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Sara Miglietti

Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Intellectual History

Research Interests: Renaissance intellectual history | History of political thought (ancient to modern) | Translation history (Renaissance) | History of philosophy | Book history | Ecocriticism & Environmental humanities


Sara was educated in Italy, France, and the UK. Before joining the Warburg in 2018 as Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Intellectual History, she was an Assistant Professor of French Renaissance Literature and Culture at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA) and an adjunct professor in History of Philosophy at Georgetown University (Washington DC). In the winter of 2018, she was Oliver Smithies Visiting Research Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford, and David Walker Memorial Fellow at the Bodleian Library's Centre for the Study of the Book.

MA (Hons), History of Philosophy, University of Pisa, 2008

MA (Hons), History of Philosophy, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, 2010

PhD, History of Philosophy, Scuola Normale Superiore and Université Paris Descartes, 2012

PhD, Renaissance Studies, University of Warwick, 2016


Sara's work is broadly concerned with early modern intellectual history (1500-1700); the history of moral and political thought from antiquity to early modernity; the transmission, reception, and reuse of texts and ideas across geographical and chronological boundaries. She has a strong interest in book history, translation and reception studies, and methodologies of textual editing. Sara strives to situate early modern thought in the longue durée, by reconstructing its debts to ancient and medieval traditions and its legacy on modern and contemporary culture. Her research is strongly transnational and looks at the circulation, reappropriation, and transformation of knowledge, particularly through the medium of translation.

Many of Sara’s publications revolve around the French philosopher Jean Bodin, who lived in the period of the French wars of religion (1562-1598) and was active in many fields, from ethics and politics to natural philosophy, history, and theology. Sara has studied Bodin’s thought extensively, writing on various aspects of his oeuvre and also editing two of his most important works: the Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem (a treatise on historical method, of which she gave the first genetic edition in 2013); and the République / De Republica (a self-translated political treatise in six books, the last two of which Sara edited with Mario Turchetti, forthcoming with Garnier). Other recent publications include edited volumes on Governing the Environment in the Early Modern World: Theory and Practice (with John Morgan, 2017) and Climates Past and Present: Perspectives from Early Modern France (2017), as well as articles on early modern environmental ideas, Renaissance marginalia, and the history of philosophical and scientific self-translation.

Sara is currently at work on two monographs, The Empire of Climate, 1550-1750 (under review) and Self-Translation in Renaissance France: Writing Bilingually from Calvin to Descartes (under contract with Routledge). She is also co-editing special issues on Reading the Virtues: Ethics and Literature in Renaissance Europe (with Matthias Roick) and Climate in the Middle Ages (with Martin Lenz and Evelina Miteva).




In the Autumn, Sara co-teaches on the core module Reviving the Past (CIV MA and PGCert), where she lectures on subjects such as Renaissance philosophy; humanist scholarship and movements of religious reform; translation and the rise of the vernaculars; and the cultural impact of the geographical discoveries. She also convenes the first half of a core module on Methods and Techniques of Scholarship, which introduces MA and first-year PhD students to the nuts and bolts of becoming an historian.  

In the Spring, Sara teaches an option module on Renaissance Political Thought, which explores connections between political ideas and broader philosophical worldviews from the late Middle Ages to the early Enlightenment. She also convenes the second half of Methods and Techniques of Scholarship, which guides MA students through the early stages of dissertation work. 

In the Summer, Sara supervises MA dissertations appropriate to her research interests and expertise.

PhD Supervision

Sara welcomes inquiries from prospective PhD students working on Renaissance & early modern topics in one of her research areas: intellectual history (esp. French and Italian); the history of political thought; translation studies; the history of philosophy; book history; ecocriticism & the environmental humanities. 

Current supervisees:

First supervisor for: George Brocklehurst (Giovanni Pontano's Convivial Humanism), Daniel Samuel (The Passions of the Soul in English Medicine and Science), Guillermo Willis (Gassendi and the Epicurean Anatomists, 1620-1680).

Second supervisor for: Marisa Addomine (Clockmaking in Renaissance Florence: The Della Volpaia Manuscripts), Merlin Cox (Theurgy in the Renaissance), Elisa Stafferini (Women in Arms: Armed Women in 16C and 17C Italian Art and Literature).

Recent publications

Books and edited volumes:

Reading the Virtues: Ethics and Literature in Renaissance Europe, special issue (co-edited with Matthias Roick). Submitted and under review.

The Empire of Climate, c. 1550 – c. 1750: Early Modern Climate Theories and the Problem of Human Agency. Submitted and under review.

Governing the Environment in the Early Modern World: Theory and Practice, ed. Sara Miglietti and John Morgan (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2017).

Jean Bodin, Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem. Text, translation, genetic apparatus, and commentary by Sara Miglietti (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2013).

