RethinkingMary aims to explore the cultural impact of the literary representations of the Virgin Mary on the construction of women's identity in early modern Italy. Using methodological approaches from philology, history of ideas, history of women and gender studies, Dr Carinci will build and evaluate a corpus of literary works printed and manuscript on the Virgin Mary written by Italian men and women between ca.1450 and 1650, a crucial period for the construction of Italian and European modernity. While offering a first comprehensive study of the impact of the literary representation of the Virgin Mary in Italian culture, RethinkingMary challenges the idea that the Virgin was only a passive and submissive role model for women, considering the ways in which she was used by lay and religious women writers as a powerful model of womanhood and how she influenced women's self-representation. This research will propose a completely new interpretation of the impact of the figure of the Virgin on early modern Italian culture and will produce a bibliographical database. The action will take place at the department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas (IFIKK) at the University of Oslo (UiO), the Norwegian Institute of Rome and the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities (VeDPH), at Ca’ Foscari University, and will involve research trip to various libraries and archives. The project will be supervised by Unn Falkeid, professor of History of Ideas at IFIKK, expert in Italian women writers and Intellectual history and Principal Investigator of the international project 'The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden', funded by the Research Council of Norway (2018-2021), which explores the impact of Saint Birgitta on Italian women writers, involving an international and interdisciplinary research group. RethinkingMary is strictly connected and in part overlapping with such project and Dr Carinci will find the perfect environment to succeed and to develop future projects.
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