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Dr Paolo Savoia

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Renaissance Skin)

Paolo Savoia-384-croppedEmail
Department of History
King’s College London 
Room K0.27




Paolo Savoia studied Philosophy and History at the Universities of Bologna and Pisa. In 2017, he was awarded a PhD in History of Science from Harvard University. His thesis examined the history of early modern facial surgery. He has been a fellow at the Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence, and a Mellon Fellow for Dissertation Research at the Council on Library and Information Resources in Washington, DC. He has published on the history of the human sciences, the historiography of science, the history of modern sexuality, and the history of early modern science and medicine. Savoia is now working as a postdoctoral researcher on the Wellcome Trust-funded Renaissance Skin project.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • History of Early Modern European Science and Medicine
  • History of the Body
  • Historiography

In the context of the Renaissance Skin project, Savoia is looking at: the history of grafting in early modern Europe; the social and intellectual history of barber-surgeons in early modern Italy; the history of the professions and practices relating to the cutting, treating, healing, and selling of animal and human skin; and a revision of the idea of the monolithic dominance of Galenic thought on Renaissance and early modern medicine.

Selected publications
  • Uomini e Chirurghi: medicina, dolore e bellezza nell’Italia moderna (Milan: Bibliografica), 2017 [forthcoming].
  • “Nature or Artifice? Grafting in Early Modern Surgery and Agronomy,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 72, 1 (2017): 67-86.
  • “The Book of the Sick of Santa Maria della Morte in Bologna and the Medical Organization of a Sixteenth-Century Hospital,” Nuncius, 31, 1 (2016): 163–235.
  • “Seeing and Hearing: Charcot, Freud, and the Objectivity of Hysteria,” in Flavia Padovani, Alan Richardson, and Jonathan Tsou (ed.), Objectivity in Science: New Perspectives from Science and Technology Studies. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science 310. Dordrecht: Springer 2015.

In previous roles, Savoia has co-taught courses on the history of western science, the history of medieval and early modern medicine, and food history. He has also taught classes on the history of early modern science, the history of hospitals, and the history of Renaissance anatomy.

Expertise and public engagement

Savoia was co-curator of the exhibition ‘Body of Knowledge: A History of Anatomy (in three parts)’ held at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University (6 March – 5 December 2014). This was awarded the British Society for the History of ScienceGreat Exhibitions2014 prize in the category of Small Exhibitions.



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