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters:

What is an annotator? Renaissance marginalia as a textual form. In: Studied for Action: Gabriel Harvey and the History of Reading. Essays by Lisa Jardine and Others, ed. Anthony Grafton, Nicholas Popper and William Sherman (London: UCL Press, 2022, forthcoming).

Flood, Fire, and Tears: Imagining Climate Apocalypse in Scheuchzer’s “De portione” (1707/1708). In: Natural Disasters in the Early Modern World: Reflections, Representations, Interventions, ed. Ovanes Akopyan and David Rosenthal (Abingdon: Routledge, 2022, forthcoming).

Jean Bodin, une pensée en mouvement: étude des variantes entre les deux rédactions de la Methodus (1566-1572). Seizième Siècle (forthcoming Spring 2022).

Un caso di autotraduzione medico-scientifica nel Rinascimento: Il Pourtraict de la santé / Diaeteticon Polyhistoricon di Joseph Duchesne (1606). In: Traduire à la Renaissance / Tradurre nel Rinascimento, ed. Jean-Louis Fournel and Ivano Paccagnella (Geneva: Droz, 2021 [but 2022], forthcoming).

Climate Theories in Italy. In: Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World, ed. Kristen Poole (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2022, forthcoming)

Ambiente. In: Le parole dei moderni. Continuità e cambiamento fra ’400 e ’700, ed. Simonetta Bassi (Rome: Carocci, 2021 [but 2022], forthcoming).

Jean Bodin’s République. In: Reading Texts on Sovereignty: Textual Moments in the History of Political Thought, ed. Stella Achilleos and Antonis Balasopoulos (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), pp. 65-72.

Environmental Ethics for a Fallen World: Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (1672-1733) and the Boundaries of Human Agency. Earth Sciences History 39/2 (2020): 447-473

Between Nature and Culture: The Integrated Ecology of Renaissance Climate Theories. In: Early Modern écologies, ed. Pauline Goul and Phillip Usher (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020), pp. 137-160.

Jean Bodin on Action and Contemplation: A Reappraisal. In: Penser et agir à la Renaissance / Thought and Action in the Renaissance, ed. Philippe Desan and Véronique Ferrer (Geneva: Droz, 2020), pp. 283-312.

Climate Theory: An Invented Tradition? In: Spreading Knowledge in a Changing World, ed. Charles Burnett and Pedro Mantas-España (Córdoba and London: UCO Press and The Warburg Institute, 2019 [but 2020]), pp. 205-224.

“En langage latin et françoys communiqué”: Antoine Mizauld’s Astrometeorological Self-Translations (1546-1557).  In: In Other Words: Translating Philosophy in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, ed. David Lines and Anna Laura Puliafito. Special issue of Rivista di Storia della Filosofia 2 (2019): 213-231.

New Worlds, Ancient Theories: Reshaping Climate Theory in the Early Colonial Atlantic. In: Translating Nature: Cross-Cultural Histories of Early Modern Science, ed. Jaime Marroquín Arredondo and Ralph Bauer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), pp. 203-220; 318-323.

Sovereignty, Territory, and Population in Jean Bodin’s République. French Studies 72/1 (2018): 17-34.

Introduction: The Past and Present of Climate Theories. In: Climates Past and Present: Perspectives from Early Modern France, ed. Sara Miglietti. Special issue of Modern Language Notes (French Issue) 132 (2017): 902-911.

Debating Greatness from Machiavelli to Burton. In: Early Modern Philosophers and the Renaissance Legacy, ed. Cecilia Muratori and Gianni Paganini (Dordrecht: Springer, 2016), 239-258.

The Censor as Reader: Censorial Responses to Bodin’s Methodus in Counter-Reformation Italy (1587-1607). In: Reading Publics in Renaissance Europe, 1450-1650, ed. Sara Miglietti and Sarah Parker. Special issue of History of European Ideas 45/2 (2016): 707-721.

Wholesome or Pestilential? Giovanni Battista Doni (1594-1647) and the Dispute on Roman Air. In: The Renaissance Dialogue, ed. Roberta Ricci and Simona Wright. Special issue of NeMLA Italian Studies 38 (2016): 203-220.

Book reviews:

Review of Lydia Barnett, After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), ISBN: 9781421429519. American Historical Review 125/5 (2020): 1951-1952.

Review of Howell A. Lloyd, Jean Bodin, ‘This Pre-eminent Man of France’: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), ISBN 978-0-19-880014-9. History of Political Thought 41/4 (2020): 676-680.


Podcast interview for Interventions: The Intellectual History Podcast, with Christa Lundberg and Valentina Mann, 9 February 2019.

Video interview for the Archaeology of Reading project, 25 January 2019. 

Curriculum Vitae