The Center for Italian Studies connects and supports various initiatives and collaborative research projects with faculty in leading universities, academies, and research centers in Italy, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Our goal is to establish long-term institutional relationships within which research projects and exchanges of faculty and graduate students can be developed in a meaningful and enduring manner.
In addition to these current projects, the Center maintains a special relationship with several universities in Italy, including the University of Roma Tre, the University of Roma La Sapienza, and the University of Bologna in Italy and with the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds, and the University of Reading in the UK. The Center also has a history of regular collaborations with the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan and with the Newberry Library in Chicago.
The Center for Italian Studies supports the digitization and curation of the holdings of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, currently underway in a collaborative project between the Hesburgh Libraries and the Ambrosiana. The intention is to digitize, curate, and ultimately make available for scholarship a portion of Ambrosiana’s manuscript holdings, specifically the fondi Inferiore, Superiori, Trotti, and Arabi.
Beginning in 2018, the Center for Italian Studies entered into a formal collaborative agreement with the Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi in Turin, with the goal of sharing resources for the promotion of Jewish-Italian Studies and for the understanding of Levi's works.
Together with the Devers Family Program in Dante Studies, the Center for Italian Studies maintains a partnership, established in 1994, with the Opera del vocabolario italiano (OVI) in Florence, Italy, a branch of the prestigious Accademia della Crusca, on the creation of a historical dictionary of the Italian language before 1375, the Tesoro della lingua italiana delle origini (TLIO). This project also involves the ARTFL project of the University of Chicago. Over the years, the Center has co-sponsored training and supervision of researchers, as well as the writing of more than a hundred dictionary entries.
Primo Levi Digital Commentary Project
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cambridge are collaborating in building a collaborative online commentary of the "Canto di Ulisse" chapter of Primo Levi’s Se questo è un uomo. With relevant permissions granted by Einaudi, we are developing a small-scale website that offers a platform for a variety of commentary modes and experimental, interdisciplinary perspectives on the text. Our goal is to offer a lively resource that supports scholars and students interested in Levi and/or the Holocaust, and that looks beyond more conventional accounts of this well-known work. The online commentary features the work of an international group of scholars from a variety of disciplines. We welcome contributions in varied media (text, film, artwork, audio, etc.), using approaches ranging from close reading and textual analysis to computational methods and visualization, to creative or reflective work.
Rethinking Lyric Communities
The Center for Italian Studies at Notre Dame is part of the Rethinking Lyric Communities project, funded by the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership and the Christ Church Research Centre, Oxford. This initiative explores the role of lyric poetry in the formation of communities from the 12th to the 17th centuries on a global scale, considering not only the written aspect but also the oral, aural, visual, and kinetic dimensions of lyric poetry. The project aims to understand how lyric poetry, as a unique use of language, contributed to community formation in premodern societies, examining how it negotiated various social, political, religious, and intellectual relations. It also questions whether lyric poetry can help conceive of communities not based on predefined identities. The project is a collaboration between several institutions and involves scholars from Europe and the United States. Additional information about the project can be found here.
The Petrarch Exegesis in Renaissance Italy was a collaborative project coordinated by Prof. Simon Gilson (Oxford), with Dr. Federica Pich (Leeds) and Dr. Guyda Armstrong (Manchester), to create a census of manuscript and print copies of Italian-language exegesis on Petrarch's vernacular verse written between 1350 and 1650.
Re-reading Dante's Vita nova is a collaborative research project involving researchers from University College London, the University of Bristol, the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Oxford, the University of Reading, and the University of Warwick. It has featured a series of lectures and workshops that began in April 2017. Each event focuses on a different section of Dante's Vita nova, its contexts, and its implications. Workshops are livestreamed and discussions are facilitated via teleconference.
Voices on Dante's Inferno: A Journey towards the 700th Anniversary of the Poet’s Death (2019–2021)
To mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, the Institut für Italianistik of the University of Basel and the Center for Italian Studies with the Devers Family Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame have organized a critical reading of the Inferno. The events took place at the University of Basel in a series of five meetings, each of two and a half days, between March 2019 and March 2021.
Following on from the complete critical reading of the Inferno that took place between March 2019 and March 2021 under the auspices of the Istituto di Italianistica dell’Università di Basilea and The William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the aim now is to organize a critical reading of the Purgatorio along the same lines. This will be divided into five meetings, each of two and a half days, that will take place remotely in line with three of the five meetings dedicated to the Inferno.
"Ruins and Rubble in Post-War Italy" (2022-2025)
In 2022, the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Department of Italian at University College Cork presented “Ruins and Rubble in Post-War Italy,” a conference at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway. Scholars from all over the world participated in the event. The conference focused on how the reflection on ruins and rubble shaped and was shaped by the world conflicts, dramatic economic fluctuations, widespread social movements, and unprecedented industrial and technological developments of the twentieth century. Reading the city and the built environment as the physical reflection of socio-historical conditions and events, the conference participants examined ruins and rubble that result from conflict and its destructive nature, as well as those produced by the passage of time, environmental degradation or neglect. The outcome of this conference extends beyond the event itself. An ongoing network has been established, connecting scholars who share an interest in further exploring the profound implications of ruins and rubble in understanding the past and the present. This network will facilitate continued discussions, collaborative research, and the exchange of insights across disciplines and geographical boundaries.