Marco Ceresa, distinguished sinologist and director of DSAAM, dies


Marco Ceresa, director of the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and esteemed sinologist, passed away suddenly in the night between 3 and 4 May.

The funeral was held on 9 May at 11 a.m. in the Carmini Church in Venice.

Attached you will find the speeches delivered by Rector Tiziana Lippiello and by his colleagues during the memorial service.

Colleagues, friends and associates of the Department of Asian and North African Studies and the entire Ca' Foscari community remember prof. Ceresa 'for his brilliant intelligence, his sense of humour, his love of art and literature, and the kindness and elegance that characterised his life'.

His research interests focussed on Cultural Studies, with particular emphasis on Orientalism and chinoiserie in Italian and European literature and music. He was also interested in pre-modern Chinese literature, especially Tang poetry, and in the relationship between literature and material and food culture.

He translated and edited the first complete Italian edition of the The Classic of Tea, the world's oldest and most important treatise on the cultivation, preparation, use and literary echoes of tea.


Rector Tiziana Lippiello remembers her colleague and friend: "I am greatly saddened by the passing of Prof. Ceresa. I had known Marco since my university days here at Ca' Foscari. During our academic career, we often worked together, sharing a passion for Chinese culture. I have always appreciated his broad cultural interests and his gift of irony and self-irony, which allowed him to play down every situation by capturing its most amusing aspects. He was refined aesthete, both brilliant and self-effacing, meditative, and discreet. Today Ca' Foscari loses an outstanding lecturer and scholar, who always worked hard for our university, holding important positions of institutional responsibility. On a personal level, today I am losing a colleague and a dear friend: I will miss him greatly, and so will the entire Ca' Foscari community”.


Born in Lodi, Marco Ceresa graduated from Ca' Foscari in 1984 in “Oriental Languages and Literatures” (Chinese). In 1992 he obtained a PhD in Far Eastern Asian Civilisation from the University of Naples 'L'Orientale'.

He joined Ca' Foscari as a researcher in 1994 and became associate professor of Chinese language and literature in 2000 and full professor in 2008.

He served as the Rector's delegate for 'International Relations of the University with Asian Countries' from 2009 to 2012 and in 2017 he was elected Director of the Department of Asian and North African Studies. He was a member of the Academic Senate of Ca' Foscari for the three-year period 2020-2023, a position he had also held in 2011-2014 and in 2017-2020.

From 2008 to 2018, he was the director of the Confucius Institute at Ca' Foscari University. 

After graduating, he studied at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei (Taiwan) and received a Research Grant for Foreign Scholars in Chinese Studies from the Center for Chinese Studies of the National Central Library in Taipei. He had subsequently done research at the Research Institute for Humanistic Study, Kyoto University (Japan), with a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and at the Italian School of East Asian Studies, ISEAS, in Kyoto (Japan).

He taught at Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot, University of Vienna, Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich, University of Marburg, Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, and University of Lund.

He was the co-founder and Honorary President of the Italian Tea Culture Association AICTEA, which has been organising annual international conferences on tea culture at Ca' Foscari since 2016.

Marco Ceresa, Director of the Department, in the latest video presentation of DSAAM