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Women Translators in Italian Publishing


The project re-evaluates women’s participation in 1930s-1980s Italian intellectual discourse, through a special focus on the intersection of translation and publishing. More specifically, it will examine the professional activity of four key women, namely: the professional translators Maria Luisa (Nini) Castellani Agosti (1913-2005) and Adriana Motti (1924-2009); and two writers who devoted significant time to translations of foreign literature, Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991), in her capacity as editor of the Einaudi Press, and Lalla Romano (1906-2001), as passionate reader of French and English literature. Starting from the assumption of a greater invisibility of women in translation and editorial tasks, the project aims at rediscovering these historical figures, by reinstating their place within the literary domain and the publishing panorama of Turin and Milan. Drawing on a interdisciplinary set of methodological tools and approaches, from historical analysis, sociology of literature, translation studies and archival research, the project will identify women’s covert roles and will quantify their impact in terms of number of translated projects undertaken, the width nature and scale of networks they were able to establish and the range of suggestions received and given to support the production of books. The study will consider published and unpublished items, translated outputs and the surrounding related writings, bringing a new focus on private correspondence as a vehicle for women to express their voices and advance views in a mainly male-dominated system. At the University of Milan, I will have the opportunity to achieve these objectives through a suite of well-designed training courses, which will support archival research and will enable me to apply advanced digital tools to the historical investigation.

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Via Festa Del Perdono 7
20122 Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 183 473,28