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Italy in the Age of the Risorgimento: New Perspectives on Unification

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

A five-week seminar for college and university faculty on the Risorgimento, the nineteenth-century quest to form a unified nation-state in Italy.

In this seminar held at the American Academy in Rome, project directors John Davis (University of Connecticut) and David Kertzer (Brown University) incorporate substantial new scholarship to examine questions that surround the Italian Risorgimento. Beginning by addressing such questions as how unified the enterprise actually was, the seminar considers, for example, the comparison of Italian to contemporary European nationalist movements. It examines the tensions between proponents of the Risorgimento and religious and secular minorities, and the place of the south in the national discussion. Readings include Davis's Italy in the Nineteenth Century (2000) and Kertzer's Prisoner of the Vatican (2004). Also among the readings are Isabella Maurizio's Risorgimento in Exile: Italian Emigrés and the Liberal International in Post-Napoleonic Europe (2009) and Bayly and Biagini's Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism (2008). Professors Emily Brown (art history, City University of New York Graduate Center) and Philip Gosset (musicology, University of Chicago) bring an interdisciplinary dimension to the program's historical focus with the study of Risorgimento opera, painting, and popular representations of visual culture. Making use of Rome as a historical site, the program includes museum talks and guided walks of buildings, monuments, and neighborhoods related to the Risorgimento. Finally, Davis and Kertzer intend to meet weekly with each participant to tailor readings, provide guidance on the use of local archives, and introduce participants to Italian scholars. In addition to active support for publication, they plan to hold an online workshop during the following academic year to continue the discussion begun over the summer and share updated teaching materials.


Dates: July 1-July 31 (5 weeks)
Director(s): John A. Davis, University of Connecticut, and David Kertzer, Brown University
Grantee Institutions: American Academy in Rome
Location: Rome, Italy

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the project.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.