Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Dr Ferente joined the department in 2006 as a Lecturer in Medieval European History. She studied at the Scuola Normale of Pisa, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales of Paris, and the European University Institute of Florence.

She was a fellow of the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in 2009/10, a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in 2013, and a fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in 2016/17. She is the PI of the project ‘Cultures of Voting in Pre-Modern Europe’, funded in 2014 by the British Academy.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Italy and the Mediterranean in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
  • Women, Gender and the State
  • Late Medieval and Renaissance Political Thought

Dr Ferente’s primary research interests lie in the political history of late medieval and Renaissance Italy. She has published widely on parties, partisan identities and supra-regional political networks in fifteenth-century Italy, with a particular focus on city-states and actors resisting processes of state-building. She continues to work on the history of political languages and the use of body metaphors, including gendered metaphors and emotion-metaphors, in late medieval and Renaissance Europe. She is currently preparing the volume on fifteenth-century Europe for the new Oxford History of Medieval Europe, and working on the Genoese diaspora in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

Serena would be interested in supervising PhD applicants in her research areas. For more details, please see her full research profile.



  • 4AAH1002 European History 400-1500    
  • 5AAH2001 Friends. Political Bonds in Late Medieval & Renaissance Italy (1300-1550)    
  • 6AAH4002 Ritual     


  • 7AAH1009 The History of Medieval Women: Image & Reality   
  • 7AAH1010 The Languages of Politics: Italy 1250-1500  

Dr Ferente also teaches on the intercollegiate MA in The History of Political Thought and Intellectual History.

Expertise and public engagement

Dr Serena Ferente is a convenor of the IHR seminars European History 1150-1550 and Late Medieval and Early Modern Italy, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Dr Ferente is also a member of the editorial board of Storica.