Photo of Dr Hester Schadee

Dr Hester Schadee

Research interests

I am interested in the renaissance (or the later middle ages, or the earlier early modern period), and in aspects of classical reception. The two come together in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italian humanism, which has been the topic of most of my publications so far.

Research areas include:
- Cultural history of ideas
- Political thought from antiquity to the modern world
- Renaissance art and literature
- Uses of the past, reception and historiography

I am currently completing a monograph on the reception of Julius Caesar in the late Trecento and Quattrocento. The book examines humanist debates about politics, history, and the role of letters. By following the fortunes of one – but probably the most famous – ancient exemplar, Julius Caesar, I provide a section of the interaction between government and the learned professions during these formative centuries in Italian history.

I have also started a second book project, entitled ‘Cult of Antiquity: How Christian Habits Shaped Humanism’. This project asks why and how supposed features of ‘modernity’ – secularism, individualism, and historical consciousness – arose in Italian humanism, and seeks the answer in the confluence of antiquarian interests on the one hand, and the practices and episteme of late-medieval Christianity on the other. While dealing with a text-oriented culture that is usually examined as purely intellectual history, I aim to place texts in a continuum with objects, and to examine the mental habits shaping the meanings of both. 

Research collaborations

With Nikos Panou (SUNY-Stonybrook), I co-edit a volume entitled Evil Lords: Theory and Representations from Antiquity to the Renaissance (Oxford University Press: forthcoming 2018).

With David Rundle (University of Essex), I co-translate volume entitled Poggio Bracciolini: On Princes and Tyrants. The I Tatti Renaissance Library (under contract with Harvard University Press).