News | 7 May 2013

Digital Princess


deanna shemek We’re pleased to announce that Deanna Shemek, Professor of Literature, has been awarded a Residential Research Group during the spring quarter for her Digital Princess research project. Digital Isabella d’Este aims to create an open-access, online resource for study of the voluminous correspondence of Renaissance Italy’s most consummate female social networker, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), marchesa of Mantua.

A collaboration between the Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the State Archives of Mantua, Italy (ASMn), Digital Isabella will provide a significant research and teaching tool for a comprehensive array of Renaissance studies: art history, literature, music, theater, and politics, but also of the histories of women, families, fashion, health, diet, justice, and of course, communication itself.

The first phase of the project, the digitization of nearly 16,000 extant letters to and from d’Este, is now underway with support of a grant from the Italian Ministry of Culture.

The Digital Princess RRG will enable Deanna Shemek and her two co-PIs, both leading international scholars and key contributors to the project, along with a small group of international scholars, to begin collaborating on next phase of the project: the creation of a digital visualization of her social network and the construction a virtual studiolo based on that of Isabella d’Este.

The Digital Princess RRG breaks from the traditional quarter-in-residence structure: only PI Deanna Shemek will be in residence the entire quarter, while her co-PIs will each spend 5-6 weeks at UCHRI, with one week overlapping. During that overlap period, the remainder of the group will travel to UCHRI for a week of intensive engagement with the project and each other.

Sarah Cockram, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Edinburgh
Roberta Piccinelli, Research Fellow, Medici Archive Project

Stephen Campbell, Professor of Art HIstory, Johns Hopkins University
Daniela Ferrari, Director, Archivio di Stato, Mantua
Carolyn James, Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies, Monash University, Melbourne Australia
Anne MacNeil, Associate Professor of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill
Amyrose McCue Gill, Independent Scholar
Evelyn Welch, Professor of Renaissance Studies, Queen Mary, University of London