Emanuele Lugli teaches and writes about late medieval and early modern art, with a particular emphasis on Italian painting, trade, urban culture, and the history of fashion. His theoretical concerns include questions of scale and labor, the history of measurements and technology, conceptualizations of precision, vagueness, smallness, and the reach of intellectual networks.
Emanuele has written two monographs. The first, Unità di Misura: Breve Storia del Metro in Italia (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2014), reconstructs the revolution triggered by the introduction of the metric system in nineteenth-century Italy. The second, The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019), is a quest for the foundations of objectivity through an analysis of the ways measurements standards were made, displayed, used, and imagined between the twelfth and the seventeenth century. A third book, a study of hair and the corporeal minuscule in founding notions of vitality, beauty, and desire in Renaissance Florence, is underway. Emanuele has also edited with Professor Joan J. Kee (University of Michigan) a collection of essays on the roles of size in artmaking titled To Scale (Hoboken, Wiley-Blackwell: 2015).
Besides his academic essays, Emanuele has also written for newspapers such as The Guardian, architectural magazines like Abitare, and Vogue Italia.