Public Works, Unemployment, and the State in Early Modern Italy
David Rosenthal (PhD, History, Monash University) specializes in the social history of early modern Italy, with a focus on artisan urban culture and issues of class, gender, communication, and agency. He is the author of Kings of the Street: Power, Community and Ritual in Renaissance Florence (2015) which traces the rise and demise of Florence’s carnivalesque artisan brigades ca. 1480-1630. Recently he has also published on tavern culture and co-produced a tourism/study app entitled Hidden Florence. His interests include urban spaces and movement, petition, migration, religious reform, and digital applications in the humanities.
This project charts the expansion of public works and their links to urban unemployment in Tuscany (16th-17th centuries). It explores the economic, social, and material history of public works and asks what this reveals about the relationship between state and subject, and about the nature of poverty, labor and charity.