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Research

The focus of my research centres on the works of the Italian Renaissance polymath, Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). My DPhil thesis examines the concept of loyalty in Alberti’s humanist philosophy and the influence on Alberti’s moral and literary identity that is transmitted through his works. The advent of humanism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries stimulated a renewed interest in classical Greek and Roman texts, and the moral values which were discussed in those works. The classical sources of Cicero, Seneca and Quintilian, which Alberti primarily studied as part of his education at the school of Gasparino Barzizza (1360-1431) in Padua and later drew upon in his works, held loyalty (‘fides’ in Latin) to be the most important moral virtue. Loyalty was considered to be at the core of the model of civic virtue of the Roman Republic and political system, and essential to the stable and efficient operation of all aspects of Roman political, commercial and familial life. Yet, despite the emphasis on classical virtues in early Renaissance culture, and the frequent reference to loyalty throughout Alberti’s texts, the study of the concept of loyalty in Alberti’s works has been overlooked to date. The principal aim of my thesis research is to conduct the first structured analysis of Alberti’s moral theory of and to establish the importance of an ethical framework of loyalty to his philosophy and identity as a writer. I examine Alberti’s representations of loyalty across his literary and technical works, including De iure (1437), Canis (1438), Musca (c.1442-43), Intercenales (c.1429-1443), De equo animante (c. 1444-50), I libri della famiglia (c. 1433-40), Vita (c. 1438), Momus (c. 1443-50), and De iciarchia (c. 1465). My thesis presents the principles of loyalty which emerge in Alberti’s work in a cohesive theory as a forerunner to modern doctrines of loyalty, such as The Philosophy of Loyalty (1908) by Josiah Royce (1855-1916), to underscore the significance of Alberti to the history of loyalty in Western thinking.

I’m a graduate in Modern Languages (Italian) from Balliol College, University of Oxford, where I studied for my BA Hons degree and Master of Studies degree in European Literature with research on the works of Leon Battista Alberti. Like Alberti, I continued my studies in the field of law to qualify as a lawyer, specializing in intellectual property, innovation and technology matters. My active interest is in thought leadership and academic scholarship, where my research and teaching focus is on loyalty, innovation and originality. I have been invited to speak at a number of international academic and industry conferences on innovation, and regularly publish articles in international journals and publications.

Academic activities

I am the Early Modern Co-ordinator and Treasurer of the Italian Research Seminar series of the University of Oxford Italian Sub-faculty for 2023/24. I lead the program for inviting visiting academics and distinguished scholars whose research covers the late medieval and renaissance period to present their work to the faculty and stimulate discussion.

Selected Publications

Book chapters

“NextGen Higher Education: Preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow that do not yet exist,” in Disentangled vision on higher education: Preparing the generation next, ed. by Francisco Leandro (Bern: Peter Lang, 2023), pp. 429-46

“International Fashion Law: Brand Protection and IP Law in Key Fashion Markets,” in Fashion Law – A guide for Designers, Fashion Executives & Attorneys, ed. by Guillermo C Jimenez, Barbara Kolsun (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014), pp. 347-74

Awards & Scholarships

Isaiah Berlin Fund Bursary Award

Fondazione ‘Centro Studi di Leon Battista Alberti’ Scholarship

Balliol College Pathfinder Student Ambassador Award to the USA

Balliol College Brassey Prize

Balliol College Brassey Scholarship

Teaching

Visiting Lecturer, Faculty of Business, City University of Macau