Michele joins the University of Lincoln after a three-year lectureship at the University of York. His research focuses on the materiality of architecture (design, materials, and building processes), the activation of the built environment, and shrine culture, with a particular emphasis on the eleventh and the twelfth century.
An important part of his activity concerns eleventh-century architecture: with the discovery of the previously unpublished church of Sant’Uldarico in Parma, he showed the wide range of cultural connections and exchanges between Northern Italy and the Holy Roman Empire, in the transmission of knowledge, technology and models.
In his first monograph, ‘Monferrato’ Medievale: Crocevia di Culture e Sperimentazioni, he analysed the disparity between the geography of art as shaped by the art-historical scholarship and the cultural reality of a medieval diocese, open, as it was, to a wide range of connections and exchanges, and the ways in which institutional and personal networks sustained and justified the transmission of images and models across the Alps and the Mediterranean.
Michele is currently working on two major projects. The Contested Body, funded by The British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, investigates the multi-layered meaning of the presence of holy bodies, and the ways in which architecture organically showed this presence, making materially visible what was, at the time, invisible. For this project, Michele draws on a wide corpus of structures, built between the ninth and the thirteenth century, from the northern lands of the Holy Roman Empire to the shores of the Mediterranean.
In the second project, Michele is working on the connections between liturgy and monumental sculpture in the twelfth century, examining not only the extent to which liturgical readings informed and shaped complex and extended portal programmes, but also the ways monumental images were activated and amplified during liturgical performances.