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Newton International Fellow from University of Warsaw


We are delighted that Dr Małgorzata Trzeciak Cygan from the University of Warsaw has joined us in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge as a Newton International Fellow of the British Academy. Dr Trzeciak Cygan will be working on a project on "Female portraits in Italian and British travellers’ accounts from Poland (1600-1700)" with Professor Helena Sanson of the Italian Section.

The project aims to investigate the way women in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth have been portrayed in Italian, English, Scottish and Irish travel diaries from the 17th century. Preference will be given to mostly unpublished manuscripts, travel journals and guide books concerning Poland. There is a tendency to investigate either unilateral migration to Poland (i.e. Italian, Scottish) or women travelers in the 18th century. Yet, the 17th century travel journals by male authors can offer new insights into the representation of women across the entire social spectrum in their everyday context, especially when they register cross-cultural encounters in a multicultural society.

The project will contribute to a better understanding of the role women played in early modern society by publishing comprehensive studies on the way migrants perceived local communities. A series of peer-reviewed articles and an edited volume on traveller’s perceptions of femininity as a result of an international conference will be the scientific outcomes of the project, followed by dissemination activities which will involve a broader audience


Dr Małgorzata Trzeciak Cygan holds a PhD from the University of Warsaw on Giacomo Leopardi’s aesthetic thought (now published as L’esperienza estetica nello Zibaldone di Giacomo Leopardi, Aracne, 2013), a master’s degree in Theory and Techniques of Aesthetic and Museum Communication (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”) and a master’s degree in Italian Studies (University of Warsaw). Her current research focuses on Early Modern travel writing, in particular on the way multicultural Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has been portrayed in travel journals from the seventeenth century. Since 2011, Dr Trzeciak Cygan has been assistant professor in Italian Literature at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics (University of Warsaw). In 2015, she took up a two-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship at the University of Turin. Currently, Dr Trzeciak Cygan is a Newton International Fellow at the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages (University of Cambridge) working with Dr Helena Sanson on a research project entitled “Female portraits in Italian and British travellers’ accounts from Poland (1600-1700)”. Her Newton International Fellowship project investigates the way migrants from the North and South of Europe perceived local female communities.

Dr Trzeciak Cygan's publications include a monograph on Giacomo Leopardi’s aesthetics L’esperienza estetica nello Zibaldone di Giacomo Leopardi (Aracne, 2013) and a series of articles and book chapters on Polish-Italian relations between late Renaissance and Post-Unification period. She has recently translated into Polish Giovan Battista Fagiuoli’s travel journal Diariusz podróży do Polski (1690-1691) (Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanow, 2017) and has received 3 prizes for this translation: the Leopold Staff Literary Award, the Premio Speciale Centro Studi Famiglia Capponi (Florence) and the Hanna Szwankowska’s Honorary Diploma.