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Impact of Italian Studies research

Research in Italian Studies at Warwick is unique in the UK for its thematic breadth and chronological range, extending from Dante to 21st-century italophone writing. Our studies on migrant self-representation in literature and cinema in the Italian context inform public debates about parliamentary efforts concerning social inclusion and cohesion within the UK and the EU.

Our work has made substantial contributions to public discussion about policy developments on migration and translation within the EU. By understanding the ways in which other European countries negotiate the social, economic and cultural positions of their marginal and migrant communities, our research contributes to a better public understanding of the issues surrounding immigration and refugees within the UK. It will also help to inform UK policy-makers seeking to implement policies governing migration by offering a critical perspective on contemporary practices in other national contexts.

Our research contributes to a greater appreciation and understanding of the cultural legacy of the Renaissance. It has enhanced public engagement with history and culture by contributing to public exhibitions and displays on the Renaissance hosted by our collaborative partners. Studies on the literary culture of Renaissance Italy will also lead to a greater understanding of the patterns of contemporary cultural diffusion. It informs the information management practices of librarians by providing a better understanding of their collections and digital tools for conservation.

Reading Aristotle in Italian improves library catalogues

Antique booksDr David Lines and Professor Simon Gilson
The Renaissance was one of the most dynamic intellectual and cultural periods in the history of Europe. The invention of the printing press and the proliferation of books it started enabled ordinary men and women to access the works of great philosophers.

How educated professional or noble men and women read and understood these works – and how people made, read and circulated books about philosophy in Italian – has been explored by David Lines and Simon Gilson. They have used this research to inform libraries around the world (such as the British Library and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome) which hold books from this period. The research findings have been used to improve access to these collections online, spreading knowledge about Renaissance philosophy and its reception.

Our impact

Enhancing cultural engagement and understanding of the general public

By supporting exhibitions, giving public talks, contributing to radio and TV programmes, informing public cultural and heritage bodies and participating in cultural events and festivals

Improving knowledge through libraries, archives and resources

Working with some of the largest libraries in the UK, Europe and the USA, our research has improved public knowledge and awareness of the literary and cultural history of Europe

Enriching learning and interpreting cultural capital for students and adult learners

Through school visits and community courses our research has introduced new concepts to enrich the lives and expand the imaginations of school pupils and lifelong learners

The database Vernacular Aristotelianism in Renaissance Italy represents an exemplary model of productive exchange between researchers and librarians and curators of books.

— Dr Marco Guardo, Head Librarian
National Academy of the Lincei, Rome