Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker comes to Cambridge

09 May 2017

Hailed as “one of the most important artists in any medium”, the award-winning and Oscar-nominated Italian documentary filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi is coming to Cambridge this month as filmmaker-in-residence at Cambridge University’s Centre for Film and Screen.

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Arms and the man: how a culture of warfare shapes masculinity

31 Mar 2016

The trappings of violence were embedded into the culture of 16th century Europe. Victoria Bartels, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of History, has conducted research in a Florentine archive to show how, even at a time when the bearing of arms was prohibited, men negotiated ways to sport their daggers and swords in public.

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Fancy pants: skirmishes with the fashion police in 16th-century Italy

16 Sep 2014

With the autumn 2014 fashion shows in full swing, all eyes are on the top designers. In 16th-century Italy, the latest looks didn't always go down well with the authorities. Historian Giulia Galastro is researching the sumptuary laws regulating the level of opulence that could be paraded in public – and how the dandies of the day neatly side-stepped the rules.  

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Oil painting of Varallo, Italy, by Samuel Butler, 1885

Bella Italia: an Englishman’s adventures abroad

11 Jan 2013

A Butler Day at St John’s College tomorrow (12 January) celebrates the many trips to Italy undertaken by the polymath Samuel Butler, author of Erewhon. The event comprises an exhibition and talks which are open to the public and free of charge.

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Jewish ghetto area in Rome

Memory remains

09 Nov 2012

As the birthplace of Fascism – and both ally and victim of Nazi Germany – Italy presents a particularly complex case study of how countries came to terms with the catastrophic events of the Holocaust after the war. Robert Gordon’s new book charts the cultural fault lines that emerged as it slowly learned to acknowledge its part in the tragedy.

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A Sorbet Seller in Naples by Pinelli, c1819

Cool stuff

25 Jul 2012

Sunshine equals ice cream. Food historians have long portrayed ice cream as a luxury product confined to the elite until freezing technology brought it to the masses. Now research by Cambridge University historian Dr Melissa Calaresu suggests that in Italy iced products were enjoyed by rich and poor alike as long as 300 years ago.

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