This week the Venerable Blog would like to highlight a new feature of the French of Italy project, our TimeMap. This map plots over two hundred witnesses of French-language texts created in Italy from 1250-1500, both chronologically and spatially. Each map point is clickable, and opens an informative text box with links to the full French of Italy entry, and in many cases, directs the user to the manuscript original of that particular witness.
One of the goals of the map project is to provide a visual representation of some of the most cutting-edge scholarship concerning the French of Italy repertoire. Much work has been done recently, particularly by Italian scholars, to provide a more precise localization of these textual witnesses within the Italian peninsula. Particular attention, for example, has been paid to the corpus of texts created in and around Genoa at the end of the thirteenth century, and the growing number of texts attributed to this locale is easily visible. This map aims to provide a visual narrative of these new findings and to challenge users to think about how and by whom French was used in Italy during this period.
The site’s director, Laura Morreale, rolled out the new initiative in mid-October at a conference held at the Università Ca’Foscari in Venice, sponsored by the journal Medievo Romanzo. The conference, entitled “Il Franco-Italiano,” featured well-known philologists and literary scholars working on this corpus, and closed with a panel highlighting digital projects which address this repertoire. Fordham’s French of Italy site was among a number of web sites discussed at the conference, along with the Università Degli Studi di Padova’s Rialfri, the Mirabile of Università e della Ricerca, and the MFLCOF site (Medieval Francophone Literary Culture outside France) based at King’s College London but has yet to be released for public consumption.
Depending on the feedback from TimeMap users, scholars at Fordham are also interesed in plotting the repertoires of our sister sites, the French of England and the French of Outremer. Please check out the map and send feedback via this blog or the site’s email, firstname.lastname@example.org.