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Italian Studies and Modern Philology

Research activity

Postgraduate studies in Italian Studies and Modern Philology represent a return to the great philological and historical-literary tradition that saw a succession of illustrious scholars at the Scuola Normale. Rather than treat different subjects of study from a thematic and chronological point of view (the Middle Ages, Modernity, Contemporaneity), the goal is to interpret them in the light of strong and homogeneous skills. However, within this well-defined and coherent field of research, the approach will be of an interdisciplinary nature. We intend to educate young scholars so as to enable them to conceive and complete high-profile research projects both in the field of history of literature and in that of stylistic-linguistic analysis and text editing, as well as to enable them to combine the knowledge of medieval, modern and contemporary literary tradition with that of its classic roots.

Given this interdisciplinary vocation, this doctoral course will teach various subjects: Italian Literature, Contemporary Italian Literature, History of the Italian Language, Romance Philology and Italian Philology. The lectures will be conducted above all in a methodological way, aiming to encourage full awareness of the issues relating to texts from the point of view of history and literary criticism, philology and the history of language. Special emphasis will be given to the relationships between authors and texts within the framework of the historical development of Italian literature and of the various Romance literatures, as well as to the tradition and fortunes of particularly significant single texts. Furthermore, all research will be carried out with direct and first-hand use of the sources and their study.

The use of computer science techniques and tools is, of course, indispensable in terms of both teaching and research. Moreover, this postgraduate course aims to prepare students for professional opportunities that are primarily teaching and research in national and international universities, but also publishing and communication, literary translation and high-level cultural organization: and all of the latter make the use of more or less sophisticated IT media indispensable.

Didactic actvities

The teaching activity of this postgraduate course is divided into courses and seminars. In agreement with the Coordinator of the course, the students will present, annually, a study plan to the Faculty Council specifying the didactic and research activities for the incoming academic year. In the four-year period they will attend and pass the exams of at least four annual courses chosen in order to broaden their cultural base and to direct them towards a specific research project.

At the end of the first year the students will propose, in agreement with the relevant Academic Board, the name of their thesis supervisor and the scientific subject of their thesis for approval by the Faculty Council.

During the four-year course, participation in the seminar activities offered by the Scuola and the carrying out of study and research stays in Italian or foreign institutions is envisaged.

At the end of each year of the course, with the exclusion of the last, the students will hold an interview to verify the study and research activities carried out during the year, in front of a commission appointed by the Faculty Council and including the lecturers of reference of the course. Passing this interview will ensure the continuation of the study place and of the scholarship, and will allow admission to the following year.

For the purpose of verification, the students will present a written report concerning the didactic and research activities carried out and the results achieved, participation in any seminars and congresses or other scientific initiatives, together with any publications produced.

For admission to the final year, this report will include a description of the progress of the research project.