Diego Pirillo

Associate Professor of Italian Studies, Undergraduate Advisor


  • 6327 Dwinelle Hall
  • Fall 2018: TBA

Diego Pirillo (Ph.D., Scuola Normale Superiore) is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and affiliated faculty in the Center for the Study of Religion, in the Institute of European Studies, in the Program in Critical Theory, as well as in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. He has been a fellow at several institutions, including Villa I Tatti (the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), The UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies, The John Carter Brown Library, the Newberry Library, The Rare Book School at UVA. He specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe, with an emphasis on Italy and England. His research interests include the history of religion, the history of information and communication, the intellectual history of modern and contemporary Italy with particular attention to philosophy of religion and political philosophy.

Along with several articles and book chapters, he is the author of Filosofia ed eresia nellInghilterra del tardo Cinquecento: Bruno, Sidney e i dissidenti religiosi italiani (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2010) and (with O. Catanorchi) of Favole, metafore, storie. Seminario su Giordano Bruno (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2007). His new book The Diplomacy of Refugees: Venice, England and the Reformation (forthcoming with Cornell University Press) is the first systematic study dedicated to the role played by religious refugees in early modern international relations. Using a broad range of sources (archival records, diplomatic and mercantile letters, visual material, literary texts and marginalia) The Diplomacy of Refugees brings to light the many diplomatic functions performed by religious refugees (as intelligencers, go-betweens, cultural brokers, negotiators and representatives) and recovers the complexity of early modern diplomacy in an age in which states did not have a full monopoly on international relations. Among his most recent articles are ‘Espionage and Theology in the Anglo-Venetian Renaissance’ in Mediterranean Studies (in press) and ‘Renaissance Peace Movements’, in A Cultural History of Peace (Bloomsbury Publishing, in press).

For a complete bibliography of publications, click here.