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Today's great thinkers discuss past intellectuals at Italian Academies conference

Posted on 11/09/2012
Italian Academies

Just as the learned academies were responsible for debate and discussion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, scholars from across the world are visiting the British Library for a conference on the Italian Academies.

The Italian Academies 1525-1700: the first intellectual networks of early modern Europe, organised by a team of scholars from Royal Holloway, University of London, the British Library and the University of Reading, will bring together academic heavyweights from the UK, Italy and USA, to explore research questions raised by the activities of the Italian Academies.

The two-day conference, hosted at the British Library on 17-18 September, is part of the four-year AHRC funded research project cataloguing the works of the Italian academies during the period 1525-1700.

The learned academies were responsible for promoting debate and discussion in many different disciplines from language and literature, through the visual and performing arts, to science, technology, medicine and astronomy. They functioned as alternative institutions to the universities and the courts, and among their members were pioneering scientists, writers, artists, political thinkers, and representatives of both sexes and all social classes.   

Frequently international in membership, and in correspondence with scholars across Europe, they were fundamental to the development of the intellectual networks later defined as the ‘République des Lettres’, and to the dissemination of ideas in early modern Europe.

However, the social and cultural phenomenon of the Italian Academies has hitherto attracted relatively little research due in part to the wide range of their interests and difficulties in accessing relevant information.

The conference aims to explore research questions raised by the activities of Academies in this period. It will include plenary lectures by Professor Giovanni Muto (Universtita’ Federico II Napoli); Professor emerita Alison Brown (University of London); Professor Virginia Cox (New York University); Professor Paolo Procaccioli (Università della Tuscia, Viterbo).

  • Italian Academies 1525-1700: the first intellectual networks of early modern Europe, Monday 17-Tuesday 18 September, The British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB.

More information about the conference and The Italian Academies can be found on the respective project web pages. 



 
 
 

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