Modern Italy and the Mediterranean with a particular interest in the transnational intellectual exchanges across the Mediterranean and the interconnections between Northern and Southern European political thought in the long nineteenth century. I am 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.
My first book, Dalla patria alla Stato. Bertrando Spaventa, una biografia intellettuale (Laterza, 2013) [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 from 1810s to 1880s. 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 the revolutions in Southern Europe between 1780 and 1830 (Italy, Spain, and Portugal), exploring the interconnections between constitutions, liberalism and imperial dominations in the region from a gender perspective. The second project investigates the material and immaterial spaces of identity-building in Italy with a particular focus on the shaping of the European cultural capital of Milan between 1796 and 1848.
I have studied, researched and worked in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. After graduating at the University of Naples Federico II, I have spent research periods at the University of Heidelberg and Tuebingen and attained my PhD at the University of Lugano (Switzerland). Before joining the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge in 2019, I have worked at Queen Mary University of London and at the University of Bath. My research has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici and the Baggiolini Foundation.
I am involved in several international research projects 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 (July 2018 - August 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).

I lecture and supervise for the History Tripos Part 1 papers 17 and 18 on Modern European History and papers 19 and 20 on History of Political thought. 

For Part 2, I teach the Specified Subject "Rethinking Europe from the Mediterranean Shores, 1796-1914". I also teach the MPhil Option "The Modern Mediterranean"

For the History and Politics tripos, I convene the Part 2 course HP3.

I welcome MPhil and PhD dissertations on Modern Italian and Mediterranean intellectual and political history


Tags & Themes

Homerton College
University of Cambridge 
Hills Road 

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, 2013

With Matthew D’Auria (eds.) Mediterranean Europe(s): Rethinking Europe from its Southern Shores, Routledge (forthcoming Autumn 2022)

‘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

'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