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Research in Italian Studies – University of Reading

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Research in Italian Studies

The Florence skylineSince its foundation, the research of the Italian Studies strand of the Department of Modern Langauges and European Studies has been multi-disciplinary. It covers not only Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the present, but also film, women's studies, and modern history: together with the university's Department of History, we have the largest group of modern Italian historians in the UK.

Italian Studies at Reading was ranked in the top four nationally in the last Research Assessment Exercise. It has an extensive postgraduate programme, attracting large numbers of postgraduate students from overseas as well as from this country.

Italian Studies at Reading is also the lead institution of a regional consortium providing Postgraduate training in Italian Studies, together with Departments of Italian in Oxford, Cambridge, Royal Holloway University London, and University College London.

Italian Studies hosts the Centre for Modern Italian History and the Centre for Italian Women's Studies. It was also the first home of The Italianist, a multi-disciplinary journal with an international reputation, which was founded at Reading and is now edited jointly with the Departments of Italian at the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds.

Staff research interests

The main areas of staff research activity are given below.These are also the main areas in which we provide postgraduate research supervision.

Medieval literature and Dante

Renaissance literature

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian literature and culture

Italian cinema  

Language, linguistics and Italian society

  • Dr Federico Faloppa

Staff research activities and collaborations

Dr Federico Faloppa

Dr Federico Faloppa is Co-Investigator for the AHRC network scheme 'Researching and Documenting Key Words in European Migration Discourses' the project being run by Dr Melanie Schröeter. He is also Media Coordinator of the Leverhulme Trust-funded International Network 'Destination Italy'. Based in Oxford, the network brings together scholars working in the UK, Italy, New York, France, Australia, and Egypt. Dr Faloppa is regularly invited to guest lecture at, and has on-going research links with, the Universities of Turin, Bologna, and Sevilla.

Dr Paola Nasti

Dr Paola Nasti is a member of the international network 'Reviewing Dante's Theology' (funded by Leeds and the British Academy), has on-going research links with the Universities of Notre Dame and Naples, and is collaborating with staff at the Department of English at Bristol University for a conference and book on reception of The Song of Songs in medieval culture.

Dr Daniela La Penna

Dr Daniela La Penna is currently in conversation with the University of Pavia, Scuola Normale di Pisa and Bard College, Berlin, to stipulate agreements for co-supervisions and unfunded Postgraduate fellowships for PhD students working in Italian, French and German Studies. She is Principle Investigator for an AHRC-funded project (jointly with Manchester) on 'Mapping Literary Space in Post-War Italy: Publishing Institutions and Literary Journals'. She is also part of the leverhulme international network, 'Diasporic Literary Archives', which has established partnerships with The Beinecke Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library at Yale University; Il Centro di Ricerca sulla Tradizione Manoscritta de Autori Moderni e Contemporanei in Italy; l'Institut Mémoires de l'Edition Contemporaine (IMEC) in France; The National Library and Archives Service of Namibia, and a prominent archivist from Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, she is a member of the advisory board for a project on the reception of German literature in post-war Italy, led by the Universities of Trento, Siena, and Roma La Sapienza, which has recently submitted a bid to the Italian Ministry for University Research (MUIR).

Dr Lisa Sampson

Dr Lisa Sampson is Co-Investigator (jointly with RHUL and the British Library) for an AHRC-funded project on Italian Academies. She has on-going research collaboration with Case Western Reserve University and New York University. Dr Sampson have been involved in discussions with Dr Laurie Stras from the University of Southampton (Music) about a future research project on an Italian manuscript volume.

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