Marie Curie Fellows - 2023 Call

Irene Amato

SynFuMIR - Syntactic functionality of motion verbs in Italo-Romance

The project SynFuMIR investigates the syntactic functionality of motion verbs in regional Italian. Functionality is a crucial property of language because it allows to build complex structures from lexical units. The functional behavior of motion verbs and the role of “location” in grammar will be analyzed with new data from multilingual speakers of Southern Italy. New reflections on this topic will arise from focusing on language contact between extremely closely related languages (Italian, regional Italian, dialect), which present slightly different but comparable constructions. This study enhances our understanding of functionality as a key element of the faculty of language. It also contributes to language documentation and the investigation of language contact. Irene Amato will carry out her research at the Department of Humanities of Ca’ Foscari with Prof. Anna Cardinaletti.

Demyan Belyaev

LOTRAC - Local-Level Use of Transparency Against Corruption and International Institutions

LOTRAC will analyse what impact the internationalisation of public policies generates locally for the effective use of transparency as an anti-corruption tool. It focuses on three sector-specific cases examining the effectiveness of transparency-based anti-corruption policies at the local level and the influence of international institutions on it in an "old" and a "new" EU member as well as in an EU candidate country. Demyan Belyaev will carry out his research at the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies of Ca’ Foscari with Prof. Stéphanie Novak.

Martina Biondi

HICAMA - HIstory of CAre in the MAghreb. Infectious diseases, healthcare infrastructures and international aid (1956-1999)

HICAMA explores the consolidation of healthcare in the Maghreb region by examining the historical interactions among national sanitary institutions, civic experiences of health outreach, and international institutions involved in global health preservation. Drawing on a variety of sources, the project conceptualizes the fight against infectious diseases as a first and yet enduring test for healthcare systems’ viability in the region. HICAMA adopts a multilayered perspective to assess local, national, and international implications of the phenomenon, considering Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian sanitary endeavors, the role of international donors, and taking into account the local and gendered practices of care implemented by associations active for decades to promote outreach programs against infectious diseases. Martina Biondi will carry out her research at the Department of History of the University of Maryland under the supervision of prof. Peter Wien, while the returning period will take place at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice with prof. Matteo Legrenzi. 

Chiara Cigarini

IDRA - Imagining Different Aquatic Realities: Interrelation of Fiction and Policy in Shaping a Sustainable Future

IDRA’s goal is to investigate “aquatic imaginations” in relation to the Chinese scenario. This term alludes to both governmental policies marked by a promissory tone aimed at building the best of all possible worlds, and the fictional representation of these policies’ aftermath, whether direct or figurative, which end up expressing environmental preoccupations. IDRA will explore the interplay between literary studies and policy studies in water-related Sinophone literature. By collecting a large corpus of representative water-related fictional works and analyzing them through an ecocritical lens, this project has a twofold aim. Firstly, literature is explored here as a useful cultural artefact that can complement policies in pointing at their limitations, or in expressing the preoccupations related to the absence of effective ones vis-à-vis climate change in the era of the Anthropocene. Secondly IDRA tries to showcase how literary studies can inform policy studies related to the climate crisis (with a special focus on water) and foster public understanding. The project will be carried out at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of Ca' Foscari University, under the supervision of Prof. Pesaro, and at Wellesley College (US).

Daniele Durante

Female Cross-Dressing in Early Modern and Modern Japan, 1750's-1940's

The project is conceived as a gender historiographic study of the urban culture of female cross-dressing which existed in Japan between the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. The focus will be put on the investigation of the urban culture of female cross-dressing, on the one hand, as well as on the examination of the control strategies Japanese governments and police promoted to forbid the custom. The starting hypothesis is that cross-dressing was a symbolic practice that allowed women not to perform the female gender, which tied women to socially and economically disadvantageous socio-cultural roles connected with the care of family members and the household, and to perform the male gender, assuming the socio-cultural roles and the more advantageous socio-economic prerogatives the contemporaneous culture reserved to men. The starting hypothesis is also that the control strategies Japanese governments and police aimed at prompting cross-dressing women to perform the female gender, i.e. to resume the socially and economically disadvantageous roles connected with the care of family members and the household the contemporaneous culture reserved to women. Durante will spend the first two years of the project at the Faculty of Social Studies of Dōshisha University of Kyōto, Japan, and the third year at the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies of the Ca' Foscari University, under the supervision of Prof. Rosa Caroli.

