DR Catherine Kovesi

DR Catherine Kovesi


  • Australian Religious History (especially women religious) (Australia, Religion, Nuns, Catholic)
  • Italian Renaissance History (Italy, Renaissance, Consumption, Luxury)



  • Catherine Kovesi is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where she completed her D.Phil in History, and of the University of Western Australia, where she completed her BA (Hons) in History and in Italian. Her main research areas are the discourses surrounding luxury consumption in early modern Italy, and Florentine family and political history. She has also published on the history of women religious, and has completed consultancies for several religious orders in Australia.

    Catherine has held fellowships at Oriel College, Oxford (1989-91) and at the University of Western Australia (1991-94). She was a Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow at Villa I Tatti: the Harvard University Centre for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence (2008), and at Oriel College, Oxford (2011). In 2012 she was an Associate Investigator with the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence for the History of the Emotions. She was a Visiting Researcher at the Fondazione Studium Generale Marcianum, and the Università Cà Foscari, Venice (2013-2014), and was a network partner of the international Luxury Network, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2013-2015). Catherine is on the Management Committee of the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies . She is an Associate of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Monash University. She is on the Editorial Board of the Brepols Late Medieval and Early Modern Series. She has recently been appointed a General Editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury series a Cultural History of Luxury .

    Catherine teaches the following undergraduate subjects on campus in Melbourne:
    First Year: HIST10007 Medieval Plague, War, and Heresy
    Third Year: HIST30006 The Renaissance in Italy
    She also teaches a biannual overseas intensive subject in Venice:    


Member of

  • Management Committee, Australasian Centre for Italian Studies. Member 2014 -
  • Editorial Board, Brepols Late Medieval and Early Modern Series. Editorial Board 2013 -
  • Renaissance Society of America. Member 2001 -
  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Member 2000 -


Selected publications

  • 1999

  • 1996

  • 1993

  • 1987

  • Research

    Additional Grant Information

      • 2013-2015 Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant: 'Luxury and the Manipulation of Desire: Historical Perspectives for Contemporary Debates' (together with Giorgio Riello, Rosa Salzberg, Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli, Peter McNeil, and Glenn Adamson)2013-2014 Visiting Researcher, Studium Generale Marcianum, Venice
      • 2013-2014 Visiting Researcher, Università Cà Foscari, Venice
      • 2012 Associate Investigator, ARC-funded Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions: 'Claws of Desire: Lust and Sacred Space in Early Modern Italy'.
      • 2011 Visiting Fellow, Oriel College, University of Oxford
      • 2010 Scholarly Innovation Grant, University of Melbourne:  'Recapturing and Publicising Renaissance and Early Modern Print Culture in Australia' (with Charles Zika, Robyn Sloggett and Jennifer Spinks) http://informationfutures.unimelb.edu.au/innovation_grants; http://melbourneprints.wordpress.com/
      • 2008 Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow, Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies, 'Villa I Tatti', Florence


    Education and training

    • DPhil, University of Oxford
    • BA, The University of Western Australia



    Available for supervision

    • Y

    Supervision Statement

    • I am available to supervise students in late medieval/ early modern Italian History; and in Australian religious history, especially of women religious. I welcome supervision in the thematic areas of consumption and luxury studies broadly conceived.