‘Dynamic and influential […], Italian at UCC is certainly regarded as a centre of excellence in the field’
The international Panel which reviewed research in the Department of Italian, alongside that of other departments in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the School of Asian Studies, commended the Department for ‘establishing its presence within the world of Italian studies in Ireland and Britain, as much as in the public sphere, locally, at Cork, and internationally in Italy’, through ‘dynamic scholarly activity by each member of staff’ and ‘the Department’s careful strategy in promoting and offering their expertise to the wider community’.
The level of departmental Research Activity was judged to be ’very high, both quantitatively and qualitatively’and the Panel agreed with one of the Remote Reviewers in commending the fact that ‘“the Italian faculty shows strong common critical interests […], while also portraying a diversity of interests and field specialization”’, and with her/his observation that ‘“[t]he former allows for a cohesive approach to Italian literature and culture, the latter for a broad spectrum of pedagogical offering. These two aspects combined are probably a plus for attracting versatile graduate students”’.
The Panel deemed the Department’s performance in Research-related activities to be outstanding, remarking that the Department is ‘present both in the field of Italian studies and in events addressing the wider community with a range of activities which involve all members of staff’, commenting on the ‘remarkable […] capacity of the Department to project its activity through social media and events aimed at non-specialist audience’: the Department’s Facebook site is described as ‘stimulating and informative […], followed and appreciated far and beyond its academic content’.
Another area in which the Panel rated Italian’s performance outstanding was that of Postgraduate research education. At the level of Graduate Studies, the panel observed that ‘the by now well-established Annual International Graduate Conference in Italian Studies has massively contributed to the profile of the Department as a prominent research-active hub in Italian Studies’: ‘[t]he number and quality of research students is outstanding […]. This is highly commendable given the relatively small size of the Department. Furthermore, there is a solid monitoring system in place’ and evidence of ‘a thriving research environment involving staff and students in a range of common activities’. The Panel fully subscribed to the comment made by one of the Remote Reviewers: ‘“The activity of the postgraduates and the range of interests of the current doctoral students show the breadth of the Italian faculty at UCC as well as the ability to attract a diverse group of students. Clearly the strong focus on thematic and cultural studies, joined with a robust disciplinary curriculum, work as a catalyzer for students interested in Italian culture in general, but in theoretical and methodological studies as well.”’
With regard to Research income the Panel stated that ‘there is no doubt that the Department has been very successful, in fact more successful than any other unit within the School (with an overall amount in excess of €740,000), in raising funding for both research activities and postgraduate support’.
The Panel concluded that Italian at UCC is ‘a very solid and active department’ and described its members as ‘a group of scholars who have responded admirably to the challenges coming from the financial crisis and from the need for a more publicly-engaged commitment of their research expertise’.
The Department welcomes the endorsement of its activities by the Panel and looks forward to continuing to develop as a centre of excellence in the field.
For further details about research in Italian, please click here.
For a full copy of the UCC 2015 Research Quality Review please click here