Cogut Institute for the Humanities
Center for the Study of the Early Modern World

Caroline Castiglione

Professor of Italian Studies, Professor of History
Research Interests Political History in Italy and Europe Betweem 1500 and 1800, Microhistory, History of Women and Gender, Popular Culture, Law Courts and Legal Culture in Early Modern Italy and Europe


Caroline Castiglione is a professor of Italian Studies and History and focuses on political, legal, gender, family, and women's history. She investigates how seemingly marginalized individuals have challenged systems of power through the strategies of adversarial literacy, a mastery of the skills necessary to advocate for oneself through legal and bureaucratic systems. Her first book, Patrons and Adversaries: Nobles and Villagers in Italian Politics, 1640-1760 (Oxford University Press, 2005) won the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies in 2006. Her book Accounting for Affection: Mothering and Politics in Rome, 1630-1730 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines the figure of the mater litigans or litigating mother, whose activities illustrate the symbiotic evolution of politics and mothering in early modern Rome.