Alessandro Farsetti
Slavic Studies

What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests? 
My name is Alessandro Farsetti. I come from a small town in the province of Arezzo, but I have been living in Venice for a few years now. My main research interests concern the Russian literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century, the prosody of Russian poetry, the problems of how history is received in Soviet and post-Soviet culture and contemporary Russian poetry.

Tell us about your academic path.
After a Bachelor's degree in Languages (University of Siena) and a Master's degree in Translation for Special Purposes and for Publishing (University of Bologna), I took my PhD at Ca' Foscari in 2015. After teaching Russian Language and Literature in Perugia and Florence and participating in an international research project on the reception of Soviet repressions in Italy and France (University of Florence, Paris-Sorbonne), I won a research fellowship at Ca' Foscari (2018).

What are your professional role models / references?
In Italian Slavic studies, Daniela Rizzi (Ca' Foscari University) and Fausto Malcovati (University of Milan) have been a great source of inspiration for me.

Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
I started thinking about it when I enrolled in university, thanks to the influence of a very charismatic professor.

What is the aspect of your research you are most passionate about?
The possibility to get to know and confront myself with ''other'' worlds and ways of thinking.

What does teaching and researching mean to you?
It means interacting with others, getting contaminated by others, getting out of my comfort zone.

What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career?
Rediscovering and studying the most widely read, Italy-set novel in the world in the 20th century "beyond" the Iron Curtain, which we in Italy knew nothing about. It is The Gadfly by Ethel Lilian Voynich, which I also translated into Italian in 2013.

The area you have always wanted to be involved in but have not yet had the opportunity to explore?
The interpretation of Lermontov's Demon, a much-studied work on which I had some hunches that I would like to confirm with in-depth research.

What would you say to young people starting their university career?
I say follow your own inclinations and always be open to discussion with others, whether colleagues or teachers.

And to those approaching research today?
Apart from current health restrictions, which will hopefully come to an end in the short term, those approaching research in the humanities today obviously have means that were once unimaginable, starting with digital libraries and ending with technologies to obtain information on ancient manuscripts. In any case, as cliché as it may sound, the most important things besides intellectual abilities are curiosity and passion for the subject.

Why Ca’ Foscari and Venice?
Ca' Foscari is the university that shaped me as a scholar and that I have always considered a stimulating environment for my professional and personal growth.

Last update: 28/02/2023