As the home of several important national and international initiatives in research into Italian culture from Dante to the present, we offer a vibrant intellectual and academic community. Our research culture enriches our teaching, shaping and informing our taught modules, and provides outstanding opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to engage with and lead research in Italian Studies, including the successful Students as Scholars scheme. We run a dynamic programme of research events and bring research into Italian culture to a broader public through public lectures.
In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) Italian at Leeds contributed to the submission of the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, which achieved an impressive rating (70% world-leading) in terms of 'research environment'. This includes library and other resources, research grants, collaborative initiatives, the number of postgraduate research students in the department and the support we offer them.
Before REF2014, Italian was assessed as an independent unit, ranking consistently high. In particular, we were in the top 5* in the assessments of 1996 and 2001 and we achieved an outstanding result in 2008, ranking second nationally (after Cambridge). This success was acknowledged by the Guardian league table of eighteen Italian departments in the UK.
Major projects currently underway include The Woman Reader, Italian Voices: Oral Culture, Manuscript and Print in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700, funded by the European Research Council, and Dante and Late Medieval Florence: Theology in Poetry, Practice and Society, funded by the Arts and Humanitites Research Council.
Leeds is the home of the Centre for Dante Studies.We present our research at seminars and conferences and organise regular events on Dante, including a well-established series of workshops in collaboration with Cambridge and Notre Dame. Other recent events have included an international conference on Renaissance literature, art and music, an internationally important seminar series on Italian film and a workshops project, supported by the AHRC, on Scribal Culture in Italy, 1450-1650.