Dr Shanti Graheli
- Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow Comparative Literature and Translation (School of Modern Languages & Cultures)
My academic work is a combination of literary and historical studies, with a focus on the materiality of Renaissance books and texts. I have published various studies exploring different aspects of print culture, from the production, to the dissemination and reception of texts in early modern Europe, especially across the borders between Italy and France. I am particularly interested in early publishing firms that managed to establish a strong connection with their anonymous public, such as the Manuzio and the Giolito ateliers in Renaissance Venice.
As Lord Kelvin Adam Smith fellow in Comparative Literature and Translation, I am undertaking a project entitled "A European Bestseller: The Orlando Furioso and Its Readers", which investigates how the mutual influence between publishers and readers shaped the marketplace of print and, in this particular case, the popularity of a specific text. Thanks to the printing press and its formidable networks, Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso achieved a remarkable popularity short after its first redaction (1516). Readers’ appetite for the intricate story led to the publication of many complete editions, abridgements, translations, and spin-offs of the original text. My project aims to evaluate the relationship between production, distribution, and consumption of the Furioso in early modern Europe, in order to assess how the text was used and perceived by its contemporaries. This printed corpus offers exceptional insights into the emerging relationship between publishers and readers in the Renaissance, fostered by marketing strategies such as serialisation, branding, and re-adaptation. The same dynamics still apply to today’s readership, and are key to understanding how readers relate to fiction, of all types and of all times.
While I pursue this project, I am currently completing my first monograph, Italian Books and the French Renaissance. This study will offer a substantial new contribution to understand the fortune and dissemination of Italian culture in early modern Europe, by taking into account issues of cultural and linguistic integration, translation practices and readership, and proto-national identity.
2019-2020 Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant, for the project “Importing Knowledge: Italian Books in Scottish University Libraries”.
2019 Willison Trust Charitable Foundation Trust, for the project “Making a Renaissance bestseller: The Orlando furioso and the marketplace of print”.
2018 Society for Renaissance Studies Major Grant for the conference “Bestsellers in the Pre-Industrial Age” (Glasgow, 23-24 May 2019).
2018 Past & Present grant for the conference “Bestsellers in the Pre-Industrial Age” (Glasgow, 23-24 May 2019).
2018-2019 Holland Visiting Fellowship, Durham University Libraries, for the project “From Venice to Durham: 500 Years, 500 Books”.
2017-2018 Short-term visiting fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, for the project "A European Bestseller: The Orlando Furioso and Its Readers".
2016-2017 Major Grant from the Bibliographical Society, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association Award, for the project “French Libraries in the Long Renaissance”.
2016-2017 Residential postdoctoral fellowship “Andreazza” awarded by the Cini Foundation in Venice, for the project “L’antiquariato italiano nei secoli XX-XXI e la rarità del libro antico” (Italian antiquarian booksellers in the 20th and 21st century and the rarity of the book).
Any aspects of Renaissance literature and culture, with a particular focus on issues related to print culture, knowledge exchange, the transmission and reception of texts.
I contribute to the following modules:
- Comparative Literature 1A - Heroes;
- Intercultural Readings.
Office hours: by email appointment.
Recent invited talks and lectures
30 November 2017 A Renaissance Bestseller: The Orlando furioso and the Marketplace of Print, Reformation Institute Lecture, St Andrews.
27 June 2017 Knowledge, Print, and Power: The Rise and Fall of the Accademia Veneziana, invited talk, University of Warwick.
6 December 2016 Dove i libri sono tutti monadi. Benvenuti a The World’s Rarest Books, Guest lecture for students of Material Bibliography at the University of Udine.
5 December 2016 Il mondo del libro antico in un guscio di noce: introduzione all’USTC, Guest lecture for students of Catalogue Techniques at the University of Udine.
21 April 2016 Il friulano Giulio Camillo. Dal computer rinascimentale alla tipografia, Public lecture. Udine, Biblioteca Civica Vincenzo Joppi.
19 April 2016 Big Data e piccoli progetti. Dove va la storia del libro?, Guest lecture for students of Catalogue Techniques at the University of Udine.
16 October 2015 Lo Universal Short Title Catalogue e la bibliografia nell’era digitale, Guest lecture for students of Material Bibliography at the University of Udine.
15 October 2015 Aldo Manuzio, i suoi lettori e il mercato internazionale del libro, Lecture for the general public. Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.
6 February 2015 The Accademia Veneziana: Strategies and Failures of a Renaissance Publishing Venture, International Conference: The Afterlife of Aldus, Warburg Institute.
Participant to EDPOP: The European Dimensions of Popular Print Culture (https://edpop.wp.hum.uu.nl/).
Associate of the USTC - The Universal Short Title Catalogue, directed by Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews (http://ustc.ac.uk/).
Participant to EDITEF - L’édition italienne dans l’espace francophone à la première modernité, directed by Chiara Lastraioli, Université F. Rabelais, Tours (http://www.editef.univ-tours.fr/).
Participant to the Daniele Barbaro (1514-70): In and Beyond the Text project, directed by Laura Moretti, University of St Andrews (https://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/danielebarbaro/); co-ordinator of the census of early modern editions and copies.
The Bibliographical Society (http://www.bibsoc.org.uk/ )
Society for Italian Studies (http://italianstudies.org.uk/ )
Renaissance Society of America (https://www.rsa.org/ )