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Current externally-funded research projects in Italian Studies

This page summarises research projects ongoing in Italian Studies and in collaboration with other departments and institutions.

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

This is an ERC-Starting Investigator Grant running for 5 years from May 2014. Building on an AHRC grant hosted at Warwick on 'Vernacular Aristotelianism in Renaissance Italy' (, this project (€ 1.5m) aims 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.

The project is led by Marco Sgarbi (Università Ca' Foscari, Venice); a separate team, led by David Lines and Simon Gilson at the University of Warwick, will supervise two postdoctoral research fellows and one PhD student.

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

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

Plato and his Readers in Sixteenth-Century Italy

Roman Modernities

The project is funded by an AHRC Research Networking award, under the Care for the Future theme. It runs from July 2012 to summer 2014, and is led by Dr Fabio Camilletti (Warwick) as Principal Investigator and Prof. Lesley Caldwell (UCL) as Co-Investigator. The ‘Roman Modernities’ network will allow scholars, artists, and urban planners to engage in joint enquiry on Rome as a paradigmatic location for reconfiguring the trajectory of Western modernity. It will interrogate 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 the British Academy and led by Dr Fabio Camilletti, explores 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.

Renaissance Conflict and Rivalries

The Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at Warwick, with Dr David Lines as Principal Investigator, is leading a Leverhulme International Network on the theme of ‘Renaissance Conflict and Rivalries’ with five other institutions: Warburg Institute (London), University of Leuven, University of Bonn, University of Venice (Ca' Foscari) and the University of Florence. This interdisciplinary project will examine 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.

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

This AHRC-funded collaborative project involving researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Warwick explores the multiple experiences of theology in Florence in the period 1280–1300, when Dante engaged in theological study, and examines the ways in which Dante's Commedia responds to those experiences. Professor Simon Gilson is leading one of the project's four strands, which examines 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.

The University of Bologna in the Renaissance: The Context of Learning

This research by Dr David Lines (funded by a British Academy Small Grant, August 2011–July 2014) studies the curricular and intellectual developments in the University of Bologna between c. 1400 and c. 1700. It is among the first attempts to place the changes taking place in the university within the broader context of cultural developments across the city, including in academies, studia of the religious orders, private libraries and printing presses. It will result in a monograph, currently intended for the University of Michigan Press, and has already given rise to several articles.