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Find out how research from the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures is making an impact on the world.

International Exhibition: Hans Arp - The Poetry of Forms

In 2017-18 Professor Eric Robertson was the co-organsier of a major international retrospective exhibition on the work of the German-French artist Hans Arp (1886-1966). The exhibition drew directly on Professor Robertson's research on Arp, and ran in two major, publicly funded galleries in the Netherlands and the UL: the Kröller-Müller Museum (20 May 2017-17 September 2017) and the Turner Contemporary Gallery, Margate (12 October 2017-14 January 2018). The exhibition was viewed by approximately 190,000 visitors at the two venues, and encouraged appreciation of this extraordinary, multifaceted and transnational artist.

The exhibition also created educational benefits for visitors, with a specially designed programme of activities for schools and younger visitors. At the Turner Contemporary visiting schools made used of educational materials and lesson plans designed for KS1 and 2. You can read more about the results here.

The Guardian wrote of the exhbition: "In the age of Brexit, an exhibition of this sculptor who transcended Europe’s borderlines is a timely reminder of how art can defy national boundaries".

Dada's Women: Legacies

Dr Ruth Hemus, author of a groundbreaking study of the contribution of female artists to the Dada avant garde movement (Dada's Women, 2009), is the driving force behind a collaborative creative project that has produced accessible multimedia performance interpretations of Dada’s extradordinary pioneering women such as Hannah Höch and Céline Arnauld. These have taken place in public spaces, such as at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle (November 2018). Ruth's work has also provided the direct inspriration for an exhibition staged a three Swiss art galleries between 2014 and 2016, which was the centenary of the founding of Dada in Zürich. In 2017 and 2018 she and her creative team ran educational Dada workshops at the Tate Exchange, and she continues to develop collaborations and partnerships around Dada's Women 

Developing public understanding of Fascism

The AHRC-funded research project 'The Cult of the Duce: Mussolini and the Italians 1918-2005', which involved Professor Guiliana Pieri, achieved a better understanding of fascism and its legacy by challenging preconceptions about Benito Mussolini and examining the legacy of his leadership ‘cult’ in Italy and beyond.

The research engaged a wider non-academic audience and improved public awareness of the propaganda strategies of fascism through an exhibition at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London.

Enhancing public access to the British Library's collections

Collaborative research, under the direction of Emerita Professor Jane Everson, has established a comprehensive database on the Italian Academies 1525-1700. This significant public resource now forms one of the British Library’s (BL) series of Themed Collections; specialised catalogues developed to enhance public access to the BL’s collections.

The AHRC-funded project revealed some interesting parallels with the use of modern-day social media in the way the Academies communicated. In addition, the software model developed by the research team has also influenced the revision of other BL catalogues.

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