I am a social and cultural historian, currently a PhD candidate, concerned with what is easily phrased as the sociology and anthropology of intellectuals and their communities. I study the history of humanists in mid-to-late fifteenth-century Rome through the stories of their friendships, rivalries, enemies, collegialities, and employment. My research focuses on how wider behaviour, rituals, and actions affected the development of humanism and society in Rome. Working with the methods of social, cultural, and intellectual history, I tie together the social and intellectual worlds of Renaissance Rome, and more generally, Renaissance Italy. Future hopeful projects will continue to study intellectuals and academics moving to and living in early modern Rome, and the positions, jobs, and offices they occupied and negotiated with.

I am also fascinated by the historiography of the Italian Renaissance, and how that concept developed. Other interests include historical and contemporary academics practice the crafts of their discipline, and how these disciplines developed over time and in particular social and cultural environments.


PhD in History, in progress, York University

Masters of Arts, History from York University

Bachelors of Arts, Honours, History and Philosophy from Wilfrid Laurier University

Uncertified Language training in Latin and Italian.


Barry Torch and Jennifer Mara DeSilva, “Pius II and the Andreis (1462): Textual Circulation, Crusade Promotion and Papal Power,” Renaissance Studies, accessed October 11, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/rest.12781.

Assorted book reviews in Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme, Sixteenth Century Journal, European Review of History

Blog Posts



    • A study of humanist sociability and friendship in 1460s-70s Rome

    Article in Progress:

    • Book Chapter of a humanist dedicatory preface from 1471-1472.

    • Article Writing of a humanist manuscript and its progress to print.


    • Working on a syllabus for “The Long 15th Century”


    Renaissance Society of America

    Society for Italian Historical Studies

    Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium

    Medieval Academy of America

    Canadian Society for Medievalists

    Barry Torch

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    Active 1 year, 7 months ago