We are delighted that our new PhD student, Florence Forte has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentship. This will fully fund a year abroad in Florence for the first year of her PhD which she is starting with us in September 2022. We are particularly pleased for Florence, as she will be graduating from our MA in Cultural, Intellectual and Visual History this autumn.

We caught up with Florence to find out more about how the studentship will help with her research and what she's looking forward to most: 

Why did you apply for this studentship?

I’m starting my PhD at the Warburg in October on the “The Genesis Question” and specifically, Isotta Nogarola’s Dialogue on the Equal or Unequal Sin of Eve and Adam (c. 1451). I applied for this studentship in order to spend a year in Florence carrying out archival research that will strengthen the foundation of my research and hopefully, become the first chapter of my thesis.

How will it help your research?

For this studentship, I will be based at the Medici Archive Project (MAP) for 12 months. This will provide a supportive base to visit and analyse extant versions of Nogarola’s text in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale and elsewhere in Italy. I will also benefit from the chance to hone my language and palaeography skills and work alongside researchers who are dealing daily with original documents from the same period. By the end of the year, I will have clarified key information about Nogarola’s text that has remained ambiguous in scholarship, by looking at both new and old material.

How did the Warburg help you with your application?

The Warburg module “Methods & Techniques of Scholarship” was excellent preparation for applications of this kind. We learnt how to write abstracts, engage critically with scholarship in an open-minded way, and had plenty of opportunities to share and receive feedback on our research ideas. I am also grateful for the ongoing advice of my supervisors, Alessandro Scafi and Sara Miglietti, who were referees for this application, as well as Alessio Assonitis at MAP.

What are you most looking forward to?

I can’t wait to see some manuscripts up-close! I’m also looking forward to learning how to digitalise archival material, with a view to widening access to the work of Isotta Nogarola (and other quattrocento women) in its existing forms. It will also be a pleasure to live in Florence again. I moved there for the first time in 2015 and it sparked my curiosity about the classical tradition, which eventually led me to the Warburg Institute. So, it will be a homecoming and a new adventure at the same time.

Find out more about our postgraduate programmes