Research Stream

Giovanni Tarantino

Dr Giovanni Tarantino FRHistS is the Business Manager, Co-Editor and Reviews Editor for the Emotions: History, Culture, Society journal and an Honorary Research Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) within the Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education at The University of Western Australia. Following completion of a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at The University of Melbourne in the Change Program of the Centre led by Professor David Lemmings, in June 2016 Giovanni was awarded the position of National Research Development Officer for CHE.

In November 2018, Giovanni was appointed Research Lecturer within the History Department (SAGAS) at the University of Florence, Italy. He also serves as Chair of the COST Action CA18140 People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492–1923), a Member of the Scientific Committee of GLOBHIS, the recently launched Institute for Global History (Universities of Florence, Trieste, Tuscia, and Eastern Piedmont); Council Member of the Society for the History of Emotions (SHE); and Research Associate of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISPF).

Giovanni graduated Mlitt (Laurea) in History in 1999. He received his MA (Media and Communication) in 2001 and his PhD (Early Modern History) in 2004 from the University of Florence, Italy. As a doctoral candidate at the University of Florence he produced a full study of the highly influential free-thinker and book collector Anthony Collins (1676‒1729), who turned to Jewish literature's classic arguments against the analogical interpretation of Messianic prophecies. His research focus on Collins' Jewish sources and a new book project on the eighteenth-century Sinophile pamphleteer and classical scholar Thomas Gordon (d.1750) contributed to his election as Hans Kohn member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2008‒2009) and as a Resident Fellow of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg 'Dynamics in the History of Religions' at Ruhr University Bochum (2010‒2011 and 2018). In the meantime, The University of Western Australia welcomed him first as a Research Assistant Professor and later as a Honorary Fellow in the School of Humanities. In January 2012 he was awarded with a research fellowship from the Balzan Prizewinner Project 'A Comparative Approach to Religions: A Historical Perspective, from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries' led by Professor Carlo Ginzburg at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. In 2014 the five-member assessment committee of the Italian National Scientific Qualification (ASN) unanimously judged his publications and research as eligible for appointment at the level of Associate Professor within the Italian University system.

His main research interest is in the history of tolerance (and intolerance) towards religious minorities in the early modern era. There is a pronounced tendency among many scholars of the theory of religious tolerance to confine their attention to a small number of 'canonical' figures, generally John Locke, and perhaps also Pierre Bayle. These authors are treated as though they wrote entirely against the grain in a wilderness of intolerance and persecution. His study of 'marginal' authors like Martin Clifford (1624‒1677), Anthony Collins (1676‒1729) and Thomas Gordon (c.1691‒1750), whose works circulated widely, systematically dispels the heroic mythology of a few lone thinkers taking up the cause of religious tolerance and the understanding of otherness in the absence of any intellectual context.

Giovanni has contributed to major discipline-defining projects including the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Philosophy Religion (forthcoming); The Oxford Handbook of English Prose, 1640‒1714 (forthcoming); The Routledge History Handbook of Emotions (Europe 1100‒1700) (forthcoming); Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History 1500‒1900 (2018); A Cultural History of Emotions (2018), Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction (2017), Dizionario Storico dell’Inquisizione (2010). He is also engaged in broader historiographical activities, working as Editor-in-Chief for the online academic journal Cromohs: Cyber Review of Modern Historiography.


Personal Webpage

Research Projects

Digging out Some Emotional Roots of British Anti-Catholicism

Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World 



A Global History of Emotions, co-authored textbook with Ananya Chakravarti, Kathryn de Luna and Katrina O’Loughlin. Bloomsbury Academic, in preparation, exp. in 2021.

Refereed Journal Articles

Tarantino, G. 'Disaster, Emotions and Cultures: The Unexpected Wink of Shiba Kōkan (1738–1818)'. Commissioned paper for a thematic issue on the history of emotions of the Rivista Storica Italiana 128 (2016): 64266.

Tarantino, G. 'Thomas Gordon's Letter on Earthquakes (1750)'. Notes and Queries 61.4 (2015): 375–78.

