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Book talk and conversation with the author Fernanda Alfieri. Moderator: Christoph Cornelißen

Veronica e il diavolo (Veronica and the Devil) is the story of an exorcism. Rome, 1834. One evening, two Jesuits knock on the door of a house where they have been called to free a young woman from the devil. In the general archives of the Society of Jesus, historian Fernanda Alfieri discovered the diary of this exorcism. It is an unsettling report but also an extraordinary testimony of the tensions in an era at the edge of conservatism and transition into modernity. An era characterized by a contrast between the church and the belief in evil on the one hand and a medicine based on science on the other hand. Alfieri wrote a remarkable essay-narrative on men’s views on women's bodies.

Fernanda Alfieri has been a researcher since 2006 at the Italian-German Historical Institute (Fondazione Bruno Kessler) in Trento and currently teaches at the Università di Bologna. Her studies focus on the history of sexuality and the relationship between science and religion.

Christoph Cornelißen is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. He was professor at the Universities of Prague, Kiel, and Dusseldorf; visiting professor at the University of Bologna and LSE London; and from 2017 to 2023, director of the Italian-Germanic Historical Institute in Trento.

With simultaneous interpretation.



Oeder Weg 40
60318 Frankfurt am Main

Istituto Italiano di Cultura / Italienisches Kulturinstitut
Free access


Fernanda Alfier


Christoph Cornelißen