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Concluded externally-funded research projects in Italian Studies

Dante and Late Medieval Florence: Theology in Poetry, Practice and Society

This AHRC-funded collaborative project (2012–2015) involving researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Warwick explored the multiple experiences of theology in Florence in the period 1280–1300, when Dante engaged in theological study, and examined the ways in which Dante's Commedia responds to those experiences. Professor Simon Gilson led one of the project's four strands, which examined the sites of theological learning in Florence, asking what an educated layman like Dante might have learned at the Scuole of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella in the 1280s and 1290s, and the forms that learning might have taken.

Petrarch Commentary and Exegesis in Renaissance Italy, c. 1350-c. 1650

This AHRC-funded collaborative project (2017-2020) was led by Professor Simon Gilson and co-supervised by Dr Federica Pich (Leeds) and Dr Guyda Armstrong (Manchester), together with postdoctoral research fellows Dr Giacomo Comiati and Dr Lorenzo Sacchini. The project aimed to reconstruct and analyse the corpus of Italian Petrarch commentary and exegesis. In its last year, the project moved to Oxford together with Simon Gilson. The resulting database is available here.

Vernacular Aristotelianism in Renaissance Italy, c. 1400–c. 1650

This AHRC-funded research project (2010–2013), led by Dr David Lines and Professor Simon Gilson at Warwick (in collaboration with Professor Jill Kraye at the Warburg Institute in London and Professor Luca Bianchi, now at the University of Milan) studied the Renaissance diffusion of Aristotelian works in the Italian vernacular. This initiative tried to redress the almost exclusive concentration on Latin Aristotelianism among historians of philosophy and ideas in recent decades and provided an electronic census and description of all relevant materials in both manuscript and print. It worked together with historians of language, literature, philosophy, science and culture to explore how Aristotelianism increasingly reached a broad and non-Latinate public. The project included research fellow Eugenio Refini and PhD student Grace Allen.

Aristotle in the Italian Vernacular: Rethinking Renaissance and Early-Modern Intellectual History (c. 1400–c. 1650)

This ERC Starting Investigator Grant (2014-2019, PI Marco Sgarbi, Università Ca' Foscari, Venice) aimed to reconstruct the vernacularization of Aristotle in Renaissance Italy both by analysing its achievements in specific fields (e.g., logic, physics, ethics, psychology, rhetoric) and by considering its methodology and general context. It built on the AHRC grant listed immediately above. At Warwick it was led by David Lines and Simon Gilson, with the help of several research fellows, including Bryan Brazeau, Alessio Cotugno, Giorgio Lizzul, Cecilia Muratori, and Anna Laura Puliafito.

Reading Publics in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Europe

This was a series of three workshops over 2011–12 funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:

Renaissance Conflict and Rivalries

In 2012–2015, the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at Warwick, with Dr David Lines as Principal Investigator, hosted a Leverhulme International Network on the theme of ‘Renaissance Conflict and Rivalries’ with five other institutions: the Warburg Institute (London) and the Universities of of Leuven, Bonn, Venice (Ca' Foscari), and Florence. This interdisciplinary project, particularly supported by Professor Jill Kraye at the Warburg Institute and Professor Marc Laureys in Bonn, examined the extent to which conflict and rivalries (between disciplines, institutions, art forms, literary genres, philosophical and religious allegiances, social and political groups, and so on) were a positive agent of cultural production and change across Renaissance Europe. The project has resulted in a series of edited volumes published by V&R and co-edited by David Lines, Jill Kraye, and Marc Laureys: Forms of Conflict and Rivalries in Renaissance Europe, Spheres of Conflict and Rivalries in Renaissance Europe, and Management and Resolution of Conflict and Rivalries in Renaissance Europe.

Plato and his Readers in Sixteenth-Century Italy

This Leverhulme Research Fellowship, awarded in 2017 to Dr Maude Vanhaelen, aimed to provide the first history of all translations of, and commentaries on, Plato produced in Italy between 1500 and 1600. Further details on the project are available here.

Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures

This research project was awarded £1.8m by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in 2013. It looked at how modern Italian culture has developed around the world, and Italian Department staff (Dr Jennifer Burns and Dr Loredana Polezzi) took a central role. The project looked at the Italian communities established in the UK, the US, Australia, South America, Africa and at the migrant communities of contemporary Italy. It focused on the cultural associations that each community has formed. From the insights it developed into transnational Italian cultures, the project helped forge a new framework for the discipline of Modern Languages as a whole – one placing the interaction of languages and cultures at its core.

Roman Modernities

This project, funded by an AHRC Research Networking award (July 2012-summer 2014), under the Care for the Future theme, was led by Dr Fabio Camilletti (Warwick) as Principal Investigator and Prof. Lesley Caldwell (UCL) as Co-Investigator. The ‘Roman Modernities’ network allowed scholars, artists, and urban planners to engage in joint enquiry on Rome as a paradigmatic location for reconfiguring the trajectory of Western modernity. It interrogated existing and potential representations of the city from a strongly multi-disciplinary perspective.

The Classicist/Romantic Quarrel in Bourbon Restoration Italy, 1816-1827

This project, funded by a Small Research Grants Award of the British Academy (2010–2011) and led by Dr Fabio Camilletti, explored the literary conflict between ‘Classicists’ and ‘Romantics’ as the aftermath of subterranean political tensions, as well as of the collision between clashing paradigms of historicity.

The following is a selection of concluded postdoctoral research projects in Italian Studies. For the full list, see here.

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship: Dr Eva Del Soldato

In 2012–2013 Dr Eva Del Soldato (now Associate Professor in Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania) studied the role of Antonio Brucioli (c. 1498–1566) in the vernacularization and dissemination of the works of Aristotle in sixteenth-century Florence and Venice. She was mentored by David Lines.

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship: Dr Alessio Cotugno

In 2014–2016 Dr Alessio Cotugno (now Ricercatore B in Italian Studies at the University of Venice, Ca' Foscari) studied the ideas and legacy of the Paduan philosopher and man of letters Sperone Speroni (1500–1588), who played a fundamental role in the vernacularization and dissemination of Aristotle's works in sixteenth-century Italy and France. He subsequently obtained a fellowship at Villa I Tatti (The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence). He was mentored by David Lines.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow: Dr Alessandra Aloisi

In 2015–2017 Dr Alessandra Aloisi (mentored by Dr Fabio Camilletti and now College Lecturer in French at the University of Oxford) held a fellowship that challenged the historical development of “distraction” in its philosophical and literary implications, from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow: Dr Maria Pavlova

From 2018 to 2021, Dr Maria Pavlova researched a project entitled 'The Renaissance Knight: War, Nobility and Virtue from Pulci to Ariosto, 1461–1532'. She subsequently obtained a fellowship at Villa I Tatti (The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence). She was mentored by David Lines.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr Alberica Bazzoni

In October 2017 Dr Bazzoni (currently a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin) came to Warwick to pursue a research project on the formation of literary value from a gender perspective ('The Gender of Literature: Italian Women Writers and the Literary Canon'). She was mentored by Professor Jennifer Burns.

Visiting Fellowship: Dr Pietro Podolak

Dr Pietro Podolak joined the Departments of Italian, and Classics and Ancient History, as a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in 2012–13, working on 'The Revival of Plato in Renaissance Florence' and mentored by Dr Maude Vanhaelen.