Tommaso Giordani

ECOCIT - Economic governance, democracy, and the state in early welfare state France (1880-1914). Networks, ideas, and European interwar legacies

The project examines previously undetected interactions between discourses of economic governance in late 19th century republican France: solidarisme, social Catholicism, and revolutionary syndicalism. These intersecting discourses all sought to address the growing gap between liberal principles of political and economic organisation and the realities of increasingly enfranchised and industrialized societies. It examines visions of economic citizenship emerging from these discourses and seeks to understand the ways in which they departed from the core principles of 19th century liberalism. Were notions of economic citizenship seen as complementary to liberal political citizenship or as alternative to it? Were they seen as the natural outcome of a process of social self-organisation or as requiring a top-down, statist, re-organisation of society? Combining intellectual with social and institutional history, the project explores the ways in which belle époque discourses of economic governance intersected wider debates about democracy and citizenship, pointing in this way to an important, and generally unacknowledged, pre-WWI origin of the crisis of liberal democracy that marked the interwar period. The project will be developed in the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies under the supervision of Professor Laura Cerasi.

Dunja Jelenkovic

FESTWAR FM – Film Festivals and War: A Fe-Male Perspective (1939–present)

FESTWAR FM will offer the first sustainable analysis of film festivals (FF) and war from a gender perspective. Despite numerous examples of women’s involvement in wartime FFs, no global study has yet analysed their roles in FFs in the context of ongoing wars, nor theorised what we might learn from it. The project will break new ground by investigating film festivals’ evolution as places of memory in conflict situations with a specific focus on women’s position within this process. This will be done through three case studies connected to three armed conflicts that have occurred in Europe since the creation of the world’s first film festival in Venice in 1932: WWII (1939–1945), Yugoslavia (1991–1999), and Ukraine (2014–present). Resulting in a series of publications, an online digital archive and a podcast giving voices to women involved in film festivals during the wars in Yugoslavia and Ukraine, FESTWAR FM will introduce a gendered innovation in the field of war-related festival studies, and enable digitisation and digital distribution of knowledge, data and sources. The project will be conducted at the Concordia University in Montreal and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice under the supervision of Prof. Dalla Gassa.

Julie Lefort

LACONC - Language contact and heterogeneity in the Hybrid Chinese dialects in North-West China

This project focusses on highly endangered hybrid Chinese dialects spoken in the Gansu-Qinghai aera, namely Wutun, Zhoutun, Gangou, Xining, Linxia and Tangwang, which are reputed to have been highly “Altaicised”. The main objective is to determine their position within the North-Western branch by identifying the different strata of Altaic influence found on the morphonological level. It aims at demonstrating the high degree of heterogeneity of certain specific features that are reputed to have been induced by contact with local Mongolic and Turkic languages spoken in this region and their relationship with those of dialects that have not been in direct contact with Altaic languages in recent time, including those spoken along the Yellow river spread between the Shanxi and Shaanxi regions. The starting hypothesis is that a certain continuity between the dialects of these 2 regions exists, while secondary influence of Mongolic languages has further developed the changes in the Gansu-Qinghai dialects. Julie Lefort will conduct the project for two years at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of the Ca’Foscari University, under the supervision of Prof. Giorgio Francesco Arcodia.

Laura Paz Rescala

THIS - Theater in Imperial Spain: studying a commercial activity during the first globalization from the perspective of labor and economic history

The overall objective of this project is to study the Hispanic theater professionalization process during the second half of the 16 th century and the early decades of the 17 th century from the perspective of labor and economic history. Furthermore, this process will be examined within the context of the first globalization, that is considering both Spain and its overseas colonies, as well as the interconnections between them. This is imperative because Golden Age professional theater has been and continues to be subject of many studies, especially philological, but we have yet to fully grasp the underlying functioning of this new profession that emerged in the mid-sixteenth century, which, as proposed in this project, will be achieved to the extent that we begin to understand its economic and labor dynamics. Laura Paz will conduct the initial two years of this project at the School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University, working with Prof. Kris Lane. The third year will be spent at the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies of the Ca’Foscari University, under the supervision of Prof. Valle Ojeda. The project will also be carried out in collaboration with the theatrical research group CATCOM/DICAT: ASODAT of the University of Valencia.

Artemis Papatheodorou

MMARe - Modern Mediterranean Archaeological Regimes in a Global Context

MMARe investigates the archaeological legislation in the Mediterranean from 1789 to 1945, per country and comparatively. It also traces the influence of Mediterranean archaeological legislation at the international level, through the League of Nations. MMARe aims to support with new information, tools, and analysis the debate on decolonizing the museum, the efforts to conduct provenance research, and the discussion on the restitution of antiquities. Dr. Papatheodorou will spend the first two years of her research at Columbia University under the supervision of Dr. Konstantina Zanou, with a secondment at Brown University under the supervision of Prof. Yannis Hamilakis, and the third year at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage of the Ca’ Foscari University, under the supervision of Prof. Matteo Legrenzi.

Altea Pericoli

ISLAMICAID – Aid for Islamic Donors in conflict zones

ISLAMICAID aims to provide a broader understanding of humanitarian aid in conflict zones as implemented by Islamic actors and the Gulf States to improve the dialogue between Western and Arab donors, also contributing to the DG ECHO Humanitarian Logistics Policy. The research will focus on the use of Islamic social welfare instruments in protracted crises and the aid interventions of three Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar in specific conflict zones: Yemen, Sudan, and Syria from 2015 to 2022. How do Islamic social welfare (ISW) instruments contribute to improving social protection and economic empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected areas? How can we define the strategies of foreign aid implemented by the Gulf States in protracted crises and volatile contexts? How are Gulf charities operating in the field, interacting with formal and informal authorities, Islamic organisations, and local actors? The research will address these questions mixing an anthropological approach with the international relations theories. The Action will last three years and will be conducted between the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, under the supervision of Prof. Bernard Haykel, and the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Ca’ Foscari, with Prof. Matteo Legrenzi.

Valeria Russo

MEDLUNI – Vernacular Literature and Medieval Universities. The Birth of a New Transnational Literary Identity (France and Italy, 1220-1399)

MEDLUNI investigates how – between 1220 and 1399 – the newly born universities shaped vernacular literature in Western Europe, representing a cradle for transnational literary cultures. The research will focus on this osmotic process, occurred in 180 years, starting with the birth and growth of universities and ending when the medieval academic model and scholasticism collapsed. The actors involved in this literary transformation are French and Italian personalities being – at the same time – deeply linked to universities, as magistri or scholares, and authors of literary texts in vernacular languages. Thus, the research aims at: identifying which authors and texts prove the emergence of a new local literary identity linked to the birth of universities; recognising which literary features were imported from university texts and disciplines; determining how texts, manuscripts, and actors circulated across Italy and France, shaping new literary networks among universities and municipalities. Valeria Russo will carry out this research between the University of Fribourg and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, under the supervision of Marion Uhlig and Cristiano Lorenzi.

Giacomo Savani

Women and the Baths: Ancient Medicine, Pleasure, and The Female Body in Renaissance Italy

Despite the growing interest in women’s agency during the European Renaissance, research has disproportionately focused on their roles as patrons, purchasers, and creators of art. Women’s contribution to one of the most widespread medical practices of the time, bathing, has been neglected; and despite the importance of bathing during this period, women play only a marginal role in social histories of spas. This project aims to reassess women’s experience of baths in Renaissance Italy, highlighting their roles as consumers and patrons of balneological treatises and as spa-users. It will explore how women influenced physicians, prompting them to extract gender-specific medical knowledge from ancient texts. Through this investigation, I will address broader questions concerning the nature and extent of physician-patient networks in Renaissance Italy and women’s agency in disseminating medical knowledge. Giacomo Savani will carry out his project at the Department of Humanities of Ca’ Foscari supervised by Prof. David Gentilcore.

