Samantha Wilson

PhD Candidate in History
Samantha Wilson

Samantha is a third-year PhD candidate whose research focuses on the nature of republican political thought in nineteenth-century Italy (c. 1830-1882). She looks at figures such as Carlo Cattaneo, Francesco De Sanctis, Giuseppe Mazzini, Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso, and Pasquale Villari and analyses the way in which they envisioned citizenship, sovereignty, and religion. Her central argument is that Italian republicanism at this time was intensely hybrid, containing a spectrum of constantly evolving views that intertwined republican, liberal, and democratic ideas in a way that was in part influenced by the Florentine republicanism seen between 1494 and 1532 in the thought of Guicciardini, Machiavelli, and Savonarola. Samantha is supervised by Dr. Fernanda Gallo and Dr. Simone Maghenzani. 

As part of her PhD research, Samantha was a visiting postgraduate researcher at the European University Institute (EUI) under the supervision of Prof. Lucy Riall between January and May 2023 and contributed to the École Française de Rome's SPAZIDENTITÀ project throughout 2024. In addition to her research, Samantha assisted in organising the Cambridge Modern European History Workshop and the Cambridge Political Thought and Intellectual History Seminar in the 2023-2024 academic year and has been a postgraduate member of the Royal Historical Society since 2022. Before undertaking the PhD at Cambridge, Samantha completed a History BA at the University of York (2016-2019) and a History MA at the University of Nottingham (2019-2020).

Part IA Outline Course 8 (Modern Europe, 1789-1914).

'Religious identities and the political space of nineteenth-century Italian republicanism' École Française de Rome SPAZIDENTITÀ Project (Roma, September 2024).

'The impact of the Florentine Republic in Risorgimento republican discourse, c. 1848-1882' - The International Nineteenth-Century Studies Association (INCSA) Inaugural Conference on The Nineteenth-Century Today: Interdisciplinary, International, Intertemporal (Durham, July 2024).

'Citizenship and republican political thought in nineteenth-century Italy, c. 1830-1882' - Society for Italian Studies (SIS) Biennial Conference at Royal Holloway University (London, June 2024).

'Republican visions of citizenship in nineteenth-century Italy' - University of Nottingham Contemporary History and Politics Seminar (Nottingham, June 2024).

'The role of cities in the construction of nineteenth-century Italian republicanism, c. 1830-1882' - École Française de Rome SPAZIDENTITÀ Project (Venezia, March 2024).

'The impact of the Florentine republican tradition on nineteenth-century Italian republican conceptions of sovereignty' - University of Sheffield Centre for Early-Modern Studies Discussion Group (Sheffield, March 2024).

'The evolution of republican ideas during the Risorgimento from a history of democracy perspective' - Institut für Zeitgeschichte (IfZ) Autumn School on the History of Democracy in Modern Europe (München, October 2023).

'Florentine self-representation in the Kingdom of Italy's fiftieth-anniversary celebrations (1911)' - University of Cambridge Modern European History Workshop (Cambridge, October 2022).

'The re-interpretation of Machiavelli's writings in the context of the 1848-1849 revolutions in Italy' - University of Cambridge Department of Italian "Writing Italy" Workshop (Online, May 2021).


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Lucy Cavendish College,
Lady Margaret Road,
CB3 0BU.