FoRS - Focus on Ruskin Studies 
Centre for Ruskin Studies of the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies

Cover image: © FoRS.

Centre

FoRS is a research centre of the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies of Ca' Foscari University of Venice. It was officially founded in June 2022, and aims to build on the tradition of Ruskin research that the University has sustained over more than twenty years. It has promoted conferences, exhibitions and publications of international standing on topics related to Venice, Italy and beyond. The FoRS Advisory Board reflects the breadth of Ruskin’s own interests, comprising scholars working in many fields of study, from European and North American literatures, to translation studies, to aesthetics, the history of art and architecture, the history of restoration and conservation, archaeology. FoRS will provide a space for the exchange of ideas and data, for cooperation and dissemination of work on themes of common interest both within Ca’ Foscari and with the international network of cultural, educational and scholarly institutions whose interests relate to Ruskin’s many-faceted oeuvre.

FoRS

Inspired by the title, "Fors Clavigera, Letters to the Labourers and Workmen of Great Britain", which Ruskin gave to the monumental epistolary work he wrote and published monthly from 1871 to 1884 – the Centre will privilege multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives, promoting wide-ranging cultural activities aimed not only at scholars and students, but the broader audience he himself tried to engage. It will focus on concerns that came to the fore within the European and transatlantic cultures of the nineteenth century, but also respond to the demands and the challenges of the present time. Among its themes will be the legacy of classical cultures, the traditions of modern literatures, the history of art and architecture, theories of restoration and heritage conservation, representation as a tool for interpretating experience, active and confrontational participation in social life, environmental, economic and social issues with special reference to the role of cultural institutions in urban life including that of Venice and other cities. 

Study of clouds in Turner's "Campo Santo, Venice", drawing, watercolour and bodycolour on pale grey wove paper. Presumably presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin Drawing School (University of Oxford); first recorded in the Ruskin Drawing School in 1906. © University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum.
John Ruskin, "Study of a Kingfisher", drawing, watercolour and bodycolour over graphite on wove paper. Presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin Drawing School (University of Oxford), 1875. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Objectives

Challenging Ruskin

Ruskin contested many of the ideas and practices of his time and continues to challenge our own, often promoting equally polemical responses. The Centre will organize reading sessions, conferences, seminars and workshops on Ruskin’s works, including those which are lesser known, but in so doing it will inevitably address controversial questions concerning art and nature, the environment, conservation, religion, society and the economy. Scholars, artists, architects, literary and art critics, as well as activists in the social and environmental fields, will be involved in comparative study of the various approaches taken by his interlocutors past and present.

Editing Ruskin

Research outcomes will be presented in seminars and meetings promoted by the FoRS Centre, which will also publish new critical editions and translations of works by Ruskin.

Ruskin Communities

The Centre falls within the scope of Ca’ Foscari University’s Third Mission and Internationalization in that it addresses both the academic community and the broader public, actively involving international partners and cultural institutions of the city of Venice, the Veneto region and beyond.

 

Study of a capital, drawing, watercolour and bodycolour on blue paper. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Events

file pdf15/12/2022 - "FoRS. A Centre for Ruskin Studies in Venice"
Center presentation event
670 K
file pdf22/11/2022 - "Between here and there"
Meeting with Kate Genever in conversation with Emma Sdegno and Myriam Pilutti Namer on Art, Ruskin and Venice
550 K

Team

Advisory Board

Emma Sdegno
Director 

Simone Francescato

Pierre-Henry Frangne [FRA]

Martina Frank

Emanuele Morezzi

Myriam Pilutti Namer

Stefania Sbarra

Members

  • Michela Agazzi
  • Dinah Birch
  • Ross Burgess
  • Peter Burman
  • Jeanne Clegg
  • Monica Banzato
  • Rachel Dickinson
  • Gregory Dowling
  • Stuart Eagles
  • Irene Favaretto
  • Emily Eels
  • Kate Genever
  • André Hélard
  • Oliver Herford
  • Howard Hull
  • Stephen Kite
  • Geraldine Ludbrook
  • Franco Marucci
  • Gabriel Meyer
  • Francis O'Gorman
  • Letizia Palazzetti
  • Andrea Paribeni
  • Silvia Pedone
  • Sarah Quill
  • Renzo Ravagnan
  • Claude Reichler
  • Michela Vanon Alliata
  • Enrica Villari
  • Jean-Yves Tizot
  • Paul Tucker
  • Marcus Waithe
  • Stephen Wildman
  • Clive Wilmer
  • Rosella Mamoli Zorzi

Partners

Guild of St George
The Guild of St. George
SR
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Fondazione Mazzotti
Fondazione Mazzotti per la civiltà veneta
Istituto Veneto per i Beni Culturali
Istituto Veneto per i Beni Culturali
The Ruskin Society
The Ruskin Society
Ruskin Art Club
Ruskin Art Club
Politecnico di Torino - Dipartimento di Architettura e Design
Politecnico di Torino - Dipartimento di Architettura e Design