Italian Academies 1400-1700: proto academies, small academies, geographical margins and peripheries.
Renaissance Society of America: Berlin, March 26-28 2015.
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries marked the explosion of the academic movement in Italy. With more than 800 academies, these social and intellectual groups were present throughout the peninsula in big cities, in small towns, as well as in little villages. It was impossible for intellectuals, both Italians and foreigners, to ignore the social space of academies and their importance for sharing activities and ideas. Academies were interested in all intellectual activities, from poetry to history, antiquarianism, collections, visual arts, theatre and literature, politics, geography, medicine, astrology, astronomy, etc.
Following a first period of enthusiastic celebration, critics have demolished the importance of such gatherings and their literary production. Moreover, between the publication of Michele Maylender’s Storia delle Accademie d’Italia, and the Italian Academies Database (www.bl.uk/catalogues/ItalianAcademies/Default.aspx) critics have so far concentrated on selected Academies (Lincei, Intronati, Rozzi, Fiorentina, Fama, Crusca, Cimento), in the most studied cities (Rome, Venice, Florence, Siena), and on the most eminent people taking part in the selected Academies, while less known academies and academicians in less studied centres have been neglected.
The Italian Academies Database shows that it was very common for academicians to be part of different academies, both within the same city and in different centres.
Jane and Simone gave two presentations at the IGRS Conference Saperi, emblemi e simboli a Bologna e l’Europa nel Rinascimento (London October 2012)
Simone Testa gave the opening seminar at Scuola Normale in Pisa (September 2012) on occasion of the creation of Centri di cultura nell’Italia barocca, research group directed by professor Davide Conrieri (Scuola Normale Superiore).
- In June, Dr Arjan Van Dixhoorn invited the project team to deliver a presentation of the Database at the University of Ghent. This event was in the context of a one-day workshop on learned sociability and theatrical performances in Europe in the longue durée – 1300-1700. The possibility of creating a European project was discussed, and the two groups are working closely to devise such project. Next meeting will be in San Diego, at the Renaissance Society of America, in April 2013.
In connection with the major AHRC collaborative research project: The Italian Academies 1525-1700: the first intellectual networks of early modern Europe, Jane Everson has recently delivered 3 plenary lectures.
These were given respectively at the Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail on 20 January 2012;
All Souls College, Oxford, on 10 February 2012, and at the international conference, held in Latina, Le virtuose adunanze; la cultura accademica nei secoli XVI e XVII secoli – on 16-17 February 2012.
All three diverse audiences were extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities offered by the database created by this research project, and the emerging research.
CLICK HERE to access the blog with summary of Jane Everson’s presentation in Oxford
- Simone Testa delivered aseminar at the Early Modern Italy Seminars (Institute of Historical Research – London) October 2011: ‘Italian Academies 1525-1700, the first intellectual networks of early-modern Europe. A project online’. PhD students in the audience commented very positively on the Database, and asked numerous questions.