Communities – Not Just Awards
Our Public Portfolio
In our initiative awards are not just awards. They are the catalyst for community participation and involvement. For the past twelve years the Edinburgh Gadda Projects have developed a unique approach to academic public engagement through world-class research implemented and shared through the web media.
Carlo Emilio Gadda, the Italian James Joyce, may be Italy’s best kept literary secret, but since 2000 has made Edinburgh his international home. Four million hits, even in the world wide web, do not happen by chance. The Edinburgh Gadda main website ranks third among the most accessed online resources generated by Edinburgh University in the Humanities.
And now with initiatives on the ground such as the Edinburgh Gadda Prize mobilising scores of institutions and thousands of young people (150,000 people visited the first Gadda Facebook Page in just six months in 2011) and involving international stars Nicola Benedetti and Fabrizio Gifuni, the Edinburgh Gadda Projects are capitalising on their public engagement ethos through themed events programmes of the highest calibre.
The Prize, in its third edition in 2012, already hosted major events in Italy last year as part of its junior awards, Gadda Giovani, including national finals in a packed 500-seater Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan. Events this year go further still and include a British Premiere, a summer school, a multimedia installation created by junior winners from Scotland and Italy, an inaugural lecture and, of course, an award prize ceremony with a difference. The following selection provides a quick and handy portfolio of current engagement activities.
Gadda è teatro | Scholarship is engagement
Gadda may have never written for the theatre but his work travels best in performance. Five interconnected events make up Edinburgh 2012. These five platforms – Gaddus Scholars, On becoming militant, Gadda va alla guerra, International Gadda Juniors and the Award Ceremony – all in turn exploit and generate a stage. In this way, through actively engaging others we explore how we too, like Gadda, go to war with our times on issues of identity, social norm, citizenship, cultural mobility and plurality. Our idea is quite straightforward. If Gadda is theatre, scholarship must be engagement.
International Gadda Juniors 2012
As part of our Multimedia Labs, a team of International Gadda Juniors will be producing Hybridity, an ad-lib pre-show junior event taking its cue from Pirandello’s Tonight We Improvise and mixing junior entries from Gadda Giovani 2011 and Scottish Gadda Juniors 2012 with extracts from works by Gadda in homage to the hybridity of contemporary art forms. The event will be part of the 2012 Awards Night, Traverse Theatre, Saturday 22 September 2012.
Our newest prize category, Gadda Giovani, takes the Edinburgh Gadda Prize to Italy in the interim year of Edinburgh International. The competition is open to secondary schools and universities in seven Italian regions (Abruzzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Lombardy, Molise, Sardinia and Veneto) and leads to national finals (Milan 2011, Montecassino 2013, Udine 2015, Cagliari 2017). Public events consist in workshops in creative writing, other media and performance in which hosts work with finalists to a set of tasks based on the theme of the awards: Detecting Italy.
The Nicola Benedetti Scholarship Fund
With violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti we have created the Nicola Benedetti Scholarship Fund to provide support for students who otherwise may not have the chance to pursue their academic goals in Italian Studies at Edinburgh University. The Fund supports Masters, PhD Programmes and Postdoctoral Fellowships. Community participation in the knowledge networks resulting in this way will once again be central to our next events programmme, Montecassino 2013.
The Diaspora Project
Italy is one of the great migrant nations of modern times. Millions left their native country after Unification (1861) and during the World Wars. To date Italo-Scottish history has only partly been written and Italo-Scottish heritage has never been systematically archived or developed for public engagement initiatives. Through the Italo-Scottish Research Centre (ISRC) and starting from Montecassino 2013, we will be making this rich heritage not just available but also productive in both the scholarly and the wider community. This will be achieved through an innovative approach to multimedia conservation resulting in a Web Archive produced in collaboration with other Scottish Universities and the creative industries. The project is funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. The ISRC Archive will be officially presented in Montecassino Abbey, Sunday 5 May 2013.