Tarantino, G. 'Gli eccidi valdesi nella propaganda antigiacobita di Gilbert Burnet e John Lockman'. Bollettino Società Studi Valdesi 215 (2014): 73–102.

Tarantino, G. 'Mapping Religion (and Emotions) in the Protestant Valleys of Piedmont'. ASDIWAL: Revue Genevoise d’Anthropologie et d’Histoire des Religions 9 (2014): 91–105.

Tarantino, G. 'Carlo Ginzburg and the Historian's Craft: Questions and Remarks'. CROMOHS 18 (2013): 123–27.

Book Chapters

Tarantino, G. 'Enlightenment', to appear in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro, exp. 2020.

Tarantino, G. 'Radical Writing'. In The Oxford Handbook of English Prose, 1640–1714, edited by Nicholas McDowell and Henry Power. (Oxford UP, exp. 2020).

Tarantino, G. ‘Feeling White in the Pre-Modern Western World’. In Routledge History Handbook of Emotions Europe 1100–1700, edited by Susan Broomhall and Andrew Lynch, pp. 303–19. London and New York: Routledge, 2020 (published July 2019).

Tarantino, G. 'From Labelling and Ridicule to Understanding: The legacy of Bernard and Picart’s Religious Comparativism'. In Through Your Eyes: Debating Religious Alterities (16th–18th centuries), edited by Giovanni Tarantino and Paola von Wyss-Giacosa. Leiden: Brill, exp. in 2019.

Tarantino, G. '“I am contented to die”: The letters from prison of the Waldensian Sebastian Bazan (d. 1623) and the anti-Jacobite narratives of the Reformed martyrs of Piedmont’, In Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe, edited by Giovanni Tarantino and Charles Zika, pp. 126–45. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

Tarantino, G. ‘“Whether ’tis lawful for a man to beat his wife”: Casuistical Exercises in Late-Stuart and Early-Hanoverian England’. In A Historical Approach to Casuistry: Norms and Exceptions in a Comparative Perspective, edited by C. Ginzburg with L. Biasiori, pp. 174–94. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2019.

Tarantino, G. ‘Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde (1723–43)’. In Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History 1500–1900, edited by David Thomas and John Chesworth, Vol. 13: Western Europe (1700–1800), pp. 616–29. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Tarantino, G. 'Religion and Spirituality'. In A Cultural History of the Emotions in the Baroque and Enlightenment Age (1600–1780), edited by Katie Barclay and Claire Walker, pp. 35–51, 177. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.

Tarantino, G. 'Daniello Concina (1687–1756), martello di lassisti e benignisti, sulle ‘sciocchissime chimere’ degli spiriti forti'. In Alessia Castagnino and Frédéric Ieva, Per una storia moderna e cosmopolita. Studi in onore dell’ottantesimo  anniversario di Giuseppe Ricuperati (Rome: Aracne, 2017).

Tarantino, G. 'Identities on Fire: East Meets West on the Palette of Shiba Kōkan', invited chapter to appear in the collection On Fire, edited by Grace Moore (Punctum Books, forthcoming).

Tarantino, G. 'From Labeling to Understanding: The Legacy of Bernard and Picart’s Religious Comparativism', to appear in Through Your Eyes Religions and Beliefs as Intercultural Mirror (16th-18th centuries), edited by Giovanni Tarantino and Paola von Wyss-Giacosa (contracted with Brill).

Tarantino, G. 'Tolerance'. In Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction, edited by Susan Broomhall, pp. 284–87. London: Routledge 2017.

Tarantino, G. 'Fotherby, Martin (c.1560–1620), Bishop of Salisbury'. In Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy, edited by Marco Sgarbi. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015.

Tarantino, G. 'A "Protestant" Approach to Colonization as Envisaged in John Lockman's Martyrology (1760)'. In Violence and Emotions in Early Modern Europe, edited by Susan Broomhall and Sarah Finn. London: Routledge, 2015.

Tarantino, G. 'The Mysteries of Popery Unveiled: Affective Language in John Coustos’ and Anthony Gavín’s Accounts of the Inquisition'.  In Spaces for Feeling: Emotions and Sociabilities in Britain, 1650–1850, edited by Susan Broomhall. London: Routledge, 2015.

