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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

Eleonora Serra (PhD in Italian, 2019), winner of the 2020 Vivien Law Prize for the history of linguistics

2 December 2020

Eleonora Serra (PhD in Italian, 2019), winner of the 2020 Vivien Law Prize for the history of linguistics The Italian Section is delighted to congratulate Eleonora Serra (PhD in Italian, 2019) for the award of the 2020 Vivien Law Prize for the best essay on any topic within the history of linguistics by a student within 5...

The Robinson College Sykes Prize 2020

19 October 2020

The Robinson College Sykes Prize has been launched for 2020. The winning prize is £1000, with runners-up awards of £500 and £250 also available. More information can be found here: All current students are welcome to enter, hopefully having read...

Elena Sottilotta (PhD candidate, Italian) winner of the 2020 Polly Stewart Award 2020

12 October 2020

We are delighted to congratulate Elena Sottilotta (PhD candidate, Italian) for winning the 2020 Polly Stewart Award, for her research on women folklorists of Italy and Ireland. The award is given by the Women's Section of the American Folklore Society to support young scholars in the field (further details at: https://www...

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