The Society for Italian Studies supports research across the discipline by holding three conferences: the Biennial Conference; the Themed Conference (previously known as the Interim), and the Postgraduate Colloquium. The Society also supports research by providing some funding to conferences and symposia run by SIS members.
The Society holds a residential conference every two years. The next conference will be held at the University of Warwick in 2021. Details will be announced in due course.
Themed Conference (previously known as the Interim Conference)
The Society holds a smaller, themed conference on alternate years to the Biennial Conference.
The 2020 SIS Themed Conference will be held from 1st to 2nd May, 2020 at the University of Kent. Please find call for papers below.
Visions of Italy
Popular conceptions of Italy typically revolve around the visual: the beauty of its landscapes and its historic legacy of fine art and architecture. This dates back at least to the medieval period, and the innovations of artists such as Giotto and visionary writers like Dante. In the twentieth century, it is in the fields of cinema, photography, art, fashion and design that Italy has had the most marked impact around the world. Concurrently, Italy has also been a favoured subject of visual representation: from Grand Tour photographic albums to mainstream Hollywood films set in Italy, there is no lack of foreign representations of the country and its inhabitants.
This conference will explore Italian visual culture, Italy’s relationship with the visual and the way in which Italy and Italians have been depicted. It aims to further a dialogue among scholars in the field of Italian studies who deal with visual culture in the broadest sense, from studies of visual arts and objects to literary works characterized by an emphasis on the visual.
We welcome proposals for papers or pre-constituted panels (of three papers) on topics such as:
- Cinema and photography;
- Visual arts of all eras, from Medieval and Rennaissance to contemporary art;
- Fashion and design;
- Advertising and visual culture;
- Intermediality and cross-media representation;
- Visual representations of Italians and Italian culture abroad (e.g. Italian-Americans, the diaspora, etc);
- Visual representations of migration to and within Italy;
- Transcultural representations of Italy and Italians;
- Ekphrasis and visual culture in Italian literature;
- Visualisation within, and of, the work of medieval and early modern authors (e.g. Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca).
Keynote speaker: Prof Stephen Gundle.
For individual papers, please send a 200-word abstract and a 100-word bio.
For panels, please send a 200-word rationale plus 100-word abstracts and 100-word bios for each paper in the panel. In putting together a panel, you should take into account the SIS policy on gender equality (copied at the foot of this CFP).
The 2018 SIS Themed Conference was held from 5th to 6th April, 2018 at the University of Sussex. The theme for the 2018 Conference was Resistance in Italian culture: Literature, Politics and Film. The Conference was organized by Dr Ambra Moroncini (University of Sussex), Dr Darrow Schecter (University of Sussex) and Prof Fabio Vighi (University of Cardiff). The programme and the Conference Report are available.
The Society holds an annual Postgraduate Colloquium. See this page for further details.
The form for the registering of interest in holding the Biennial Conference is available below. Please complete the form as fully as possible, bearing in mind that not all questions will be relevant to the Biennial Conference (the form covers both this and the Themed Conference) and return to Gigliola Sulis, as Hon. Secretary at email@example.com.
- The 2019 Conference was hosted by the University of Edinburgh from 26th-28th June 2019. The programme is available to download here.
- The 2017 Conference was hosted by the University of Hull from 27th– 30th June 2017. The programme is available for dowload is available to download in PDF format.
- The 2015 Conference was hosted by the University of Oxford from 28 to 30 September 2015. The programme is available for download in PDF format.
- The 2013 Conference was hosted by Durham University from 8 to 11 July 2013. The programme is available for download in PDF format.
- The 2011 Conference was hosted by St Andrews University from 6 to 9 July 2011. The programme is available for download in PDF format.
- The 2009 Conference was hosted by Royal Holloway University of London, from 16 to 19 April.
Previous Themed Conferences
- The 2016 Themed Conference, Turning Points: Cultures of Transition, Transformation and Transmission , was held at Trinity College, Dublin, 29th and 30th April 2016. The programme is available for download in PDF format
- The 2014 Themed Conference, Interstitial Italy: Reassessing Global Questions Through the ‘Peculiar’ Italian Case, was held at the British School at Rome, 27 and 28 March 2014. The programme is available for download in PDF format.
- The 2012 Themed Conference, Transnational Italy: National Identity and the World Atlas, was held at the University of Reading’, 13 and 14 July 2012. The programme and abstracts are available for download in PDF format.
- The 2010 Themed Conference, Religion, Mysticism and Heresy in Italian Culture, was held at the Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice, 16-17 April 2010. The programme is available for download in PDF format.
- The 2008 Themed Conference, Transmissions and Transformations of Italian Culture, took place at the Institute for Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, on 25-26 April 2008. The programme and abstracts are available for download in PDF format.
Conferences and events organised by the SIS will respect the following norms:
- as far as possible there will be a balance in the number of male/female speakers and session chairs;
- single-sex panels will be avoided wherever possible;
- panel chairs will be briefed on how to ensure inclusive and balanced discussion;
- where there is more than one keynote speaker efforts will be made to ensure gender balance.