In the 35 years of its running, Italian Studies Ph.D. at "La Sapienza" University has represented an important reference point - not only in the Italian context but also abroad - for research training in fields which are relevant to the study of Italian Literature and literary cultures since the Middle Ages, both in the Italian Language and in the other languages of Italian Literature (such as Latin and Italian dialects).
This Italian Studies Ph.D. Program and the one in Venice and Pisa are the only doctoral programs currently active in the national universitysystem, with noteworthy results, particularly in the last two years, when it comes to its appeal to students who earned a degree in other universities.
The Italian Studies Ph.D. has always had as its educational mission the interconnection among different approaches to the Italian literary tradition: philological, critical, linguistic, historical. Also important is the connection to the necessary comparative correlations (with other traditions, be they literary, artistic or musical), as well as methodological and theoretical, with reference to classical and Romance literary cultures too.
The Ph.D, board has decided to strengthen the educational offer based on the positive results achieved in the past years, in the light of its new institutional policies and the results achieved with the announcement of the latest cycle, which has proved the national and international appeal of the Italian Studies Ph.D. at Sapienza University: four grants out of six have been awarded to graduate students from other universities.
Based on such targets, the Ph.D. Program has organized specific educational pathways, with cycles of lectures for Ph.D. students, as well as seminars and conferences with Italian and foreign scholars on issues related to the research of postgraduates students.
Such educational events tackled some issues endowed with a relevant methodological and theoretical impact, issues that have been renewed and raised by recent publications; such issues are part and parcel of training in research in the fields of philology, criticism, historiography within the Italian studies, also with reference to classical and Romance literary cultures, and drama and cinema history.
On such a well established track record the Ph.D. Board has tackled issues connected to the structural and functional reorganization of the Italian Studies Ph.D. program, as the third stage of university education, with a reflection on its specificity in the national context with reference to the structural dynamics of those Ph.D. programs that bear relation to the Italian studies.
The Italian Studies Ph.D. has adopted in particular a credit-oriented system, in line with the two degree levels, developing a particular postgraduate curriculum divided into three stages and credits, to be gained with the research aimed at the dissertation and the active participation in the research training courses held in each term; hence it can be easily organized according to the dispositions of the new regulations concerning the computation of credits.
In 2016 the Ph.D. Board will carefully assess the consistency of this educational path (as in the past, and taking into account the new dispositions concerning doctoral programs) and its specific didactic program, with the educational needs of the graduate students first and foremost, aiming at providing the doctoral students with opportunities to gain experience in different fields, provided that they are coherent as for methods and instruments, and the ongoing reformation of the doctoral programs.
The well-known spring seminar – proposed and organized by the students themselves - will obviously be held also in 2018, because it has been proving a great training occasion and opportunity for the exchange of educational experience, as one can see from the volumes of Ph.D.
students' research materials published in the bi-annual journal, managed by Sapienza, which has started in 1998 currently in print, aimed at publishing the contributes of doctoral and post-doctoral students. Thanks to this experimental approach, the Italian Studies Ph.D. aims to strengthen even more the delivery of its educational program, aspiring to develop high level research competences, in the various fields that make up the area of Italian studies in their increasingly intense and varied international experience.
Particularly, the goal of the PhD program in Italian Studies at La Sapienza is to promote education in:
• philological research on Italian Literary writers textual tradition, both handwritten and printed, in order to form students, who have this specific interest, to make critical editions of high quality texts, with fundamental and innovative ecdotic techniques;
• historical and critical research on the whole of Italian Literature, in order to provide students, who develop this particular interest, with the fundamental and most innovative instruments to produce high quality studies on the issues of periodization and characterization of the different phases and typologies of Italian literature, and the dynamic of its cultural models, Italian writers experiences, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of texts, their form and style, their reception and tradition;
• an awareness of contemporary critical methods and theories and the comparative framework of literary traditions and literary cultures, both in the longue durée and the present of our tradition, with researches on the diffusion of Italian literature and Italian cultural models abroad, the intellectual emigration, non-native Italian writers, and native Italian writers in other languages;
• improvement of bibliographic and digital skills with workshops and activities;
• to learn how to participate, with adequate information, to competitive tenders.