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Centre for Italian Women's Studies

In 1996 the Department of Italian Studies of the University of Reading established a new Centre for Italian Women's Studies.
The Centre aims to act as a focus and a stimulus for teaching and research activities in the field of Italian women's studies. Its range of interests is broad, covering not only women's writing, but also women's history in its broadest sense, as well as the history of ideas and culture in relation to women. In particular, it aims to look beyond the twentieth century, widening the field of investigation to earlier centuries.
The Centre is keen to liaise with both individuals and other Centres or Institutes with similar or overlapping interests.
Click here for details on our conference: Angels and Devils: Women Singers in Early Modern Italy and Beyond on 2nd June 2007.

Past activities

On 4 December 1996 the Inaugural meeting of the Centre took place in Reading. After welcomes from the Vice Chancellor and the Head of the Department of Italian Studies, papers were presented by two speakers. Marta Cavazza of the University of Bologna spoke on 'Minerva e Pigmalione: Carriere femminili nell'Italia del Settecento', and Marina Warner talked about ‘Ogres and Storytellers: Strategies of Resistance in the Italian Fairy Tale'. The texts of these papers were published in The Italianist 17 (1997). The meeting was followed by a reception. 
On 21 and 22 February 1997 the Centre co-hosted a conference (organised jointly with the Centre for Italian Studies at University College London) on Women and Writing in Nineteenth Century Italy.
 Between 5 and 7 April 1998 the Centre hosted an international conference on ‘Donne della Minoranze: Ebraismo e Riforma/Women from the Minorities The Jewesses and Protestants of Italy'. Papers were presented by over 30 speakers from Italy, the UK, Israel, France, Belgium, Holland and Hungary, with keynote addresses by Anna Foa and Bruna Peyrot. The conference closed with a Round Table discussion chaired by Tullia Zevi, former President of the Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane.  The proceedings of the conference have been published by Claudiana Editrice as Le donne delle minoranze. Le ebree e le protestanti d'Italia, edited by Claire Honess and Verina Jones.  (For details, contact claudiana.editrice@alpcom.it.)
Visiting speakers in the Department of Italian Studies invited by the Centre have included Lucienne Kroha and Maggie Gunsberg.  Recent and forthcoming lectures include:
"Mothers and Daughters in Contemporary Italian Literature"
Dr Adalgisa Giorgio, University of Bath
28 February 2003, 2 pm
"From Domestic to Dramatic: Matilde Serao's Use of the Gothic"
Dr Ursula Fanning, UCD, Dublin
8 May 2003, 3 pm
"Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel (1752-1799): A Woman and a Revolution"
Dr Verina Jones, University of Reading
27 April 2005, 4 pm

For further information

Please contact the Director at the address given below.
Francesca Medioli
Department of Italian Studies
University of Reading
Reading, Berks, RG6 6AA
Telephone: 0118 9318400
Fax: 0118 9316797


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