Maria Teresa Costa

Visiting Scholar (Mar 2019-Feb 2021)


Maria Teresa Costa studied Philosophy at the Padua University and at the Humboldt University in Berlin and in 2007 obtained her PhD in Philosophy from the Padua University with a dissertation on Walter Benjamin. After her PhD, she was post-doctoral fellow at the Padua University, at the Free University in Berlin, at the Zentrum für Literatur und Kulturforschung in Berlin and at the Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris. From September, 2013 to July, 2016 she has been Academic assistant of the Director of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (Max Planck Institut), Prof. Gerhard Wolf. From May, 2014 she is also a member of the International Research Group Bilderfahrzeuge. Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology (founded by the BMBF) and within this project she spent six months at the Warburg Institute in London in 2014. In July 2016 she joined the Department of Prof. Jürgen Renn as Research Scholar at the MPIWG. Her current research deals with the history of art history, in particular of the Kunstwissenschaft around 1900. She is working on her next book project The Kunstwissenschaft around 1900 as art’s “transcultural reflection” avant la lettre.


Art History around 1900 as Art’s “Transcultural Reflection” avant la lettre


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Selected Publications

Costa, M. T., & Hönes, H. C. (Eds.). (2018). Migrating histories of art: Self-translations of a discipline. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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Wulf, C. (2013). Antropologia dell’uomo globale: storia e concetti. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri.

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Weigel, S. (2014). Walter Benjamin: La creatura, il sacro, le immagini. Macerata: Quodlibet.

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Costa, M. T. (2015). Kunstgeschichte als Raumgeschichte: Alois Riegl und die Raumwahrnehmung. In A. Beyer, & G. Cassegrain (Eds.), Bewegung/mouvement (pp. 137-151). Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag.

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Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

A Transcultural History of Art History from the 19th Century and Beyond

“The Making of the Humanities VII", Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of the Humanities, University of Amsterdam

Art histories around 1900

Talk to be given in the panel “Expertise in Art and Science II: Art (History), Conservation and Modern Science and Technology,” at the Annual Meeting of the History of Science Society, Seattle, USA

Images on the Move: Depots, Routes, Borders, Spaces

International Conference, Warburg Institute, London (co-organizer and chair)

The debate about technique in the Kunstwissenschaft around 1900

International Workshop “The Making of Technique in the Arts: Concepts and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century,” Utrecht University (invited speaker)

Ein Jugendwerk Heinrich Wölfflins

Workshop “Die Jugendwerke Michelangelos (1891),” First Meeting of the Edition of Wölfflin’s Gesammelte Werke, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome (invited speaker)

Lesbarkeit als epistemologisches Paradigma für mentale und materielle Bilder

International Walter Benjamin Society Conference 2017 “Walter Benjamin and Method,” Worcester College, University of Oxford (invited speaker)

Coordinator of the Reading Group on Warburg’s Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and “Spring.” An Examination of Concepts of Antiquity in the Italian Early Renaissance

Warburg Institute, London

Subject and Subjectivisation in Philosophy and Art (History)

 International Workshop at the KHI Florence, MPI (organizer and chair)

Metamorphosis of Ruins. Some Reflection on Reconstruction Practices around 1900

International Conference of the Reseach Group Bilderfahrzeuge “Das Verirrte Kunstwerk. Funktion und Rezeption vom Wege abgekommener Bilderfahrzeuge,” Warburg Haus, Hamburg

Rebuilding Ruins, Rethinking Time

Interdisciplinary Workshop “Materialität im Prozess,” a cooperation between the DFG-Graduiertenkollegs Materialität und Produktion of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and the KHI Florenz, MPI

Introduzione ad Aby Warburg e all’Atlante Mnemosyne

Seminario permanente di Estetica, University of Florence

Tra-durre. La scrittura della metamorfosi

International Conference “Pensare tra le lingue,” University of Padua

Benjamin’s Spaces of Thought – Space as Epistemo-critical Category

International Conference of the Walter Benjamin Society “Spaces, Places, Cities, and Spatiality,” The Hebrew University of Jerusalem/ Tel Aviv University