Renaissance Women Writers in Italy and Germany – CCeH researcher Tiziana Mancinelli funded by NetEx program

A Digital Scholarly Edition of Renaissance Women Writers in Italy and Germany

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Tiziana Mancinelli (CCeH) and Dr. Anna Cappellotto (University of Verona) have been awarded a research grant within the programme Network & Exchange – NetEx, a measure of the Female Professors Programme II at the University of Cologne.

The funded project aims at exploring the role, in/visibility, and position of women writers in Italian and German Literature during the Renaissance from a cross-cultural perspective, in both print and digital scholarly editions. We propose an inclusive, case study based approach, which asks questions from a gender perspective about the process of the realisation of digital archives and Digital Humanities Scholarships. By investigating a corpus of works written by women about their status and roles and by engaging in a literary and philological analysis, we will look at the hierarchical structure of hegemonic power in the field of social discursive practices.

In order to examine the various aspects and features of a cross-cultural and gender gaze throughout the Renaissance, the project will collect, systematize and explore the contribution of women writers in Germany and Italy. We will consider the works of Italian women such as Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547), Veronica Gambara (1485-1550) Gaspara Stampa (1524-1554), and Veronica Franco (1546-1591), who, as courtesans and gentildonne, made an original contribution to the Italian Renaissance, from poetry to the epistolary genre.

While in Italy courtesans had a prominent role in literary production, in Germany Caritas Pirckheimer (1467-1532) represented the typology of virgo docta. The abbess had a lengthy correspondence with contemporary leading humanists; in addition, she wrote a chronicle of events which took place at her monastery, which conveys an extremely vivid image of the history of the Reformation. Moreover, the public and private correspondence written by Margaret of Austria (1480-1530) will be included in the project to explore the writing of a well-educated noblewoman and patron.

In conclusion, with the expertise and support of the CCeH and IDE, this project will deal with both technical (infrastructures, annotation, workflow) and theoretical issues in order to challenge the dominant paradigm, through the metadata curation and the categories used for it. It will also question how categories could contribute to the construction of socio-cultural identities and the literary canon.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further information! Anyone interested in the subject is encouraged to send enquiries, contributions and suggestions to:

Dr. Tiziana Mancinelli (University of Cologne) email:

Dr. Anna Cappellotto (University of Verona) email: anna.cappellotto

(Image: Vittoria Colonna, Ritratto di Michelangelo, c. 1550, British Museum, London; from Wikimedia Commons)