Indiana University Bloomington
Department of French and Italian


H. Wayne Storey Awarded NEH Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced on July 21 that Professor H. Wayne Storey has received a grant of $275,000 over three years for “The Petrarchive Project: An Online Edition of 366 Poems by Petrarch.” The project is a collaboration with John A. Walsh, associate professor of library and information science in the School of Informatics and Computing.

Originally funded in 2013 with an IU New Frontiers grant, the NEH project focuses on the preparation for publication of a digital, “rich text” edition of Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, also known as the Canzoniere, that incorporates the complex visual poetics and book design that were integral to the poet’s techniques and the meaning of his poems. The edition will include an apparatus of variants, manuscript facsimiles, commentary and supporting material in English and Italian. While known as the poet credited with developing forms such as the sonnet and the sestina, Petrarch was also a scholar whose long years of study and annotation of classical works gave him unique views on the preparation and material construction of books. The Petrarchive Project will bring a fuller picture of Petrarch’s work to scholars worldwide.

Students celebrate commencement at FRIT reception

Italian students with Professor Massimo Scalabrini

Associate Professor Massimo Scalabrini (Director of Undergraduate Studies in Italian), Brandon-Lee Dayton, Athena Weber, and Margaret Uland at the commencement reception

On May 9, students, their families, and faculty members of the Department of French and Italian and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese gathered for our annual joint reception for graduating seniors in the State Room East of the Indiana Memorial Union. 24 French majors and 10 Italian majors either graduated from IU-Bloomington this May, or will graduate at the end of the summer. Among those in attendance was Hayleigh Elmore, who finished her BA in three years and has been hired by Teach for America to teach French next year in her home town of Dallas. Adriana Giuliani has just completed both a BA in Italian and a BS in microbiology, and she recalled fondly her year in Bologna, where she not only participated in the IU study abroad program but also completed an internship at the Hospital Bellaria. She is off to medical school at Ohio State in the fall, but plans to keep up her Italian skills by working on translations of poems and prose writing left by her late nonna (grandmother).

Several graduates plan to return to Europe to teach next year. Hayley Connizzo (BA in French and International Studies) and Brandon-Lee Dayton (BA in French, Italian, and Linguistics) will both participate in the TAPIF program, through which Americans serve as English teaching assistants in French middle schools and high schools. Meanwhile, Margaret Uland (BA Italian and Psychology) will be teaching English in Italy next year, at a high school in Busto Arsizio in Lombardy.

We wish all of our graduates the best of luck as they embark on new adventures post-IU!

PhD Candidate Participates in Monkey-Themed Conference in France

Kate Bastin outside the gate of the Château de Chantilly

Kathryn Bastin, a PhD candidate in French Literature in the Department of French & Italian, participated in the international conference “Singes et Singeries à la Renaissance” organized by the 16th-Century Workshop of the Université de Paris-Sorbonne on March 15, 2014. Bastin, who is currently finishing her year as a College of Arts and Sciences dissertation fellow, was among a select few scholars, mainly from Europe, to participate in this “Journée d’Études,” which took place at the Château de Chantilly north of Paris, known for its two monkey-themed rooms, the grand singerie (1737) and petite singerie (1735). In French, singe means both monkey and ape, and singerie can mean both monkey business and monkey room. Bastin’s PhD dissertation title is “Humanity in Play: Man Meets Monkey in Ancien Régime France,” so the conference was right up her alley.

At the conference, Bastin delivered a paper entitled “Les pièges de l’imitation: Ésope à Versailles,” that focused on the Labyrinth at Versailles, which was in existence approximately 1675 to 1775 and included 39 fountains with animals from Aesop’s fables, among them six monkeys. She explains that in French cultural history “we see a treatment of the monkey and ape as a figure that holds a mirror for the human in the Renaissance and the early modern period: the monkey allows man to behold himself.”

Bastin was particularly excited to visit the Château de Chantilly’s famous singeries, painted by Christophe Huet, as she will analyze them as part of her dissertation. Although the focus of the conference was on an earlier time period than her own research, Bastin noted the importance of “considering precursors to what I am studying, and how these anterior notions of the monkey and ape shaped the Old Régime treatment of the simian.” In today’s world of scientific understanding regarding our evolutionary precursors, the Renaissance attitude toward simians is indeed a fascinating topic.