Italian and Romance Studies
The identity and the specific heuristic and didactic-educational vocation of this Section consist in the integration of studies on Italian literature and on the other main Romance literatures from their origins to the present day and in the application of complementary methodologies in the philological, linguistic, literary and historical-cultural fields, also with the aid of new information technologies.
Studies in Italian Literature include – within a time span ranging from the Romance culture of the origins to the contemporary age – research activities on literary historiography, on interpretation and critical theory, as well as on the philological scrutiny of texts, on archival research and on the development of methodological tools; they also investigate Italian dramatic literature and the didactics of Italian literature.
Studies in Romance philology and linguistics focus on Romance languages and literatures, especially medieval ones, paying particular attention to textual criticism and to the history of the manuscript tradition. Taking into account the cultural system of the Middle Ages, they also favour a comparative approach, with interdisciplinary openings towards the Middle Latin and Germanic fields and towards other forms of art, especially music.
Studies in French Literature range, with a comparative and thematic approach, from the 17th century to the present day; from classical theatre to the revolutionary and imperial one; from symbolism to avant-gardes; from existentialism to the "nouvelle critique". Particular attention is paid to the relationships that literature has with other arts (music, theatre, film) and other disciplines (philosophy, criticism, sociology).
Studies in Spanish Literature include – within a time span ranging from the 16th century to the contemporary age – research activities on literary historiography, on the philological scrutiny of texts and on critical interpretation, relying also on archival research. More specifically, they investigate the Spanish literature and theatre of the Golden Age, the literary avant-gardes of the 20th century, the literary production of Spanish Republican exiles and the relations it maintained with the Italian cultural world, the twentieth-century novel, the metaliterary reflections of writers of fiction, poetry and texts for the theatre). Particular attention is paid to the relationship between Spanish and Italian literature in modern times.
Studies in Portuguese Literature concern modern and contemporary Portuguese literature (from the 16th to the 20th century) through philological and literary research; Brazilian literature of the 20th century through a comparative approach with other European and extra-European cultures; modern and contemporary Portuguese-speaking Asia through philological and literary research, with particular attention to the elements of oriental thought found in Portuguese-speaking literature, and to the cultural relations between Portuguese literature and Italian culture in the modern era.
Several nationally and internationally recognized journals are directed or promoted or coordinated by professors and researchers active in the Section («Studi Italiani», «Medioevo romanzo», «Medioevo musicale», «Medioevo europeo», «Semicerchio», «Rivista di Letterature moderne e comparate», «LEALetterature d'Oriente e d'Occidente»). Some book series, open also to external contributors, are directed by academics of this Section («Studi e testi», «Sediziose voci. Studi sul melodramma», «Studi di letterature moderne e comparate», «Studi linguistici e letterari tra Italia e mondo iberico in età moderna», «La tradizione musicale. Studi e testi»).
The Section traditionally maintains close relations of scientific cooperation with important city institutions, such as the Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G.P. Vieusseux, and in particular the Archivio Contemporaneo Alessandro Bonsanti for its precious collection of manuscripts and correspondence, the Centro di Documentazione e Ricerche sulle Avanguardie storiche of the Fondazione Primo Conti, the Institut Français di Firenze, the Istituto Opera del Vocabolario italiano, the Fondazione Ezio Franceschini-Research institute on the Textual Culture of Medieval Europe. Professors and research groups belonging to the Section have been in the past or are currently coordinators of national and European research projects (PRIN, SIR, ERC).
A professor from the Section has received prestigious funding from the European Research Council, an ERC Advanced Grant for the project "European Ars Nova: Multilingual Poetry and Polyphonic Song in the Late Middle Ages", of which the University of Florence will now be the main host institution.
The Section promotes its research through agreements with foreign Universities (Columbia University, Syracuse University, College of the Holy Cross, University of Madison, Wisconsin, University of Toronto, University of Bonn, University of Konstanz, Sorbonne University of Paris, Nova University of Lisbon, University of Coimbra, University of Valladolid, University of Warsaw, University of São Paulo-Brazil, University of Macao-China) and participates in national and international research networks and projects (City of poets. Exploring Macao poetry today, Canon européen Identités européennes, L'écrivain et le compositeur: regards croisés, Les Imaginaires de la traduction).
The Section includes the permanent Seminar series "Linguistic and literary relations between Italy and the Iberian Peninsula in the Modern Age", which from 2014 promotes the reflection and the comparative linguistic-literary analysis between the Iberian and the Italian cultural areas in the modern age by means of study days and publications; several professors of the Section are also members of the Centro Interuniversitario di Studi Italo-Iberici (ITIBER), that brings together professors from twelve Italian universities and from the Sorbonne University of Paris.
This Section comprises the Centro di Studi «Aldo Palazzeschi», which promotes, together with the knowledge of the work of the Florentine writer, also the study of the literary production of twentieth-century historical avant-gardes through conferences, seminars, exhibitions and series of lectures in Italy and throughout the world. The Centre publishes four series ("Carte Palazzeschi", "Quaderni Palazzeschi", "Biblioteca Palazzeschi", "Letteratura e Storia"), two of which ("Quaderni Palazzeschi" and "Letteratura e Storia") are publishing opportunities reserved for young scholars researching Italian studies at our University. With the portal Carte d’autore on line, set up with Italian universities and archives, which has been online for years, the collection of manuscripts of the Palazzeschi Centre can be accessed and studied by scholars from all over the world.
The Section includes the "Fernando Pessoa" Chair which, as a result of a cultural cooperation agreement signed in 2010 between the University of Florence and the Camões Institute of Lisbon (Institute of Culture and Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal), promotes Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking culture in Italy, in relation to other Romance and European cultures, through conferences, seminars, study days and publications.