Prizes & Donations

British-Italian Society Prizes

The BIS launched the biennial British-Italian Society Prizes in 2019.

This competition replaced the Rooke Memorial Prizes (2002-2016). Its purpose is to encourage the study of Italian language and culture at British and Irish universities both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

The competition is open to undergraduate students taking Italian as one of their subjects until their final year and to postgraduate students (MA, MRes, MPhil, PhD) in Italian Studies who passed their work (final year essay/dissertation/thesis) during the academic year just completed. The subject matter is confined to disciplines in the humanities and social sciences relating to Italy, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Postgraduate entrants can apply only once in the course of their degree and with one piece of work.

Two prizes are available: 

  1. One prize of £250 for final year Undergraduates 
  2. One prize of £500 for Postgraduates

At the awarding panel’s discretion, a runner-up prize of £100 may be awarded for Undergraduates and a runner-up prize of £200 for Postgraduates. In case of joint winners/runners-up, each amount will be split equally. 

Each University/Institution in the UK and Ireland is invited to submit ONE candidate only for each category: a: Undergraduate, b: Postgraduate or both, following a pre-selection process, conducted in each case by the Italian Department (or equivalent) in consultation with their colleagues in Italian Studies or in other departments as appropriate; i.e. each University can submit maximum 1 UG and 1 PG entrant (either MA, MPhil or PhD entrant).

  1. Undergraduate Prize

To be considered for the Undergraduate Prize, the work must have been awarded a first class mark (70 or above). 

The supervisor/module convenor will submit two pdf files:

  1. The entrant’s final year essay (up to 5,000 words) or dissertation (up to 10,000 words) as a pdf file, with word count. This file should be anonymized (without reference to the student’s name, supervisor nor Institution and without the marker’s comments).
  2. a separate file with the marksheet, inclusive of feedback and mark. 

(We accept longer submissions for Undergraduate dissertations (up to 12,000 words) only where this is the required length in the Institution where the work is submitted.)

  1. Postgraduate Prize 

EITHER: The supervisor of Taught MA candidates should submit one pdf file:

  1. their dissertation as a pdf file, with word count, up to 15,000 words in length. This file should be anonymized (without reference to the student’s name, supervisor nor Institution).

OR: The supervisor of MRes/MPhil/PhD candidates should submit two pdf files:

  1. One with the title of the thesis, list of content, a short abstract (max. two A4 pages) detailing the context and methodology of the thesis, and the bibliography. This file should be anonymized (without reference to the student’s name, supervisor nor Institution).
  2. Another file with the submission – typically a chapter – of no more than 15,000 words in length, with word count. (If a chapter longer than 15,000 words is submitted, the judges will only read the first 15,000 words). This file should be anonymized (without reference to the student’s name, supervisor nor Institution).

All work must have been passed (at exams board or viva) during the academic year just completed. We accept work submitted during the previous academic year, when the awarding exams board or viva took place during the academic year just completed. Postgraduate students must have passed the viva (even if with corrections) by the time of the application. In all cases, the submitted piece of work must be completed (not in draft form), unpublished, and not be under consideration for publication. 

Work may be submitted in English or Italian. 

Submissions are made by the supervisor, and not directly by the student.

For further details, please see the Society for Italian Studies’ website:  http://italianstudies.org.uk/postgraduates/prizes/.

2021

The winner in the postgraduate category was:

Dr Claudia Dellacasa, University of Durham – Italo Calvino in Japan, Japan in Italo Calvino: A Cross-Cultural Encounter.

The winner in the undergraduate category was:

Freya Cazalet, University of Cambridge – The Sleeping Guards: Depictions of the Resurrection in Trecento Italy.

The judges awarded joint runner-up prizes to four exceptionally strong entries:

Postgraduate

Dr Anna Lisa Somma, University of Birmingham – Donna con donna: Representations of female- female desire in early modern Italian literature; and

Dr Maddalena Moretti, University of Leeds – Come una specie di guida: Pasolini’s Reconceptualisation of Dante in his Theory and Practice of Realism.

Undergraduate

Isabelle Ragnetti, King’s College, University of London – Somali and Eritrean Postcolonial Challenges to the Homogeneous Conceptualisation of Italian Nationhood: Igiaba Scego and Erminio Dell’Oro Compared; and

Ella Powell, University of Birmingham – A feminist critical discourse and analysis of the Italian print media’s narrative on gender-based violence.