Edited Collections and Journal Issues

Tarantino, G. and K. M. Stünkel, eds. 'Holy Affections and Religious Entanglements in Early Modern Europe: Contacts, Polemics, and Representations', special issue, Entangled Religions. In preparation.

Tarantino, G. and P. von Wyss-Giacosa, eds. Through Your Eyes: Religions and Beliefs as Intercultural Mirror (16th–18th centuries). Contracted to Brill.

Tarantino, G. and C. Zika, eds. Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

Tarantino, G., ed. 'From Comparative to Global History: Assessing Relational Approaches to the Past', special issue, CROMOHS 21 (2017–2018).

Tarantino, G. and G. Marcocci, eds. 'Empires, Beliefs, Emotions: Cross-Cultural Affective Histories', special issue, CROMOHS 20 (20152016).

Tarantino, G., ed. '“Our Words, and Theirs: A Conversation with Carlo Ginzburg on the Historian’s Craft'. CROMOHS 18 (2013).


2018. Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland 

2018: Honorary Senior Research Fellow within the Italian National Research Council Institute for the History of Philosophical and Scientific Thought in the Modern Age (CNR/ISPF), Milan, Italy

2018: Visiting Research Scholar within the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany)

2016: AEUIFAI Visiting Scholar at the EUI Department of History and Civilization (Fiesole, Italy)

2014: Visiting Senior Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London

2013: Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society


2018: Visiting Graduate Masterclass 'Entangled Histories of Emotions', Berlin (Germany), Freie Universität Berlin.

2017: Visiting Graduate Masterclass 'Emotions and Race Labelling in Early Modern Europe', Johannesburg (South Africa), University of the Witwatersrand

2016: PhD Workshop 'The Historical Study of Emotions: Concepts, Challenges, Case Studies', European University Institute (Intellectual History Working Group)

2015: Honours (4th year) Elective (with Gordon Raeburn) on 'Sourcing Emotions: Texts, Concepts, Histories', The University of Melbourne, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

2014: Visiting Lecturer  (on Emotions, Early Modern Intercultural Encounters, Cartography and Memory), Nanjing University, China (816 November)

2014: PhD Elective (with Grace Moore) on 'Affective Cartography, Emotions and the Environment', The University of Melbourne, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

2014: Visiting Graduate Course on 'The Historical Study of Emotions: Concepts, Challenges, Case studies', IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Italy (1416 April)

2013: PhD Elective  (with Stephanie Downes and Sarah Randles) on 'The History of Emotions: Images, Objects, Places', The University of Melbourne, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

Conference Papers

‘Emotions’, keynote presentation, EMoDiR international colloquium ‘Towards a Vocabulary of Dissent’, University of Verona, Italy, 27 June 2018. 

'Feelings Towards: Religion and Emotions in Early Modern Europe', opening talk at the international workshop 'Holy Affections and Religious Entanglements in Early Modern Europe: Contacts, Polemics, and Representations', Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, 12–13 March 2018.

'The Unintended Emotional Consequences of Othering: The Fictitious Prophesies of Jeremiah van Husen', BSECS 46th Annual Conference, St Hugh's College, Oxford, 5 January 2017.

'Race and Cultural Labelling in Early Modern Europe', History Group Meeting, The University of Western Australia, 21 September 2016.

'Religion and the Senses in the Early Modern World', KHK International Conference 'Religion and The Senses', Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 79 September 2016.

'Mme de Lambert’s Philosophy of Love through the Distorting Lens of its English Translator John Lockman (16981771)', Second International Workshop on Translators as Historical Actors, European University Institute, 1719 June 2016.

'The Colours of Idolatry: Comparative Religion, Race Labelling, and Emotions in Some Early Modern Accounts of Africa', Symposium 'Stepping Back from Religion: Renegotiating the Sacred and Profane in Early Modern Europe', European University Institute, Fiesole, Italy, 28 April 2016.

'Feeling White in Early Modern Europe', The University of Manchester (Print and Materiality in Early Modern World Seminar Series), 17 December 2015. 

'Of "Concinism" and Violent Language in Eighteenth-Century Italy: From the "teologia mamillare" Controversy to the Exposure of the "sciocchissime chimere" of Deists' (International Symposium 'Words of Violence in Early Modern Italy', Florence, Palazzo Rucellai, 11 December 2015).

'The Uses of the Other in the Early Modern English Catholic Community' (IAHR World Congress, Erfurt 2329 August 2015).

'Out of Africa: Notes on Two Competing and Emotionally Biased Early Modern Accounts of Africa' (ANZAMEMS Annual Conference, Brisbane 1418 July 2015).

'Centrality and Segregation Behind the Gordon Riots: Digging Out Some Emotional Roots of British Anti-Catholicism' (Annual Conference of the International Society for Research on Emotion, Geneva 810 July 2015).

'I Feel. Therefore I Am'. Opening speech to the CHE international conference 'Feelings Matter. Exploring the Cultural and Historical Dynamics of Emotion in Early Modern Europe' (Rome, 30 March 2015).

'Priestcraft Unwigged in Early Modern London' (RSA Annual Meeting, Berlin 26 March 2015).

'Am I Fit to Die?: The Casuistical Lectures of Samuel Pike and Samuel Hayward (1755)'. Balzan International Symposium 'Norms and Exceptions: A Comparative Approach to Casuistry' convened by Carlo Ginzburg at the Istituto di Studi Umanistici e Sociali (SUM) in Florence (1113 December 2014).

Invited discussant at the 2014 edition of IinteR-La+b, the interdisciplinary international workshop co-promoted by the Balzan Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Sciences (Rome, Lincei Academy, 1819 November 2014.

'Early Modern Eastern and Western Emotional Responses to Fires', HTAV Annual Conference 'Our Shared History', 2425 July 2014.

'Transgressing Borders: Emotional Accounts of John Coustos’s Trial for Freemasonry in the Huguenot Diaspora'. International Symposium 'Feeling Exclusion in Early Modern Europe', The University of Melbourne, 2931 May 2014. Watch lecture here.

'Cultural Firefighting Encounters in Mid-Tokugawa Japan". CHE International Conference 'Fire Stories', The University of Melbourne, 46 December 2013.

'Priestcraft Exposed, and Papist Brought to Grief: The Emotional Strategies of Anticlerical Satire in Hanoverian England'. CHE Brisbane Collaboratory 'Arts and Rhetorics of Emotion in Early Modern Europe', 2527 November 2013.

'Mapping Religion (and Emotions) in the Protestant Valleys of Piedmont, 16551689', CHE Adelaide, 25 October 2013.

‘The Shifting Boundaries of Tolerance in John Lockman's Book of Martyrs' (1760), International Symposium 'Violence and Emotions in Europe, 14001800', CHE Perth, The University of Western Australia, 2 October 2013.

'Teaching Fear: Gilbert Burnet’s Account of Catholic Violence against Waldensians (1687)', paper presented at the ARC International Conference 'Sourcing Emotions in the Late Medieval and Early Modern World', CHE Perth, The University of Western Australia, 2729 June 2013.

'The Uses of ‘conformité/conformity’ in Bernard and Picart’s Cérémonies', paper presented at the seminar 'Comparing Religions in a Historical Perspective' convened by Carlo Ginzburg at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, 1011 June 2013.

'A Sinophile in Grub Street: Thomas Gordon on China and England', School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at The University of Melbourne (Brown Bag Seminar Series), 16 May 2013.


Public Lecture: 'Disaster, Emotions and Cultures in the Early Modern World', Florence, 'Il Palmerino' Society, 25 February 2016.

Public lecture: 'Burning Emotions', Museo Italiano Melbourne, 25 September 2014.

Invited lecture: 'Early Modern Eastern and Western Emotional Responses to Fires', HTAV Annual Conference, 2425 July 2014.

Invited article: 'Shaking Enlightenment: The Early Modern Earthquake Controversy', Agora: The Quarterly Journal of the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria 49.3 (2014): 1218

 1 Tarantino Clifford Crop  2 Tarantino Collins Crop  3 Tarantinogordon2012 Cover