Dr. Carlo Taviani

KNIR Fellow 2023-2024

Working at KNIR: 2023-2024

Email address: c.taviani.fellow@knir.it

Discipline and Specialization: Mediterranean and Atlantic history – History of Genoa, the Genoese traders, and economic institutions

University: University of Teramo (Italy)

Website: https://www.unite.it/UniTE/Docente/Doc/ctaviani

Carlo Taviani teaches at the Università degli Studi di Teramo and is fellow of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). His main research project is titled ‘Genoese Merchant Networks in Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean (ca. 1450–1530).’ It is centered on the involvement of Italian traders in the early transatlantic slave trade and on how they used, changed, and transplanted economic and trading institutions.

At KNIR, he is developing a research project that examines how, during the Renaissance in the Italian peninsula, knowledge of the African continent rediscovered from classical (Greek and Roman) antiquity was merged with some notions and tropes that reached Europe as a consequence of contemporary voyages and encounters. The project focuses on topics such as the legend or account of the so-called “silent trade,” the trade in African animals and sub-Saharan gold. It also investigates how Europeans, in framing knowledge of distant populations and cultures, attempted to create hegemony that reinforced violent practices of displacement.

Carlo has worked on revolts, political conflicts, peace-making strategies, and exile in the Italian peninsula during the Renaissance. More recently, he has been working on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries history of a Genoese institution which managed the public debt—the Casa di San Giorgio—and the fortunes of its model for later business corporations and banks, such as the Dutch East India Company, the Bank of England, and the Mississippi Company.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University La Sapienza in Rome and received his PhD from the University of Perugia. He has been research fellow at the DHI (2019-21), which has funded his main research project, at I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (2009-10), where he was also a research associate (2017-19); the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC (2012); the Italian-German Historical Institute in Trent (2011-14) and the University of Zurich (2021-22). He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, the MacMillan Center at Yale (2013), a visiting lecturer at the University of Cape Town (2015). He taught at the University of Cape Town (2015) and the University of Bologna (2020-2022).