2019

The joint-winners in the postgraduate category were:

Dr Flora Derounian, University of Bristol –  Representations and Oral Histories of Working Women in Post-World War Two Italy (1945-1965); and

Dr Luca Zenobi, University of Oxford –  Borders and the politics of space in late medieval Italy: Milan, Venice and their territories in the 15th Century.

The winner in the undergraduate category was:

Esme Garlake, University of Cambridge –  Ephemeral Journeys: Tracing the Lives of Early Twentieth-Century Italian Postcards.

The judges highly commended the following runners-up:

Postgraduate

Ambra Anelotti, Royal Holloway College, University of London –  The
dissemination of Orlando Furioso: Ariosto and his poems in Southern Italy (1532-1599).

Undergraduate

Benjamin Rowe, University of Bristol – Degradation and Regeneration: An Examination of the Causes of Le Vele’s Demise

Alice Cripps, University of Kent – Representations of Motherhood in Italian Visual Culture from the Fascist ventennio to the Modern Day.

Rooke Memorial Prizes

Until 2016 these awards were known as the Rooke Memorial Prizes. They were made possible by a generous bequest from the late Rosemary Rooke, a former Society member.

Recent winners include:

2016

Postgraduate – Marianna Griffini, London School of Economics) – Colonial Hybridity in the Italian Community in Libya (1926-1970).

UndergraduateLucia Crowther, University of Reading – The Architectural Formalisation of Pilgrimage in the Portico of the Madonna di San Luca (Bologna).

We are grateful to the Society for Italian Studies (www.italianstudies.org.uk), for their assistance in administering these awards.

Translation Prizes

Since 2019, the British-Italian Society has sponsored the annual Warwick University Translation Prizes for translations from Italian into English by undergraduate students in the United Kingdom. Prizes have been awarded to:

2020

Winner:  Ellie Tippett-Wilson, University of Durham.

Runner-up:  Ruby Kelman, Edinburgh University.

2019

Winner:   Alex Joseland, University of York.

Runner-up:  Jemma Henry, Cambridge University.

 

Until 2010 the society also supported the John Florio Prize for Translation.

John Florio (1555-1625) was a distinguished writer and translator of Italian Protestant descent, who lived and worked in London. He translated Boccaccio’s Decameron and published two Italian-English dictionaries.

The John Florio Prize is awarded biennially for the best English translation of a full-length Italian work of literary merit and general interest. It was first awarded in 1963.

The prize was co-sponsored, until 2010, by the British-Italian Society, the Italian Cultural Institute and the Society of Authors in London.

The winners from 2000 to 2010 were:

2010 – Jamie McKendrick – The Embrace: Selected Poems (Valerio Magrelli, Faber)

2008 – Peter Robinson – The Greener Meadow (Luciano Erba, Princeton University Press)

2006 – Carol O’Sullivan & Martin Thom – Kuraj (Silvia de Natale, Bloomsbury)

2004 – Howard Curtis – Coming Back (Edoardo Albinati, Hesperus Press)

2002 – Stephen Satarelli – Prince of the Clouds (Gianni Riotta, Flamingo)

2000 – Martin McLaughlin – Why Read the Classics? (Italo Calvino, Jonathan Cape)

Donations

The Society makes donations to support projects and initiatives which reflect its objectives.
If you would like to apply for financial support, please download and submit the following form.

Recent donations by the Society have included:

2021-2022

  • A donation of £300 to the Tricolore Theatre Company for a joint production with UCL of a tribute to Joseph Grimaldi, The Clown in Popular Culture, in March 2022.
  • A donation of £500 to the Literary & Philiosophical Society of Newcastle for a series of celebrations of Dante in December 2021.
  • A donation of £500 to i Musicanti as a contribution towards the costs of recording Giovanni Bottesini’s four quartets to mark the composer’s bicentenary in 2021.  

2020-2021

  • A contribution of £500 to the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association in part-sponsorship of the Keats-Shelley Young Romantics Prizes in February 2021.
  • A donation of £200 to Warwick University to fund the award of two national undergraduate prizes for translation from Italian in October 2020.
  • A donation of £300 to the Italian School in London, partly in payment for for their housing of the BIS Archives.

2019-20

  • A donation of £200 towards a Conference on the Role of Women in Sardinian Culture at Cambridge University in September 2021.
  • A donation of £300 towards the Canaletto: Painting Venice Exhibition and Workshops at the Holburne Museum in Bath in May 2021.
  • A contribution of £200 towards  an Italian (virtual) Conference at King’s College, London in June 2020.
  • A donation of £200 to Warwick University to fund the award of two national student prizes for translation from Italian in November 2019.
  • A donation of £1,000 to the National Gallery on the occasion of the Leconfield Lecture given by Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, in October 2019.
  • A donation of £300 towards translation costs for the Festival of New Italian Writing at Theatre503 in November 2019.
  • A donation of £750 to the Festival of Italian Literature in London (FILL) in November 2019.
  • A donation of £500 to the Comitato Sapienza Camerino for a post-earthquake project to restore the Universita di Camerino.
  • A donation of £500 to Liverpool University Press for publication of a book of photographs as part of a project on the transnational study of Italian.
  • A donation of £850 to the University of Reading and La Sapienza University in Rome for the organisation of a Conference on Beckett and Italy in Reading in November 2019.
  • A donation of £900 to the Italian Department at University College, London for two stage performances by the School of European Culture and Society in March 2020.

2018-19

  • A donation of £750 towards the costs of the Festival of Italian Literature in London (FILL) in Notting Hill in October 2018.
  • A donation of £350 towards the costs of the Annual Lecture of the Italian Studies Library Group in June 2019.
  • A donation of £300 to the Italian School in London, partly in payment for for their housing of the BIS Archives.

2017-18

  • A further donation of £1,000 to the Southbank Sinfonia, including for their performances at the annual Anghiari Festival in Tuscany in 2018.
  • A donation of £250 towards the costs of the Living with Earthquakes Conference held at Jesus College, Cambridge on 24-25 October 2017. The conference is a joint UK-Italian initiative focused on support for reconstruction and restoration in Le Marche following earthquake damage in 2016.
  • A donation of 1,160 euros to fund the restoration of a Pietro Alemanno triptych in the Pinacoteca Duranti at Montefortino (Le Marche), which suffered earthquake damage in 2016.
  • A donation of £250 towards the costs of a Workshop on Science in Early Modern Naples at University College, London in April 2018.
  • A donation of £300 to the Italian School in London, partly in payment for accommodating the Society’s Archives.
  • A donation of £250 to the Gloria e Marco Award Scheme, a scholarship scheme set up to honour the memory of two young Italian architects, who died tragically in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.

2016-17

  • A grant of £300 towards the cost of the Tricolore Theatre Company production Guerra e Pace at St Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell in November 2016.
  • The award in October 2016 of two prizes , of £750 and £500 respectively, to the winners of the 2015/16 Rooke Memorial Prizes at post-graduate (Marianna Griffini) and undergraduate (Lucia Crowther) level.
  • A further donation of £500 to the Italian School, partly as payment for accommodating the BIS Archives.
  • A donation of £250 towards the costs of publishing The Italian Contribution to European Culture, a collection of essays in honour of Professor Jane Everson.

2015-16

  • A grant of £500 towards the cost of completing Dr Charles Avery’s book on Joseph de Levis & Co, Renaissance Bronze Founders in Verona.
  • A donation of £300 towards the cost of events to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Arandora Star.
  • A grant of £100 towards the costs of holding an exhibition of paintings by Marco Lusini at the Fiumano Gallery in London in July 2015.

2014-15

  • A grant of £500 to the Italian School in London, partly in payment for housing the BIS Archives.
  • A third year’s funding of £1000 for the London-based orchestra Southbank Sinfonia, composed of young musicians, which played at the Anghiari Festival in Italy.
  • A grant of £250 towards the holding of an exhibition of paintings by the Tuscan painter, Marco Lusini, at the Fiumano Gallery in London.
  • A grant of £500 toward the [publication in mid-2015 by the British School of Rome of a study by Dr Laura Ambrosini of the Italian National Research Council on the collection of Etruscan objects from the Galeassi Tomb in Palestrina held in the Villa Giulia Museum (Rome) and the British Museum (London).
  • A grant of £500 towards the cost of the video ‘Think Italy’produced by the Society for Italian Studies, and now being used on their website and in secondary schools to encourage the study of Italian language and culture at university.o