Dienstag, 24. Mai 2022, 18:00 - 19:30 iCal

Giulia Delogu, PhD, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia

The emporium of words. Free ports as laboratories of information (16th-19th centuries)


Moderator: Federico d´Onofrio


hybrid – Seminarraum Geschichte 1, Hauptgebäude Universität Wien und via Zoom: https://univienna.zoom.us/j/63676317003?pwd=ejA1UkdscUtuc1R1d3dkZkwzTDBMQT09
Universitätsring 1, 1. Stock Stiege 10, 1010 Wien


Between 1591 and 1593 a series of measures of the Grand Duke of Tuscany transformed Livorno into a free port. It is the beginning of a myth. It is the creation of an artificial city, of an unprecedented urban space, of a laboratory. It is also the establishment of a model and a norm, which, however changeable, are destined not only to become the subject of debate, narration, and imagery for the next three centuries, but also to materialize in 'twin' institutions, capable of becoming 'factories' of information, knowledge, and reforms on a global level. The free port - studied up to now mainly as an economic object - therefore appears to be the ideal observatory to provide a contribution to the analysis of the constitution of the public sphere in the early modern age and the construction, control, and use of information in connected scenarios.

Through a series of case studies, my project aims, on the one hand, at illuminating the formation of the public image, positive and negative, of free ports and the influence that this had on political and economic practices. On the other hand, to show the processes and information and communication strategies that were taking place within those same port cities that acquired the franchise or that dreamed, imagined, and planned to become themselves 'frank and free'.



Annemarie Steidl


Michaela Hafner
Annemarie Steidl
Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte