Dr Umberto Grassi

MA, PhD (Pisa)
Postdoctoral Research Associate

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney


Biographical details

Umberto Grassi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Sydney node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (directed by Dr Juanita F. Ruys). His project is part of the Meaning program, led by Professor Andrew Lynch.

Grassi graduated (MA) in Early Modern History in 2002 at the University of Pisa. His dissertation focused on the control of sodomy in Early Modern Italy. Grassi continued studying this topic as a PhD student, under the supervision of Professor Adriano Prosperi. His PhD thesis was awarded within a LGBTQ studies contest, and it has been published in 2014. In 2012 Grassi joined the FIRB project “Beyond the Holy War” as a research fellow based at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. Focused on the interactions between Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern period, the project included other Italian Universities (La Sapienza of Rome and the University of Palermo), and promoted cooperation with renowned international research centres.

Research interests

Grassi's main research interest has been the study of dissident sexualities in the Early Modern period. He currently aims at investigating the emotional dimensions of the relations between Muslims and Christians in the Early Modern period, reinterpreting their interactions in the Mediterranean world through the interpretative tools provided by Gender and Sexuality studies. Even though in Western Christianity the use of sexual tropes played a crucial role in the construction of the image of Muslims as lascivious and sinful beings, sexual attraction indeed created bonds overcoming the boundaries that divided the two cultures. Focusing mainly on homosexual relationships, Grassi will analyse the complex interactions among different and often conflicting emotional regimes, both in the multifaceted Islamic cultures and in the composite Western Christian world.

Associations

Grassi is currently part of EMoDiR (Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism), an international research network focused on the study of religious dissent across Europe. The group brings together a variety of research projects on the cultural and social history of religious dissent in early modernity (www.emodir.net). He is also a member of the research centre of Gender and Sexuality Studies Politesse (Politics and Theories of Sexuality), based at the University of Verona, which is today a pioneering experience in Italy (http://www.politesse.it/).

Awards and honours

  • GLBTQ Studies Award, received in 2012 from the LGBTQ association “Maurice GLBTQ” (Torino, Italy) for Grassi’s PhD dissertation.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Grassi, U. (2014). L'Offizio sopra l'Onesta: Il controllo della sodomia nella Lucca del Cinquecento [The Offitio sopra l'Onesta�: The Control of Sodomy in the 16th Century Lucca Republic]. Milan: Mimesis Edizioni. [More Information]

Edited Books

  • Grassi, U., Lagioia, V., Romagnani, G. (2017). Tribadi, sodomiti, invertite e invertiti, pederasti, femminelle, ermafroditi: Per una storia dell'omosessualità, della bisessualità e delle trasgressioni di genere in Italia. Pisa: ETS. [More Information]
  • Grassi, U., Marcocci, G. (2015). Le trasgressioni della carne: Il desiderio omosessuale nel mondo islamico e cristiano, sec. XII-XX [Transgressions of the Flesh: Homosexual Desire in Muslim and Christian Worlds, XII-XX Centuries]. Rome: Viella. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • Grassi, U. (2015). L'intreccio dei desideri, la tolleranza della carne: per una nuova storia delle relazioni tra musulmani e cristiani [Interweaving of desires, tolerance of the flesh: For a new history of relations between Muslims and Christians]. In Umberto Grassi, Giuseppe Marcocci (Eds.), Le trasgressioni della carne: Il desiderio omosessuale nel mondo islamico e cristiano, secc. XII-XX [Transgressions of the Flesh: Homosexual Desire in Muslim and Christian Worlds, XII-XX Centuries], (pp. 7-20). Rome: Viella.

Journals

  • Grassi, U. (2016). Acts or Identities: Rethinking Foucault on Homosexuality. Cultural History, 5(2), 200-221. [More Information]
  • Grassi, U. (2015). Identita sessuale e medicina. Grassi legge Barbagli. Storica, 61-62, 271-282.
  • Grassi, U. (2014). Omosessualita� islamiche e relazioni tra cristiani e musulmani: nuove prospettive di ricerca [Islamic Homosexualities and Christian Islamic Interactions: New Perspectives of Research]. Storica, 30(60), 51-89. [More Information]
  • Grassi, U. (2007). L'Offitio sopra l'Honestà: La repressione della sodomia nella Lucca del Cinquecento (1551-1580) [The Offitio sopra l'Honestà: The Repression of Sodomy in 16th Century Lucca Republic]. Studi Storici, 48(1), 127-159. [More Information]

2017

  • Grassi, U., Lagioia, V., Romagnani, G. (2017). Tribadi, sodomiti, invertite e invertiti, pederasti, femminelle, ermafroditi: Per una storia dell'omosessualità, della bisessualità e delle trasgressioni di genere in Italia. Pisa: ETS. [More Information]

2016

  • Grassi, U. (2016). Acts or Identities: Rethinking Foucault on Homosexuality. Cultural History, 5(2), 200-221. [More Information]

2015

  • Grassi, U. (2015). Identita sessuale e medicina. Grassi legge Barbagli. Storica, 61-62, 271-282.
  • Grassi, U. (2015). L'intreccio dei desideri, la tolleranza della carne: per una nuova storia delle relazioni tra musulmani e cristiani [Interweaving of desires, tolerance of the flesh: For a new history of relations between Muslims and Christians]. In Umberto Grassi, Giuseppe Marcocci (Eds.), Le trasgressioni della carne: Il desiderio omosessuale nel mondo islamico e cristiano, secc. XII-XX [Transgressions of the Flesh: Homosexual Desire in Muslim and Christian Worlds, XII-XX Centuries], (pp. 7-20). Rome: Viella.
  • Grassi, U., Marcocci, G. (2015). Le trasgressioni della carne: Il desiderio omosessuale nel mondo islamico e cristiano, sec. XII-XX [Transgressions of the Flesh: Homosexual Desire in Muslim and Christian Worlds, XII-XX Centuries]. Rome: Viella. [More Information]

2014

  • Grassi, U. (2014). L'Offizio sopra l'Onesta: Il controllo della sodomia nella Lucca del Cinquecento [The Offitio sopra l'Onesta�: The Control of Sodomy in the 16th Century Lucca Republic]. Milan: Mimesis Edizioni. [More Information]
  • Grassi, U. (2014). Omosessualita� islamiche e relazioni tra cristiani e musulmani: nuove prospettive di ricerca [Islamic Homosexualities and Christian Islamic Interactions: New Perspectives of Research]. Storica, 30(60), 51-89. [More Information]

2007

  • Grassi, U. (2007). L'Offitio sopra l'Honestà: La repressione della sodomia nella Lucca del Cinquecento (1551-1580) [The Offitio sopra l'Honestà: The Repression of Sodomy in 16th Century Lucca Republic]. Studi Storici, 48(1), 127-159. [More Information]

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