News Networks In Early Modern Europe

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Dr Massimo Petta


I obtained MA degree 2005 with a thesis on the relationship between printing-press-as-a-mass-medium and propaganda strategies in Milan during the Spanish rule (16th-17th centuries). In 2010 I obtained a PhD with a dissertation that deepened one of the most important editorial firms in Baroque Milan: The Royal Chamber printworks (focusing on 1594-1665): by archival investigation I reconstructed both the daily management of the workshop and the long-term familiar strategies. I deepened also the relationships between political apparatus and printing press business, through the analysis of the different usages of printed papers made by sovereign authorities (administration, celebration, education etc).

Research interests:

My principal research interests are the history of the book, the history of print, and the material culture of books; at present I have a particular interest in the circulation of news in early modern Europe.  I am also investigating the role of the printing press as a government medium, both for administrative and propaganda purposes: besides the mutual benefits of a close relationship between printers and the authorities, and the evolution of propaganda techniques, I am concerned to deepen understanding of government use of the press and its possibilities, and how the government's understanding of the press influenced the development of its own practices. 


'Wild Nature and 'religious' readings of events: natural disasters in Milanese printed reports (16th-17th Century)', in B. Borstner et al. (eds.), Historicizing Religion: Critical Approaches to Contemporary Concerns (Pisa: Plus-Pisa University Press, 2010) pp. 199-231.

'Printed Funerals in 16th-17th Century Milan', in E. Brambilla et al. (eds.), Routines of Existence: Time, Life and Afterlife in Society and Religion  (Pisa: Plus-Pisa University Press, 2009) pp. 106-37.

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