Founded in 1986 by Professor Enea Balmas, the Gruppo di Studio sul Cinquecento Francese aims to develop and promote research on 16th-century France from a European point of view, with a special focus on French-Italian relationships.
Members of the Gruppo (and anyone interested in its activities) study the main movements of literary history, the history of ideas and the political and religious history of the Renaissance, as well as the most representative figures of a time that still hasn’t exhausted its dynamism from an ideological standpoint. Research also deals with forgotten or little-known literary figures and with secondary or secret motives that still need critical investigation. As a result, focus on literary movements and genres (such as poetry, fiction and drama) does not exclude a deep interest in other phenomena involving and influencing the polis.
Cooperation with national and international associations and research centers in the field of Renaissance studies has always been a distinctive feature of the activities of the Gruppo di Studio, which has been a member of the FISIER since 1991. Past or present collaborations include the Società Filosofica Italiana (Lombard section), the Fondazione Luigi Firpo, the Centro Studi sul Teatro Medievale e Rinascimentale, the Società di Studi Valdesi, the Musée de la Maison d’Erasme, the CESR (Tours), the Association Réforme Humanisme et Renaissance.
Starting from the very first event organised by the Gruppo, i.e. the international conference on Ronsard e l’Italia. Ronsard in Italia (Gargnano, Villa Feltrinelli, 16-18 October 1986), several volumes published between 1988 and 2016 contain the proceedings of the conferences held in the following years: Montaigne e l’Italia (1988); Dalla tragedia rinascimentale alla tragicommedia barocca (1991); Ferrara e la Francia (1992); Il romanzo nella Francia del Rinascimento (1993); Scritture dell’impegno (1997); La Commedia dell’arte tra Cinque e Seicento (1995); Riflessioni teoriche e trattati di poetica (1997); Il principe e il potere (2000), Macrocosmo-Microcosmo (2002) ; Les montagnes de l’esprit, imaginaire et histoire de la montagne à la Renaissance (2004); “Il segretario è come un angelo”: trattati, raccolte, epistolari, vite paradigmatiche, ovvero come essere un buon segretario nel Rinascimento (2008); Giordano Bruno e la Francia (2009); L’auteur à la Renaissance (2009); Le Donne della Bibbia, la Bibbia delle donne (2012); Le salut par les eaux et par les herbes. Medicina e letteratura tra Italia e Francia nel Cinquecento e nel Seicento (2012); Les muses secrètes. Kabbale, alchimie et littérature à la Renaissance (2013); Les Muses sacrées. Poésie et Théâtre de la Réforme entre France et Italie (2016).
Publications of the Gruppo di Studio also include two bibliographical volumes on the copies of the original editions of Ronsard’s works in Italian libraries and another one (in preparation) on the publisher Vittorio Baldini from Ferrara.
The Gruppo di Studio regularly issues the periodical Universo Mondo (available online, http://www.cinquecentofrancese.it/index.php/l-universo-mondo, 45 issues have been published so far) which contains information on the activities and projects of the Gruppo as well as essays, book reviews, bibliographical reviews of the most recent publications on the 16th century and a schedule of ongoing conferences and events.
Moreover, two online book series were launched in 2016 for the publication of monographs and conference proceedings: Sidera (http://www.cinquecentofrancese.it/index.php/sidera), specifically devoted to the publication of studies on the French Renaissance; Feuillages (http://www.cinquecentofrancese.it/index.php/feuillages), open to a wider array of literary topics, with a special focus on Francophonie.
The Gruppo di Studio sul Cinquecento Francese promotes its events and publications through its website (www.cinquecentofrancese.it), the social media (Facebook and Twitter) and newsletters.
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