Dr Butera studied foreign languages and cultures (lingue e culture straniere) at the University of Genua (BA) and art history at the University of Bologna (MA). Her master thesis was about early fourteenth-century anthropomorphic alphabets (Gli alfabeti antropomorfi nel tardogotico: iconografia e applicazioni). In 2016, she was awarded her PhD in Archeology and History of Art at the University of Bologna (Thesis: Dalla parola all’immagine. Le prediche figurate di Daniel Hopfer e il ruolo della grafica nella diffusione della dottrina evangelica). She is interested in early modern graphics and the religious iconography during the Reformation, and has led her research at important centers for early modern studies such as the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, the Herzog August Bibliothek, and the Forschungsbibliothek Gotha. She is also an expert for cataloging and estimating public and private art collections, especially engravings.
In the framework of the Freigeist project, Dr. Butera currently works on the project “Ethica in Print. Textual Strategies for Moral Communication in Early Modern Europe“. The project, developed with Dr Valentina Sebastiani, examines the impact of moral literature on the early modern book market. This impact is hard to gauge, as among the books on morals were philosophical treatises, courtesy manuals, manuals on personal conduct, collections of ethical maxims and of proverbs, romances and collections of stories, plays, and emblem books. All these genres claimed to offer moral teaching and to allow readers to draw moral lessons from the issues they raised. Dr. Butera is interested in how these claims were reflected in the communication strategies employed by printers for producing and marketing their works, and which textual strategies were devised and implemented by scholars and printers to ensure moral authority to their printed words.