The long eighteenth century marks the birth of modern journalism in Europe. Thanks to the increasing dynamism of the “travelling news,” a full-fledged inter-European cultural dialogue develops on the continent. In Italy, literary journalism was instrumental to crafting a perception of the English novel that pervaded the public sphere, influenced the development of the emerging Italian novel, affected the debate on national identity and led to a reassessment of the role of women in society.
My current research Transcultural Journalism. English Novels and the Italian Press (1720-1830), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, explores the reception of English novels (i.e. novels written in English) in the Italian literary press during the long eighteenth century, addressing a largely uncharted aspect of Anglo-Italian intercultural relations and of the history of readership in the long eighteenth century.
The first phase of the project saw the creation of a relational database to host and curate the primary material. Andrea Penso (FWO Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Literary and Intermedial Crossings of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel) was instrumental in populating the database. During this second phase the corpus is being transferred to the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, an online repository and research environment for literary studies in Canada that will provide a stable and definitive infrastructure for the implementation of the project through the use of extensive markup and the adoption of CWRC Dynamic Table of Contexts.
With a large-scale study of the impact of the English novel in Italy, Transcultural Journalism. English Novels and the Italian Press (1720-1830) provides a joint quantitative and qualitative analysis of English authors and their works in eighteenth century Italy and enables researchers to generate comparative analysis according to geographical areas, political and religious environments, female vs. male journalistic enterprises. This project offers a reader-response evaluation of authors whose transcultural relevance in the Italian context has not yet been studied.
Transcultural Journalism. English Novels and the Italian Press in the Long Eighteenth Century (1720-1830) will be available on CWRC in 2022.