David Sebastiani


David Sebastiani is a postdoctoral fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy) and is Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA (Winter ’23) as part of DH², a collaboration visiting fellowship co-sponsored by DH and the Dept. of History. Currently, he is carrying on a project on Sephardic and Moorish migrant readers in the early modern Mediterranean as part of the program “Books in motion. Circulation and Construction of Knowledge between Italy and Europe in the Early Modern Period”.

David describes his project as follows,

“The database I am building traces the connections between a variety of objects related to the Iberian diasporas in the Mediterranean, such as people, philosophical arguments, literary and scientific works, marginalia, and censorship reports. Such structure makes it possible to shift the focus from objects per se to their iteration in a social environment and to build a geographical map of the reception of the ideas under consideration.
Technically, our project is based on an open-source relational database management system (PostgreSQL) – where data is stored. Our software is structured in two parts: the administration software and the website dedicated to the end-user. The administration software is crucial, as it was created from scratch to store relational data, as primary objects, within the management system. The administration part is written in Ruby and uses open-source plugins customized to fit our needs. The part dedicated to the end-user will be open access and will allow the data to be visualized both logically and on a geographical map.”