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IT9: Text and Image

Please note that IT9 is suspended in 2019/2020.

Visual and textual art in Italy have always fed one another in productive and challenging ways, and this course offers an opportunity to study visual culture as embedded in textual traditions across a broad range of periods and mediums in Italy. Topics taught each year will vary but each topic will emphasise theoretical approaches to the study of visual culture and the interaction between word and image. You will be encouraged to develop your own particular research interests for your written work in consultation with your supervisor.

Four to five main topics will be taught in any one year, and may change from year to year in order to ensure variety.


For information only, the topics for 2017-18 were as follows:

1. Leonardo Da Vinci: Vision and Creation

2. Bruno Munari

3. Michelangelo, Vittoria Colonna and the private gift

4. Pasolini Between Text, Image and Film


Topics previously covered:


Illustrating Dante

Bruno Munari

Representing the Author in the Renaissance: Verbal and Visual Portraits and Self-Portraits

Pasolini Between Text, Image and Film


Preparatory reading: 

The preliminary reading for this paper is the primary texts listed above.

Teaching and learning: 

The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and supervisions. Students will be strongly encouraged to attend all lectures in order to gain a broad insight into the broad range of the paper.

For the It.9 Moodle site, please see here


The paper will be assessed by three-hour examination or by Optional Dissertation. In the examination, there will be a choice of essay questions relating to each topic in that year's list. Candidates will be required to answer three questions, one on each of three topics. There will be no sections on the paper, and no obligation to answer any particular combination of questions, as long as the same material is not used in more than one question.

Past papers and the specimen paper are available on Moodle.

Course Contacts: 
Dr Pierpaolo Antonello
Dr Heather Webb