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Giovanna Ceserani: "The Grand Tour Explorer: creating a dynamic and interactive digital resource for the study of eighteenth-century travel to Italy"

The Grand Tour of Italy attracted thousands of Europeans throughout the eighteenth century. It was a formative institution of modernity, contributing to a massive reimagining of politics and the arts, of the market for culture, of ideas about leisure, and of practices of professionalism. The Grand Tour Project enriches our understanding of this phenomenon by bringing us closer to the diverse travelers, elite and otherwise, who collectively constituted its world. The project involves working with the more than five thousand entries in John Ingamells’ Dictionary of British and Irish Travelers to Italy, in order to create a dynamic searchable database and digital visualizations of these travelers’ journeys and lives. This talk will introduce the challenges we face in transforming a print reference work into a interactive digital resource, and will make the case for the unique historical scholarship that such a resource can offer scholars and the general public alike.
Giovanna Ceserani is Associate Professor of Classics at Stanford where she teaches and researches the intellectual history of Classics in the modern age. The recipient of a New Direction Mellon Fellowship (2012-15), she is the author of Italy’s Lost Greece: Magna Graecia and The Making of Modern Archaeology (OUP 2012). The Grand Tour Project—which she started within the Mapping Republic of Letters collaborative research effort in 2008--emerged from her research on eighteenth-century travel to classical lands. The use of digital technologies to address historical questions, and the transforming of these results into historiographical arguments and narratives, continues to be a most rewarding aspect of the project for her. The related article, “Mapping the Grand Tour: British travelers in eighteenth-century Italy and the design of architecture,” is forthcoming in American Historical Review this April. See more about her research and publications here.
This event is hosted by the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) as a part of its biweekly seminar series focusing on using the latest technological innovations to pursue humanistic and social scientific inquiry. 



Tuesday, January 17, 2017. 12:00 PM


Bldg. 160, Rm. 433A


Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA)




Lunch will be served.