Corinna Peres

Porträt von Corinna Peres





Hello! I am a social historian, medievalist, and scholar of Romance philology and literature. Originally from the beautiful Ruhr area (also known as the ‘Ruhrpott’), I studied History and Romance Philology at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. During my time there, I worked as a student assistant in eLearning (with a focus on Game Based Learning) and as a tutor at the Historical institute. In 2019, I received my Master of Arts degree with distinction in History and Romance Philology (Italian) from Ruhr University Bochum. Currently, I am PhD candidate and university assistant at the Department of Economic and Social History in the stunning city of Vienna. Thanks to my studies and research interests, I have had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time conducting research in Italy. This includes my time as an Erasmus student at the University of Pisa (2013/14), my experience as an intern and research grant holder at the German Historical Institute in Rome (2018, 2022), and my recent role as a ‘detective’ searching for archival material in the Archivio di Stato di Prato (2022).

Research Interests: My research interests lie in the history of labour, slavery, and the slave trade in the Mediterranean region, with a particular focus on the late Middle Ages in Italy. In terms of methodology, I am particularly interested in historical semantics, microhistory, and global (labour) history.

Current Research Project: “Slaves in Merchant Households. Labour and Sexuality of Slave Women in the Late Medieval Datini Network”

My research project is all about understanding the role and the lives of (female) slaves in Tuscan and other West Mediterranean households during the 14th and 15th centuries. By a close reading of a pile of non-edited archival material in the merchant archive of Francesco di Marco Datini, I reconstruct the everyday experience of slaves. My research covers a wide thematic range, from work and shopping to sex, money, society and family – basically everything you need for telling a great story or producing a good rock album!

On a more serious note, I am looking at how slaves worked alongside people of free legal status, how they sabotaged the act of sale, and how they were hired out as wet nurses after giving birth to their masters’ child. If this sounds like something that might interest you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. And if you can wait just a little longer, my dissertation will be published soon (presumably in 2024)- stay tuned!


  • together with Anamarija Batista, Viola F. Müller(eds), Coercion and Wage Labour. Exploring Work Relations Through History and Art, London: UCL Press, 2023, peer-reviewed
  • “Female Work Arrangements in the Datini Letters: Exploring the Semantic Roles and Negotiating Scopes of Servants, Slaves, and Wet Nurses,” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften (2023), peer-reviewed.
  • together with Juliane Schiel,Searching for a Wet Nurse: Prato, 1395–98”, Data Story, Bielefeld, 2021.