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Honours for Bangor Italianists

It has been an excellent six months for scholars of Italian at Bangor.

Bangor’s Honorary Professor of Italian, Professor Anna Laura Lepschy (UCL), was awarded The Serena Medal for Italian Studies by the British Academy. Awarding the medal, the British Academy stated: “Laura Lepschy has greatly increased our knowledge of Italian culture from the Renaissance to the present through her imaginative explorations of topics in the theatre, narrative, travel writing, art, varieties of language, and the areas in which literature and language overlap.” The same prize was won by Professor Lepschy’s husband, Professor Giulio Lepschy (UCL) in 2002, making them the first husband and wife to win the award.

Professor Lepschy’s award is one of a series of accolades gained recently by staff in the Italian section of Bangor’s School of Modern Languages. Early career researchers have been to the fore: Mattia Marino was awarded a junior Fellowship at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies in London which allowed him to complete a long article on the subversive power of grotesque female bodies in contemporary European women's writing; Maria Cristina Seccia has recently been working on the translation of Italo-Canadian poetry and a selection of her  translations is about to be published in the anthology Writing Our Way Home edited by Licia Canton; and Gerwyn Owen, a Welsh-medium scholar, who is jointly supervised by Modern Languages and Creative Industries, was awarded a prestigious scholarship by the cultural association Il Circolo to conduct research at Cinecittà, the Italian national film archive in Rome.

Head of Italian, Dr Laura Rorato, is in the final stages of an AHRC-funded study of contemporary responses to the work of Caravaggio. Together with Professor Lepschy and Dr Simona Storchi (University of Leicester), Dr Rorato recently organized a conference entitled Caravaggio Yesterday and Today: Art, Genius and Legend. The event was held in London at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies on 28 January 2011. This was the first event on Caravaggio attempting to bring together not only scholars from different disciplines but also practitioners, such as writers and visual artists.

The Carravagio event was the first in a series to be hosted this year. The Italian Section is also participating in a EU funded project led by the University of Macerata in Italy on 'Before and Beyond Auschwitz.' The findings of the project will be presented on Wednesday 24 February 2011 at 2 pm in Conference Room 3. Dr Rorato and Ms Seccia are also organizing a one-day seminar on Italo-Canadian fiction which will be held at Bangor University on 4 May 2011. The keynote speakers are: Prof. Anna Pia De Luca (University of Udine) and the writer Caterina Edwards.

Publication date: 16 February 2011