Common Children and the Common Good: Locating Foundlings in the Early Modern World (Istituto degli Innocenti/I Tatti)

Thomas Gruber's picture
December 9, 2019 to December 10, 2019
Subject Fields: 
European History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Social History / Studies, Childhood and Education, Digital Humanities

The 600th anniversary of the inauguration of the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence provides an opportunity to re-examine the contexts for foundling care both within and beyond this pioneering institution.  This conference will examine the spaces and artworks of the institution itself, literary and legal fashioning of illegitimacy by humanists and magistrates, the care taken with the formation of youths in the broadest sense, and the ways in which other Europeans learned from the example of Florence as they aimed to address the challenge of foundling care in their own urban, national, and imperial settings.

Just as the Innocenti itself was a place of innovation, our conference also innovates by including five presentations by scholars of the digital humanities.  Gathered in a collaborative group under the title of Florentia Illustrata, these digital humanists from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States demonstrate how digital tools allow us unprecedented views of both the physical fabric of the Innocenti, and the social and urbanistic networks that sustained it.

Monday, December 9: Istituto degli Innocenti, Salone Brunelleschi (entrance through the bookshop, piazza SS. Annunziata 13)
Tuesday, December 10: I Tatti, Gould Hall 

The conference is free and open to the public. No registration required. A full programme can be found on: