DECIMA is a research and teaching tool, and also a research teaching tool. In the classroom, DECIMA provides students the opportunity to explore and analyze the social world of Renaissance Florence and to develop some hands-on technical research skills. Here we feature some of the impressive research produced by students using the DECIMA.

STEP Forward 2018 (University of Toronto)

In 2018 three Step Forward undergraduate students worked on a variety of exciting Digital Humanities projects over the course of a semester. The students worked with PhD candidate Julia Rombough and Dr. Nicholas Terpstra to build preliminary walking routes and characters for the Hidden Florence project. Hidden Florence, created by Dr. Fabrizio Nevola and Dr. David Rosenthal, is a smartphone app that guides users on unique tours of the Renaissance city told from the perspective of historical characters. DECIMA is contributing two new walks to the Hidden Florence project. The students also attended workshops and training sessions to learn digital humanities skills and software like ArcOnline, Nvivo, Tableau, and the principles of data curation. These skills were used to create original digital mapping projects that explore diverse themes and topics in Renaissance and early modern Florence. Follow the links below to explore these excellent research projects.

Sodomy and the City: Mapping Fear, Surveillance, Sexuality, and Punishment” by Aidan Flynn, University of Toronto

In my research, I was able to use the DECIMA database and interactive map to visualize the visceral human and queer experiences of early modern Florence. This digital platform allowed me to discern the significance that space and geography played in the expression of sexuality and identity performance for the contemporary person. Mapping reveals far more than cartography–it enables a new and dynamic understanding of early modern activity by tracking and examining individual life cycles at the street-level.” – Aidan Flynn

Working Women: Tracing Patterns in Textile and Sex Work in Sixteenth Century Florence” by Camila Walls Castillo, University of Toronto

STEP Forward (University of Toronto)

STEP Forward is a Digital Humanities initiative at the University of Toronto, giving students the opportunity to work closely with graduate researchers to develop independent research projects using digital tools. In the winter term of 2017, four bright students worked with Justine Walden and Daniel Jamison to investigate possibilities for 3D Mapping of Florence and design and execute a research project about early modern Florence using DECIMA. Here we feature the award-winning profile of the Arte dei Mercatanti di Calimala by Ursula Carmichael, a senior student at the University of Toronto.

“The Decline of the Arte dei Mercatanti di Calimala in Sixteenth-Century Florence: What the 1561 Data Can Tell Us”  by Ursula Carmichael

HIST4P55: Social History of Renaissance Europe (Brock University)

DECIMA has proven valuable for regular classroom learning as well. At Brock University, students in the fourth-year seminar “Social History of Renaissance Europe” used DECIMA to create spatial profiles of two occupations in the city. In these assignments students learned about socioeconomic relationships between various populations in the city. Some of the most fascinating conclusions they reached dealt with the medical professions. Here, Rachel Bedic compares male and female medical practitioners and their spatial and economic distribution in the city.

Examining the Occupations of Midwives and Medical Surgeons in Sixteenth-Century Florence Using DECIMA by Rachel Bedic

HIST497: Social History of the Renaissance (Ball State University)

Prof. Jennifer DeSilva uses DECIMA to help students understand the importance of kin and social networks in early modern Florence. On the occasion of BSU’s GIS day in 2015, Prof. DeSilva had her students create social network profiles of individuals in the quarter of Santa Maria Novella.

Stoney Robbins and Allison Orewiler produced social network maps that revealed the intricacies of friendship and family in early modern Florence, using the examples of a physician and a courtesan.

The Social Network of L’Orsolina Meretrice by Alison Orewiler

The Social Network of Maestro Andrea Pasquali by Stoney Robbins

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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