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Language studies and Literatures

The Department of Humanistic Studies includes Classical, Romance and German Philology, Linguistics, Classical and Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Philologists and historians of literature produce critical monographs as well as annotated critical editions and translations.

Scholars of ancient Greek literature devote their research to: archaic epic poetry; Homer and his hymns; Archaic lyrical poetry, with particular reference to Archilocus, Sappho, Alcaeus; classical Greek tragedy and comedy; Hellenistic poetry, with particular reference to Theocritus; imperial prose and Lucian; history of the classical tradition; the libraries of antiquity; myths - Orpheus, the Amazons, Eracles – and their metamorphoses and functions in literature.

Scholars of ancient Latin literature tackle linguistic, textual and formal aspects in the centuries spanning from the archaic period to late antiquity and explore the reception of classical topoi in the Latin works by Giovanni Pascoli.

Romance philologists investigate Occitan Literature and the transition from Latin to Romance languages in a wide range of literary genres.

German philologists explore technical-scientific literature (Fachliteratur) between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern age.

Scholars of Italian literature investigate corpora from antiquity to the Middle Ages, with specific reference to Dante and Petrarch, to the early modern age and literary masterpieces produced at the Court of the Este Family in Ferrara.

Scholars of German literature have devoted their attention to a new translation and critical edition of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s complete work in a transmedial and intercultural perspective as well as to German cinema from the perspective of Cultural Studies.

Scholars of French literature investigate representations of the marvellous in literature and in travelogues dating between the 18th and 21st centuries.

Scholars of British and Anglo-American literature work on Shakespeare’s drama; Interarts Studies; utopia as a literary genre and utopianism; Literature and Science with a focus on literary representations of scientific theories; Anglo-American and African-American literature between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Scholars of Spanish literature work on literary texts from the Siglo de Oro as well from the 19th and 20th centuries, with specific reference to San Juan de la Cruz, Luis de Góngora and Miguel de Unamuno. Scholars of linguistics focus on phonology and morphosyntax, glottology and theories of linguistic acts, phonetics and German phonetics.


Every year since 2013 a cycle of Department Lectures involving members of the department and guest speakers has been delivered to a wider audience including members of other departments. The aim is to foster interdisciplinary synergies and share the multiplicity and richness of research activities in the humanities.