A unique learning experience in a creative and inspiring environment,
to understand and face mobility in both the past and present!

Call for applications A.A. 2024/25

International students March 2 - May 2 2024



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Goals and Objectives

The mobility studies curriculum is driven by the belief that the humanities can play a crucial role in understanding and addressing mobility in modern society. Students will be immersed in the process through which people, texts, images, artefacts, commodities and ideas are moved, translated, transformed, adapted and negotiated by different social actors – sometime in distant spatial contexts – in the past and in the present. Global and local scenarios call for new experts who are trained in historical and cultural studies but ready for political and social action today. An interdisciplinary education at an international level and enriched by inter-sectoral experiences is fundamental to facing the current difficulties that young humanists face when approaching the new job market in both the private and public sectors.

Beyond the employment possibilities in the academy, high school or cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums and archives, graduates will be offered cognitive tools and concrete training opportunities to find a job in state and local government agencies, international organisations such as NGOs, cultural tourism and the heritage, digital and communications industries.

Student/Academic Opportunities

  • To meet visiting professors from relevant academic institutions from around the world
  • To apply for supplementary funding for Erasmus+ outgoing mobility
  • To apply for scholarships and study prizes
  • To pursue an internship program with Italian and foreign partners

Job Opportunities

Beyond the employment possibilities in the academy, high school or cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums and archives, graduates will be offered cognitive tools and concrete training opportunities to find a job in state and local government agencies, international organisations such as NGOs, cultural tourism and the heritage, digital and communications industries.

  1. State and local government agencies
  2. International organisations
  3. NGOs
  4. Cultural tourism
  5. Heritage industries
  6. Digital and communications industries
  7. Private and public foundations
  8. Academic research
  9. High school teaching
  10. Galleries, museums, archives and libraries


General Modules

The course will offer to the students a theoretical framework about the social, cultural and political (gendered) value of transport and mobility, giving them innovative and tools to define movements of people, object and ideas. The critical approach to the traditional historiography, as well as to the current policies in transport, will give them skill to better frame transport´s culture(s) and mobilities in a long-term view.

The goal of this course is to understand ideas and cultures on the move, showing how they have been transmitted and are the result of continuous contacts across global spaces, particularly during the Renaissance. Instead of de-constructing the Renaissance and showing many Renaissances in other civilisations, such as those of China, India and Arabia, the course aims to re-construct another Renaissance, when Italy – and Florence in particular – was deeply connected to the rest of the world through economic, artistic and cultural exchange.

When moving across time and places, actors and the media shape networks and spaces of communication that systematically challenge the paradigms proposed by political and institutional history. In the past five centuries in particular, the dissemination of handwritten news, the spread of the printed book and the invention of the telegraph, television and, finally, the internet have all designed new geographies of communication and knowledge. This class is an introduction to media history and a methodological discussion on the mobility of knowledge and the study of its technical means.

The class will explore the effects of digital technologies on historical research and communication; it will explain the spatial and chronological contextualization of historical sources; it will give students an overlook of some of the most important digital tools available to historians and humanists; it will critically review some of the most famous digital history projects and digital archives; it will discuss the legislation on intellectual property; it will foster learning by doing with frequent exercises on tools and software.


This course introduces students to the study of economies and historical systems, combining the heuristic tool of the commodity-chain approach (CCA) with the methods of the historical sciences. Conceiving commodities as the outcome of labour- and production-process networks, we will focus on the social relations and economic organisations that characterise production, distribution, marketing and consumption. Monopoly, ownership, labour control and cyclical economic changes will allow us to understand economic convergences and divergences across the world over the last millennium.

The course aims to analyse tourism through a historical lens charting its processes and evolution into a global phenomenon. A key component of contemporary tourism is the vector of mobility that determines its social impact. The annual movement of approximately 1.4 billion people traversing international frontiers conveys with it a range of cultural, environmental and economic consequences that need to be understood, managed and planned for if tourism is to be a component of a sustainable future. In 1950 there were 25 million international travellers and the 1.4 billion of today will continue to increase on the praxis of the continuing integration of tourism into global lifestyles in response to economic advancement. But without looking back to understand the complexity of tourism’s evolution it is impossible to plan for its future.

The aim of the course is to make students familiar with the interpretation of migration dynamics in a demographic perspective. Through the discussion of the different interpretative theories and the analysis of different case studies, we will try to understand the complex mechanisms that determine different migratory phenomena in the past and present. In particular, students will get some basic skills on economic, cultural, social and environmental phenomena and how they interact with different forms of migration, what is their impact on the departing and hosting communities. The ability to critically analyze sources and data useful for understanding and interpreting past and present migratory phenomena in a global and interdisciplinary perspective will also be developed.

he contemporary world is marked by religious conflicts. To understand how to resolve them, it is necessary to understand how they arose and developed. This course seeks to explain that.

This course explores mobility as an empirical reality and an analytic paradigm from a human-geographic perspective. Key terms – such as place, the local, the global and territoriality – are challenged in the light of the so-called mobility turn. Reasons for movement, sensory aspects and mobility performances will also be questioned, as they blend with the diverse politics of space. Students will be asked to share their mobility experiences and take part in ongoing problem-based assignments.

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This course explores mobility as a defining characteristic in the life and history of objects. We follow different things through their uses, itineraries, trajectories and circulations in space and time. Key terms from museum studies and material culture – such as origin, provenance, collection and heritage – are addressed in the light of the so-called mobility turn. Students will be asked to be active learners through a variety of object-based activities and visits to museums throughout the course.


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  • MOBILAB, a digital laboratory for mobility research, will help students to develop their creativity and undertake independent research on mobility and the humanities.
  • MOHU, a centre for advanced study in mobility and humanities, organises workshops and conferences to promote the study of mobility from the humanities perspective.


The Mobility Studies curriculum is based at the Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World, in the heart of the historical city centre of Padua.


We are based at a world-leading university that has been driving global change since its foundation in 1222. Discover ten reasons to study in Padua here:

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in historical and geographical studies or a related subject, such as philology, literature, sociology, anthropology, global studies, or social or political sciences
  • Minimum GPA equivalent to Italian 95/110
  • English language: B2 level (CEFR) or equivalent