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Call: PhD/RMA Renaissance Reading Room – DL: 15 January 2024

In the Renaissance Reading Room young scholars with an interest in the Italian Renaissance are given the opportunity to further develop and deepen their expertise in working with original sources and documents. To this end, they engage in a process of deep reading guided by a mentor, Harald Hendrix, who is a specialist on Italian early modern culture.

Geared at RMA students and PhD candidates, this tutorial consists of a series of ten 3-hours sessions in Utrecht (twice a month) of intense collective reading, from February through June 2024. It is open to RMA students and PhD candidates, registered with the OSK and/or the Huizinga Institute, who have an intermediate proficiency in reading Italian (CEFR B1, to be assessed by the course mentor). During the sessions conversations are conducted in English, with some excursions into Italian and Dutch. Several sessions will be enriched by the presence and input of established scholars of 16th-century Italian culture active in The Netherlands.

The 2024 edition of the Renaissance Reading Room focuses on seminal texts produced during the 16th century within the cultural sphere of Venice. The central text to be read and discussed entirely is
the highly influential dialogue on the arts L’Aretino published by Lodovico Dolce in 1557. Additionally, a wide range of seminal texts will be studied partially, by reading excerpts from Marcantonio Michiel’s Notizie d’opere di disegno and Pietro Bembo’s Asolani to the letters written by Titian and his close friend Pietro Aretino, Andrea Palladio’s Quattro libri dell’architettura, reports by Venetian ambassadors, some of the famous Avvisi with news reports, as well as the treatises on the arts and letters written by the like of Sperone Speroni and Girolamo Ruscelli. Participants are moreover invited to suggest readings of texts that are central to their current research projects. In some cases, we will perform a parallel reading of the autograph manuscript (in a digital version) and its transcription in a critical edition.

In addition to participating in the ten deep reading sessions, RMA students are required to present:
1) a portfolio with notes on five of these sessions (<500 words per session), with particular reference to the linguistic and rhetorical issues that have emerged during the group discussions, and
2) a State-of-the-Art paper (1000-1500 words, in English) on one of the texts discussed, summarizing the critical attention to this particular document and positioning it within relevant scholarly debates and traditions. Alternatively, students with an interest in linguistic issues and/or Translation Studies can choose not to write a paper but to submit an annotated translation (in English or Dutch) of one of the texts discussed (2000-3000 words). These results will be graded by Harald Hendrix and registered within the Master-Apprentice Elective format on offer in the curriculum of the RMA Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Utrecht University (code: GKRMV17025). Upon request, PhD candidates will receive a certificate.

Those interested in participating are invited to apply no later than 15 January 2024 by directly contacting Harald Hendrix (, in order to discuss how to register for this tutorial. in their application they need to specify and document their reading proficiency in Italian. RMA students additionally should specify how many credits (5 or 6 ECTS) they intend to obtain by successfully completing this tutorial.