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Modern Languages and Cultures

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Italian Studies research

The research undertaken by Italian Studies at The University of Manchester is internationally recognised, interdisciplinary and wide-ranging.

The John Rylands Library houses a world class holding of early Italian printed books from the Spencer, Christie, and Bullock collections.

We focus in particular on linguistics, translation studies, literary journals and history of the book, intellectual history and cultural politics from the Medieval to the modern period.

The research culture is further enhanced by the presence of Visiting Professors and Lecturers from Italy and the USA, participation in the interdisciplinary seminars held by the Italian Forum, and two or three major research events per year.

Centres, networks and clusters

With access to rare and outstanding resources, Medieval and Early Modern Studies spans several disciplines and is looked after by the John Rylands Research Institute (JRRI).


Explore our publications by Italian Studies Staff:

Guyda Armstrong

  • 'Nineteenth-Century Translations and the Invention of Boccaccio-dantista', in Dante in the Nineteenth Century: Reception, Portrayal, Popularization (Bern: Peter Lang, 2010)
  • 'Fat is a Feminist Issue: Female Greed in Boccaccio', in L'italiano a tavola: Linguistic and Literary Traditions, 2010
  • 'Translations as Cultural "Facts": The History of Boccaccio in English', in Translation: Transfer, Text and Topic, 2010
  • 'Paratexts and their Functions in Seventeenth-Century English Decamerons,' Modern Language Review, 102 (2007), 40-57.

Delia Bentley

  • Bentley, D. (2011) Sui costrutti esistenziali sardi. Effetti di definitezza, deissi, evidenzialità. Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 127/1
  • Bentley, D. (2010) Principles of Subject Markedness in Romance. Archivio Glottologico Italiano. 95/2: 152-189
  • Bentley, D. (2010) Focus Fronting in the Layered Structure of the Clause. Online Proceedings of RRG 2009, University of California, Berkeley, pp. 4-27 ()
  • Bentley, D. (2008) The interplay of focus structure and syntax: evidence from two sister languages. In R. Van Valin Jr. (ed.) Investigations of the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface, Amsterdam: Philadelphia: Benjamins, pp. 263-284
  • Bentley, D. (2008) L'italiano regionale e l'insegnamento dell'italiano oggi. In A. Ledgeway and A. L. Lepschy (eds) Proceedings of Convegno sull'insegnamento della lingua italiana: testo e contesto, Downing College, Cambridge, 24-25 November 2006. Perugia: Guerra Edizioni, pp. 85-97
  • Bentley, D. and A. Ledgeway (eds) (2007) Sui dialetti italo-romanzi. Saggi in onore di Nigel B. Vincent  (Special supplement number 1 to The Italianist 27). King's Lynn, Norfolk: Biddles Ltd, 316 pp
  • Bentley, D. (2006) Split Intransitivity in Italian. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, EALT 30.

Francesca Billiani

  • 'Delusional Identities: The Politics of the Italian Gothic and Fantastic in Igino Ugo Tarchetti's Trilogy Amore nell'arte and Luigi Gualdo's Short Stories,  "Allucinazione", "La canzone di Weber" and "Narcisa"', Forum for Modern Language Studies, vol. 45, 4, 2008
  • 'Aesthetic Censorship? Readers' Reports from Fascist Italy' Frame 21.2, 2008
  • Culture nazionali e narrazioni straniere. Italia, 1903-1943 (Florence: Le Lettere, 2007). 356pp
  • 'Tabucchi in Search of Pessoa's Heternomyns,' in Embodying Pessoa: Corporality, Gender, and Sexuality, Anna Klobucka and Mark Sabine eds (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), pp. 273-92.
    Christopher Rundle
  • Poisonous Importation. Publishing Translations in Fascist Italy, (Oxford: Peter Lang) in series 'Italian Modernities', series editors Antonello Pierpaolo& Robert Gordon, forthcoming
  • Translation Under Fascism, volume co-edited with Kate Sturge, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), forthcoming
  • Speaker in Mapping and Framing Cultural Spaces Under a Dictatorship, Italian Studies, School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, University of Manchester, 5th December 2008
  •  'The Subtitle Project. A vocational education initiative', The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 2(1), (Manchester: St. Jerome, 2008), pp. 93-114
  • 'An Interdisciplinary View of Censorship: Case Studies of Italian Fascism and Beyond', South European Society and Politics 13:2 (2008), 237-241. [Review article of George Talbot, Censorship in Fascist Italy, 1922-43, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)& Francesca Billiani ed., Modes of Censorship and Translation, (Manchester: St. Jerome, 2007)
  • Invited keynote speaker at Translation and Opposition, the CTS/Multilingual Matters Symposium, University of Guilford, 8th June 2007
  • 'The Censorship of Translations in Fascist Italy' at the International Conference Translation And Censorship - From The 18th Century To The Present Day, Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon, 27th November 2006.

Stephen J. Milner

  • 'Manufacturing the Renaissance: The Modern Merchant Princes and The Manchester Dante Society', in Art and the City: Cultural Institutions in Manchester, 1800-2010, ed. Michael Savage and Janet Wolff, special issue Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library (forthcoming)
  • The Italian Peninsula: Reception and Dissemination’, in Humanism in Fifteenth-Century Europe’, ed. David Rundle (Oxford: SSMLL, 2012)
  • 'Rhetorics of Transcendence: Conflict and intercession in communal Italy 1300-1500', in Charisma and Religious Authority: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Preaching, 1200-1600, ed. Kate Jansen & Miri Rubin (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2010). 237-53
  • '"Le sottili cose non si possono bene aprire in volgare": Vernacular oratory and the transmission of classical rhetorical theory in the late medieval Italian communes,' Italian Studies 64.2 (2009), 221-44
  • The Erotics of Consolation: Distance and Desire in the Middle Ages (New York & Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Co-edited with Catherine Lèglu. In series 'The New Middle Ages'. Series editor Bonnie Wheeler
  • 'Coming Together: Consolation and the Rhetoric of Insinuation in Bocacccio's Decameron', in The Erotics of Consolation, pp. 95-113.

Spencer Pearce

  • 'The Warfare Within: Conflict Resolution and the Integration of the Personality in Purgatorio', War and Peace in Dante, edited by John Barnes & Daragh O'Connell (Dublin: UCD Foundation for Italian Studies, 2009/10), forthcoming
  • 'Uses of Learning in the Dante Commentary of Jacopo della Lana', in The Dante Commentary Tradition: Critical Discourse in the Making, edited by Paola Nasti and Claudia Rossignoli (Naples: Liguori), forthcoming.

Elena Polisca

  • 'CAMILLE: Cultural Awareness Modules to Improve Language Learning Experience', in collaboration with S. Anderson. Poster for: e-Learning in HE: A Symposium for FE / HE Strategists and Practitioners, JISC RSC Yorkshire & Humber, 26 February 2008
  • 'Autonomous Acquisition of Italian Culture within Language Learning: the experience of CAMILLE', forthcoming (Subject Centre website) 2008
  • 'An E-learning Approach to Teaching Italian Culture: What Do Students Want to Learn?', in collaboration with F. Gaspari, Tuttitalia, forthcoming Spring 2009
  • 'From Student to Student: A Mentoring Approach to Facilitate (Language) Learning', proceedings from the EBL (Enquiry-Based Learning) conference, forthcoming 2009.
Why Manchester? roundel

Benefit from creative professional development via a dedicated Graduate School and have access to one of the UK's leading research libraries, as well as the resources of the University's state-of-the-art Language Centre.