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Overview of Teaching and Research Areas

Subject area

Medieval studies, including Dante 

Dr Heather Webb (Dante, early Italian lyric poetry, Boccaccio) Renaissance and Early Modern studies

Dr Abigail Brundin (literature, culture, religion)

Professor. Helena Sanson (Questione della lingua, literature, women's history)


Modern studies

Dr Pierpaolo Antonello (Literature, cultural and intellectual history, philosophy)

Professor Robert Gordon (Literature, cultural and intellectual history, Italian cinema)

Dr JD Rhodes (Italian cinema)

Professor Helena Sanson (Questione della lingua, Literature, women's history, translation)


Language and Linguistics

Prof. Adam Ledgeway (Dialectology, historical linguistics, syntactic theory, comparative Romance linguistics)

Professor Helena Sanson (Questione della lingua)

Member of the Department

Name (and College) Main area(s) Contact details

Dr Pierpaolo Antonello

(St John's)

20th-century Italian writing and intellectual history; Futurism and the avant-garde; Literature and science; Calvin, Eco; Postmodern Italian literature; French theory and epistemology
Professor Zyg Baranski, Emeritus Professor Dante and medieval poetics; Modern Italian literature, film and culture

Dr Abigail Brundin

​(St Catharine's)

Renaissance and early modern literature and culture

Professor Robert Gordon

(Gonville and Caius)

20th-century Italian literature, cinema and cultural history

Professor Robin Kirkpatrick, Emeritus Professor


Dante and the Renaissance; The relationship between Italian and English literature from 1300 - 1600 as well as in the Modern period

Professor Adam Ledgeway


Generative syntax, especially Minimalism; Morphosyntactic change; The history and structure of the Romance languages, in particular Italian and the dialects of Italy

Dr JD Rhodes

(Corpus Christi)

Italian cinema

Professor Helena Sanson


Dr Heather Webb


Medieval literature and culture, especially Dante, early Italian lyric poetry, Boccaccio, models of female piety (especially Catherine of Siena & Dominican penitents), the history of concepts

Latest News

Professor Helena Sanson publishes new book: Women in the History of Linguistics

16 March 2021

The Italian Section is delighted to announce the publication of a new book by Professor Helena Sanson, Women in the History of Linguistics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020; 672 pp.), co-edited with Professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett (Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics). The volume is a ground-breaking...

Livia Russell Society for Italian Studies (SIS) Prize Winner 2020

27 January 2021

The Italian Section extends warmest congratulations to former undergraduate Livia Russell who has won the Society for Italian Studies (SIS) Undergraduate Prize 2020 for her Dissertation ‘Contact and intimacy: Mario Giacomelli’s photo-poetic encounters’ . The Society for Italian Studies (SIS) Prize aims to raise the profile...

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