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Italian Studies: Theory and Practice

An SIS Workshop for ECAs. 24-25 June 2021, University College Cork

The Department of Italian at University College Cork and The Society for Italian Studies are delighted to host a two-day online Workshop for Early Career Academics (ECAs), which will address Methodologies and Theoretical Approaches within the Humanities and their application to the study of Italian language and culture. The event will also host two professional development sessions, which are designed to enhance the professionalisation of Early Career Academics. These consist of a session on ‘Publishing your first academic book delivered by an editor from an academic press, and a roundtable on ‘What we look for in an article submission for an academic journal’, where the Editors of the journal Italian Studies, Professor Ruth Glynn, Dr Catherine Keen, and Professor Giuliana Pieri, will present on what they think constitutes a strong submission, while also identifying common pitfalls. They will also advise on writing an effective Book Review.

The workshop is structured around four dedicated sections, each one of which will comprise a panel of ECA speakers in dialogue with a keynote speaker:

1) Digital Humanities                                                        

Keynote: Prof. Massimo Riva, Brown University

Organiser: Dr Ana Stefanovska, UCC

2) Mediating Subjectivities

Keynote:  Prof. Loredana Polezzi, Stony Brook University

Organiser: Dr Valentina Mele, UCC

3) Intermediality 

Keynote:  Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, City University of New York

Organiser: Dr Guido Bartolini, UCC

4) Deconstructing Whiteness

Keynote: Dr. Gaia Giuliani, University of Coimbra

Organiser: Dr Guido Bartolini, UCC

Workshop Dates: 24-25 June 2021

Mode of Delivery: The event will be held online

Full Programme available here: SIS ECA Workshop 2021

Book of Abstracts available here: Book of Abstracts ECA 2021

This conference is generously supported by The Society for Italian Studies and the Department of Italian, UCC.

Register for free on Eventbrite using the following link:

Please note: All participants will need to be registered members of The Society for Italian Studies by 1 June 2021.


1)  Digital Humanities

Panel Description: In recent years, the interdisciplinary area of Digital Humanities has promoted numerous projects carried out by researchers from all over the world. By bringing together theoretical approaches from the Humanities with new digital tools, the field has introduced innovative ways of approaching art, literature, history, and geography. The two-fold dimension of Digital Humanities, or the interest in the wide-ranging digital instruments that set the stage for new ways of studying Humanities, and the ongoing humanistic debates on the extent to which technology impacts today’s cultural studies, allows us to examine more in depth how this new field has enriched Italian studies, as well as the ways in which it has contributed to the creation, promotion, and reception of new cultural products in Italy. This panel welcomes papers interested in taking notice of the various forms of interaction between Digital Humanities and Italian culture, including digital archives, monographs, and online resources for the study and teaching of Italian language and literature, as well as papers that question the most recent ways of storytelling through digital platforms, from the Italian hypertext fiction to the social media phenomena such as Instapoets.

2) Translating Subjectivities

Panel Description: Translation is a crucial process contributing to the reception of Italian culture. This panel seeks to explore the many ways in which Italian authors and works have been appropriated, distributed, and canonised over the centuries, and by whom, aiming to investigate the complex dynamics of translation and reception as well as their impact on the construction of literary subjectivities and cultural histories both within and beyond Italy. Why and how have some authors received particular attention in a specific historical period, and how have translations of their works shaped and influenced current ways of reading and interpreting them? This panel welcomes proposals considering translation according to a broad meaning, including artistic, cinematic, and political translations, as well as theories and practices of translation and self-translation, and addressing ways in which these forms of articulating subjectivity emblematise or divert from a given historical and cultural context.

3) Intermediality 

Panel Description: In the last two decades, the study of intermediality has grown into a lively field of research in the Humanities, allowing scholars to go beyond the notion of intertextuality and develop a particularly productive perspective on cultural production. Today, thanks to the language of intermediality, not only can we valorise boundary-crossing artistic practices, but also gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of cultural transmission, shedding new light on interartistic exchanges, canon formations, reception processes, and the circulation of cultural memories.  While the creation of a specific terminology for the study of intermedial relations among the arts constitutes a development of contemporary culture, intermedial phenomena are not new per se and have long characterised Western culture, as the notions of ekphrasis and the Renaissance debate on the sister arts testify. For this panel, we welcome paper proposals that can address forms of intermediality in any era of Italian culture, focusing either on theoretical notions, such as those of multimediality, transmediality, and remediation, or specific case studies that offer examples of intermedial relationships within Italian cultural production.

4) Deconstructing Whiteness

Panel Description: The idea of whiteness has become increasingly important in the study of the construction of Italian national identity. Scholarship has shown that beyond overtly racist discourses that dominated Italian culture at different times, such as nineteenth century Lombrosian inspired science and the policies promoted by Fascism, the idea of Italianness in itself has been articulated in accordance with implicit racial ideas (Patriarca and Deplano 2018). Such racialised discourse has long remained unexplored in scholarship, also because of the universalist perspective that informed the political discourse of the Italian Republic, which objected to the use of the category of race. From this came the necessity of works that could use this conceptual tool in order to expose the role that whiteness played in the Italian identity process (Giuliani and Lombardi Diop 2013; InteRGRace 2018). This panel welcomes proposals that could either address the construction of whiteness across Italian cultural production or put such a racial trope into question by considering forms of hybrid identities and post-colonial perspectives within Italian culture.

Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland