Caroline Castiglione is professor of Italian Studies and History and focuses on political, legal, gender, family, and women's history. She investigates how seemingly marginalized individuals have challenged systems of power through the strategies of adversarial literacy, a mastery of the skills necessary to advocate for oneself through legal and bureaucratic systems. Her first book, Patrons and Adversaries: Nobles and Villagers in Italian Politics, 1640-1760 (Oxford University Press, 2005) won the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies in 2006. Her book Accounting for Affection: Mothering and Politics in Rome, 1630-1730 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines the figure of the mater litigans or litigating mother, whose activities illustrate the symbiotic evolution of politics and mothering in early modern Rome.
Castiglione earned her PhD in History from Harvard University. She has twice been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. The Howard Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the Delmas Foundation have also supported her research. She teaches courses on microhistory, the history of women, gender and sexuality, popular culture, and law courts and legal culture in early modern Italy and Europe.