(current convenors: Margherita Losacco and Gianmarco De Angelis)

In the framework of the Mobility and Humanities project, books (manuscripts and printed), texts, documents and the relative writers’ supports (rolls, codices, epigraphs) hold an ambiguous status. On the one hand, they are objects exposed to all the concrete events of production, sale, loan, circulation, damage, conservation and loss. On the other hand, they are intangible objects. They convey texts and, therefore, ideas. The transmission of a book constitutes the circulation of words, texts, notions, names, ideas. This is a factor driving aggregation and identity, but also disaggregation and dissent. In such dual nature of material and immaterial objects, books and texts are always connected to people, who transcribe, translate, collate, annotate and comment upon texts. People also search/look for, buy, sell, give/lend and borrow, collect and bind books and manuscripts. Books travel with people, in a wide spatial and chronological dimension; they are gathered in public and private libraries that change locations, order, goals and destinations. As properly intended, in mobility—of places and contexts of use, of conservation spaces, of material supports, of writing/handwriting/spelling, of languages, of forms and functions—lies the distinctive feature of written communication tools.

This research group works on the spatial, chronological and conceptual mobility of books and texts, intertwining different disciplines (philology, palaeography, codicology, medieval diplomatics, history of religions, philosophy) and following multiple thematic perspectives, within which tradition (in its broadest sense) and identity assume a decisive significance. In the first year, the programme will focus on two main themes

1. Mobility of texts

The programme will provide seminars and workshops on texts as a factor of tradition and transformation (handwritten traditions, translations, interpretations), in particular on: Aristotelian tradition; medical tradition; school books and literature; Bible and biblical translation and related exegesis in the Greek, Latin, Syriac and Arabic cultural contexts; tradition of Lombard/Longobard documents and early medieval documentary koiné (transformations, updating, forms contamination between North and South of the Alps).

2. Mobility of books

The programme will include seminars and workshops on books as “mobile” containers/boxes of texts (Greek, Latin, Arabic and Venetian manuscripts in Europe), and books programmatically conceived as vectors for long distances or, in any case, variously assembled and widely circulating information, even within narrower contexts, with function of identity aggregation (Franciscan miscellanies, commemorative texts, monastic fraternities lists).