Chiara Zampieri is a doctoral researcher at the MDRN Research Lab \ KU Leuven. She is part of the project Literary Knowledge (1890-1950): Modernisms and the Sciences in Europe. Within this frame project she is working on the doctoral project Modern Etruscans which explores the ways in which an increasingly specialized knowledge of Etruscan culture affected Italian, French and English modernist literatures. The lecture and ensuing discussion will be in English.
Modern Etruscans explores the ways in which an increasingly specialized and archaeological knowledge of Etruscan culture affected not only Italian but also other Western European literatures in the modernist period. Especially after the political unification of Italy, in 1861, a new interest in Ancient Rome and other local italic cultures spread on the Italian peninsula, leading, among others, to new systematic archeological excavations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The discovery of several Tuscan necropolises brought back to light a considerable number of Etruscan ruins and art works. This not only encouraged the development of the newly professionalized archeological branch of Etruscology; the mysterious Etruscans, and the limited knowledge about them, also sparked the imagination of European writers of the widest variety working in various genres and registers. Modern Etruscans investigates how Western European literatures selected, mediated, remodeled and propagated archeological knowledge to yield new or alternative understandings, imaginations and literary experiences of Etruscan culture.