Jacopo Scarin

REACCH - REligion And Conversion in CHina

This research project employs an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the phenomenon of transformative processes that impact individual cosmologies ("conversions") within the context of late imperial China. The fields of Sociology of Religion, Psychology of Religion, and Religious Studies will provide the theoretical underpinning for the research, which adopts a historical and comparative methodology. The stage focusing on the study of the primary sources aims to discern how such processes were articulated, debated, and conceptualised during the Ming and Qing dynasties, primarily concerning Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism.  The primary objectives of this inquiry are twofold. Firstly, from a sinological perspective, it seeks to develop the theme of conversion within late imperial society, identifying phenomena attributable to this concept in a socio-cultural context where religiosity was structured on principles divergent from those of the Abrahamic faiths. Secondly, from a theoretical standpoint, the study aims to formulate a comprehensive and transcultural theory of conversion applicable across diverse socio-cultural contexts and varying manifestations of religiosity. Jacopo Scarin will carry out his research at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of Ca’ Foscari with Prof. Francesca Tarocco and at the National University of Singapore.

Valentina Serio

GARZONI - Tommaso Garzoni’s encyclopaedia of wonders and the European debate on superstition and marvels of the late Renaissance

This interdisciplinary project aims at providing the first historical and philosophical analysis of Tommaso Garzoni work on wonders “Il serraglio degli stupori del mondo” (1613) within the context of the late Renaissance debate on marvels. The Protestant denyal of Purgatory ignited a vivid discussion on the status of ghost, sprites, and spirits, understood as diabolical manifestations. This debate progressively enlarged to other forms of preternatural phenomena, developing into an epistemology of wonders aimed at discerning true from false prodigies, actual miracles from superstition. Yet, beside the anxiety for diabolical deceits, an enthusiastic scientific interest towards marvels was taking root. Garzoni’s work addresses both these religious and scientific preoccupations. Thus, the GARZONI project, through the analysis of the Serraglio within the broader context of the European vernacular debate on marvels and superstition, will provide a new insight on the circulation of scientific knowledge among non-specialist audiences, will investigate the intermingling of learned culture and popular creeds, and analyse the scientific and epistemological impact of this discussion. Serio will spend the outgoing phase at the University of Stanford and at Warwick University, returning at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage of the Ca’ Foscari University for the third and last year of the fellowship.

Nicolas Stoll

MESMERISE - Impurities in the Microstructure of Eemian Greenlandic Ice via laser ablation

MESMERISE will build on the latest advances in the laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry 2D Imaging technique to retrieve climatic information from three Greenlandic ice cores covering the last warm period, the Eemian. The results will lead to a better understanding of the current warm period while improving our interpretation of the climate signal stored in polar ice cores. Nicolas Stoll will carry out his research at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics of Ca’ Foscari with Assist. Prof. Pascal Bohleber and at the Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth section of the University of Copenhagen with Assist. Prof. Anders Svensson.

Imran Haider Syed

TFNMPC - Transnational Fatherhood, Negotiating Masculinity and Parental Care in the Digital Communication Era

This project will investigate the relationship between transnational fatherhood, negotiation of masculinity, and parental care practices among Pakistani migrant men in Italy. It will explore how transnational fathers navigate their roles across family, work, and society and use digital communication tools to maintain family connection from distance. Guided by an intersectional perspective the project focuses on the experience of migrant men to understand interplay between migration, masculinity, emotions, and transnational fatherhood. It will also analyse how digital communication technologies have influenced fatherhood and care practices in current times. The project will be conducted at Ca’ Foscari’s Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage under the supervision of prof. Francesco della Puppa.

Pietro Terzi

SCI-PHIL – Scientific Philosophy: Rise and Fall of a European Ideal (1850s-1940s)

The project reconstructs the history of the notion and ideal of “scientific philosophy” in Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This expression indicated something very different from today’s philosophy of science, understood as a specific field of research, namely the desire to rethink on a new basis the relationship between philosophy and the sciences, reaffirming the scientific value of philosophical knowledge. Perspectives and methodologies varied according to national cultural and institutional contexts, but there was no lack of attempts to create shared platforms on a European scale. In a historical segment riven by the dialectic between national particularisms and universalist tensions, scientific philosophy was thus the last ambitious attempt to reground philosophy and the unity of knowledge – a unity now dissolved in the plurality of specialisms. The research will be conducted at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Vienna under the supervision of professors Pietro D. Omodeo, Nicolas de Warren and Martin Kusch.

