Thursday, 18 July 2024

SIMS / Italian Studies Fellow in Italian Manuscript Studies

Roberto Masiero By Roberto Masiero | June 19, 2024 | United States

Featured Image: Detail of a page from a late 15th-century manuscript copy of Boccaccio's Teseide

The SIMS / Italian Studies Fellow in Italian Manuscript Studies is an esteemed annual fellowship jointly sponsored by the Center for Italian Studies, the Department of Romance Languages' Italian Studies section, and the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. This fellowship offers a unique opportunity for scholars to engage with Penn's rich collection of rare books and manuscripts. In exchange, the fellow contributes to the academic community by conducting a graduate-student workshop and delivering a public lecture on their research.

2023–2024: David Lines

For the academic year 2023–2024, the fellowship has been awarded to David Lines, a distinguished Professor of Renaissance Philosophy and Intellectual History at the University of Warwick. As the Director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Lines' expertise lies in the legacy of ancient thought, particularly Aristotelian moral and natural philosophy, within Italy's Latin and vernacular traditions. His research also spans other European regions, including France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Low Countries. Lines' recent work, "The Dynamics of Learning in Early Modern Italy: Arts and Medicine at the University of Bologna" (2023), explores the evolving disciplines at the University of Bologna. 

2022–2023: Laura Banella

The previous year, the fellowship was awarded to Laura Banella from the University of Notre Dame. Banella's research focuses on medieval Italian literature, with significant contributions to the study of Dante and Boccaccio and the manuscripts transmitting their works from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Her publications, including "La 'Vita nuova' del Boccaccio. Fortuna e tradizione" (2017) and "Rime e libri delle rime di Dante tra Medioevo e primo Rinascimento" (2020), reflect her extensive scholarship in this field. Her lecture, "Dante vs Dante: Material Traditions of the Lyric and the Construction of Poetic Authority," was delivered on March 16, 2023.

2020–2021: Bryan C. Keene

Bryan C. Keene, an art history instructor at Riverside City College and former curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the Getty Museum, was the fellow for 2020–2021, although his term was postponed to 2021–2022 due to the pandemic. Keene, who holds a PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art, edited the volume "Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World through Illuminated Manuscripts" (2019). His fellowship lecture, "Masters in Miniature: Future Horizons for Italian Manuscript Studies," was held online on February 11, 2022.

2019–2020: Maddalena Signorini

Maddalena Signorini, a Latin Paleography and Codicology professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, held the fellowship in 2019–2020. Her research delves into medieval literacy and the early writing in Romance vernaculars, with a recent focus on Petrarch's and Boccaccio's handwriting, books, and libraries. Her lecture, "Texts on Flyleaves. An Investigation on Petrarch's Writing Uses," took place on February 27, 2020, and is available online.

2018–2019: Rhiannon Daniels

From 2018 to 2019, the fellowship was awarded to Rhiannon Daniels, Senior Lecturer in Italian at the University of Bristol. Daniels' research examines medieval and Renaissance culture, reception studies, and the history of the book, mainly through the lens of manuscript and printed book materiality to reconstruct histories of reading and book production techniques. During her fellowship, she investigated manuscript rubrics and annotations in Renaissance copies of Boccaccio's "Decameron." Her lecture, "Writing and Reading Rubrics in the Renaissance Decameron," was presented on January 24, 2019.

The SIMS / Italian Studies Fellow in Italian Manuscript Studies fellowship continues to foster significant scholarly contributions by providing researchers access to the University of Pennsylvania's rare manuscripts and books. This program not only enriches the fellows' research but also enhances the academic community at Penn through workshops and lectures, contributing to the broader understanding of Italian manuscript studies and their historical context.

Roberto Masiero, the author, is an entrepreneur and cultural diplomat. He is the Founder and President of Renaissance Evolution and the founder and Chairman of Bee Technology Group. Renaissance Evolution is an American-based foundation dedicated to bridging cultural divides to help businesses and governments become more successful, promoting the ideals that inspired The Italian Renaissance in today’s world. Masiero is a Doctor of Humanities.



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