GRADUATE STUDENTS

Benny Bar-Lavi

Benny Bar-Lavi

PhD student, Department of History

Interests: Political thought in early modern Europe; Longue durée intellectual history; Jewish-Christian intellectual exchanges; the receptions of Machiavelli and Spinoza; conversos; the Western Sephardi Diaspora. More Information.

Advisor: David Nirenberg

e-mail: bbarlavi@uchicago.edu

Hilary Barker

Hilary Barker

Ph.D. Student, Art History

Hilary Barker is a PhD student studying the intersection of the ancient and the Renaissance in Rome. Her interests include Roman Imperial religious art, antiquarianism in Renaissance Rome, collecting history and print culture. She is particularly interested in the artistic and intellectual geography of Rome from roughly 1460 to 1600, and in how the production and collecting of guidebooks, maps and prints of Rome relates to movement in the city.

e-mail: hilarybarker@uchicago.edu

Eufemia Baldassarre

Eufemia Baldassarre

Ph.D. Student, Italian Studies

Interests: Patronage, the epistolary genre, and the importance of space in the construction of Early Modern identities. Eufemia is native of Italy. She received a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures and an MA in Translation from the University of Turin, and an MA in Italian Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh. More information.

e-mail: ebaldassarre@uchicago.edu 

Nicholas Bellinson

Nicholas Bellinson

Ph.D. Student, Committee on Social Thought

Interests: lyric (from antiquity onwards), drama, and poetic form; sculpture of Michelangelo's sculptures; the influence of classical antiquity upon the post-antique world; Counter-Reformation science; neo-Platonism and early Christianity; historical periodization; psychoanalysis. Nicholas studied early modern intellectual history at Princeton and Renaissance art history at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. He plans to write his dissertation on Shakespeare. More information.

e-mail: nbellinson@uchicago.edu

Beatrice Bradley

Beatrice Bradley

Ph.D Candidate, Department of English Language and Literature

Interests: Early Modern Literature; Classical Tradition and Reception; Gender and Sexuality Studies; History of Medicine and the Body. Beatrice received her BA in English Literature and Classical Languages from Vanderbilt University and her MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College. More Information.

Email: bbradley@uchicago.edu

Danielle Charette

Danielle Charette

Ph.D. Student, Committee on Social Thought

Interests: Modern political theory, American literature, liberalism and the novel, Tocqueville. Danielle received her BA in English Literature from Swarthmore College (2014). More information.

email: dcharette@uchicago.edu 

Ji Gao

Ji Gao

Graduate Student

 Interests: History of the Book, Early modern French literature and history. 
  A native of China, Ji Gao received his BA and MA in French from Peking University (China) and an MA in Lettres modernes (Littérature française) from the ENS de Lyon (France) before coming to Chicago. He is currently at work on his dissertation entitled “Politique éditoriale et ambition culturelle des libraires Lyonnais dans la seconde moitié du XVIe siècle. Guillaume Roville et Benoît Rigaud”, which examines how the wars of religion in the later 16th century shaped the cultural landscape of the French city of Lyon through the editorial policies of two important local publishers, Guillaume Roville and Benoît Rigaud. Here is the link to my departmental webpage. https://rll.uchicago.edu/graduate/students/gao
  Advisor: Philippe Desan 
Aimee Gonzalez

Aimee Gonzalez

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Music

Music History and Theory. Interests: late 15th- and early 16th-century sacred music; motets in the French royal court; lay devotion with a particular focus on the saints; Jean Mouton; women in Medieval and Renaissance music; Parisian Romantic ballet; music and nature; music in the Cuban diaspora.

e-mail: aimeegonzalez@uchicago.edu 

John-Paul Heil

John-Paul Heil

Ph.D. Student , History

John-Paul works on the Italian Renaissance, especially the intersection between humanism, patronage, and power. His research has examined scholarly political networks in Florence, Rome and Naples.

e-mail: jpheil@uchicago.edu

Alexandra Peters

Alexandra Peters

Ph.D. Student, History

Alexandra Peters works on the Iberian world in the late Medieval and early Renaissance period.

e-mail: ampeters@uchicago.edu

Natasha Piano

Natasha Piano

Ph.D. Student, Political Science

Interests: Renaissance political science. More information.

e-mail: natashapiano@uchicago.edu

Brendan Small

Brendan Small

Brendan Small works on Italian humanism and patronage, especially Florence and Rome. He has conducted research on the patronage of Pope Leo X and his relationship with artists and scholars.

e-mail: bms1@uchicago.edu

Samantha Truman

Samantha Truman

M.A. Student, Divinity School

Samantha Truman is interested in Renaissance art history, especially religious art and religious decorative arts. She is studying museum curation.

e-mail: satruman@uchicago.edu

Esther Van Dyke

Esther Van Dyke

Graduate Student

Esther is a third-year PhD student working on 17th century French literature with Prof. Larry Norman. Her current research interests focus on the evolution of aesthetics in the 17th century, specifically that of the sublime. The sublime was first clearly theorized by Boileau in 1674 as the ineffable effect found in discourse, although it is not linked to any specific rhetorical style. Esther argues that Racine practiced the sublime, bringing it outside of its traditional discursive milieu and into the realm of theater through powerful dramatic effects, including spoken discourse, written word, silence, or even visual representation of character bodies on stage.

She is also interested in the role aesthetics play in genre, the intersection of the je ne sais quoi and the sublime, and the power of taste to conduct social change.

Tali Winkler

Tali Winkler

Ph.D Student, Department of History

Interests: Early modern Jewish history; history of the book; marginalia; material culture; circulation of books as material objects. More information.

Advisor: David Nirenberg

e-mail: taliwinkler@uchicago.edu

Michal Zechariah

Michal Zechariah

Ph.D Student, Department of English Language and Literature

Interests: Early modern literature; doubt and skepticism; history of emotions; ethics; the Bible; law and literature. Michal received her LLB in Law and English Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her current research focuses on cognitive and affective aspects of doubt in early modern texts. More information.

e-mail: michalz@uchicago.edu

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