Flavia Tudini

Procuradores - Crossing the Atlantic. Diocesan Agents of the Viceroyalty of Peru in Rome (XVI-XVII century)

The proposal aims at conducting a historical investigation of human mobility in local and global contexts through the case study of religious agents (the procuradores) that moved across the Atlantic from the ecclesiastic province of Lima to the Holy See to represent their communities’ political and religious interests. Atop of a growing body of secondary sources and thanks to a multinational and multi-archival investigation (Chile, Peru, Spain, Vatican, Rome), the research brings together several disciplines – history, geography, social sciences, and law studies, in dialogue with Atlantic studies and the network analysis. The project will offer a new understanding of the relationship among the Spanish Crown, the Holy See and the Viceroyalty of Peru and study the type of information the procuradores transmitted to the Holy See and how it was used to build the networks of political and religious relations with the Spanish Monarchy. The project will carried out at the Department of Humanities of Ca’ Foscari under the supervision of Prof. Pezzolo, with an outgoing phase at the Pontificia Universidad Cattolica de Chile (prof. L. Enriquez) and a secondment at the Universidad de Barcelona (prof. I. Mauro). 

Donato Verardi

SECRETS - The Academia Secretorum Naturae: Magic, secrets and instruments of Experimental Science in the Sixteenth Century Naples

The aim of SECRETS is to provide the first, complete historical-philosophical reconstruction of the Academia secretorum naturae, one of the earliest Societies in Europe, to explore in an innovative way the “secrets of nature”. The Academia secretorum naturae was founded in Naples in 1560 by Giambattista Della Porta (1535-1615), one of the leading figures of the Italian Renaissance in natural philosophy. The Academy was the crossroads of an erudite but also applied knowledge, where scientists and philosophers interacted with artisans, breaking the boundaries between high and low culture, and overcoming gender barriers. In the Academy, the encounter between the theoretical-scientific tradition of geometric optics, natural magic, and the experimental approach of an empirical Aristotelianism that valued mechanics and the practical arts led to numerous inventions, destined to change the physiognomy of applied sciences of the early modern era. A study on the experimentalism promoted in Naples by the Academia secretorum naturae, which is at the core of the project, will significantly influence our understanding of the Italian Renaissance and its contribution to the so-called Scientific Revolution/rise of experimentalism.  Donato Verardi will carry out his research at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage of Ca’ Foscari with Prof. Marco Sgarbi.

Victor Willi

DEVELOP-MENTALITIES – Islamic and Islamist Views of State, Society, and Economics in Yemen

In the framework of his Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellowship at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Victor Willi will conduct research on the history of Yemen, specifically on the emergence and ongoing relevance of the Houthi movement. Since Victor Willi’s project is one that marries local with Global History, he will also examine the role of Yemen within the broader history of the Red Sea region and how the Red See emerged as a category of geopolitical thought. His research will lead him to examine British, French, and US archives while conducting ethnographic research on Houthi exile communities in other Middle East countries. If the situation permits, the researcher will also aim to conduct ethnographic research in Yemen proper. He will be working under the supervision of Prof.  Matteo Legrenzi (Ca’ Foscari) and with the support of Prof. Marieke Brandt (Austrian Academy of Sciences).

Daniele Zannoni

IMAGICS - Isotope iMAGing of Ice CoreS

Water stable isotope analysis of the longitudinal profile of ice cores has been intensively used to infer past climate variability. The IMAGICS project aims at drastically improve the spatial resolution of stable water isotope analysis of ice cores from centimetre down to the millimetre-scale for detecting fast and abrupt climate signals imprinted in the 3D isotopic features of the ice. To achieve this objective, IMAGICS will benefit on a novel integration between two well-established techniques in the fields of stable water isotopes analysis and surface analysis: Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) and Laser Ablation (LA). IMAGICS will be initially focused on the optimization of the CRDS-LA coupling for obtaining images of the isotopic composition of ice samples and on the development of image processing tools to extrapolate isotopic features in the ice. In the last part of the project, the method will be applied to the longitudinal and the cross-sectional components of real selected ice core samples to detect millimetre-scale spatial features imprinted in the ice during different historical periods. Daniele Zannoni will carry out his research at the Department of Environmental Sciences Informatics and Statistics under the supervision of Prof. Marco Roman.

Last update: 15/05/2024