Research Council Backup mandate Andrea Penso: Rebuilding post-revolutionary identities in England, France and Italy: the reception, discussion and stigmatization of unruliness in novels through the periodical press (1816-31)

Project Details


My project will explore how the English, French and Italian periodical
press of the Restoration (1816-31) interpreted the many facets of
'unruliness' in the reception of national and foreign novels. The focus
will be on the novels’ reviews, which engaged extensively with the
topic of unruliness, broadly conceived as referring to non-conforming
or dissident elements, such as prohibited desires, forms of 'incorrect'
thinking, unruly behaviours, subversion of moral normativity. The
research addresses still uncharted aspects of the intercultural
relations occurring between the countries in a comparative way, and
will show how the press helped forge post-revolutionary cultural
identities across the continent. The research's three main objectives
aim to:
a) catalogue and analyse data concerning the perception of
unruliness in the novels’ reviews through a comprehensive survey of
a wide body of printed sources, while exploring the transcultural
dimension of the corpus;
b) challenge the study of the post-revolutionary period through a
complex, albeit identifiable, conceptual category, with the aim of
collectively analysing discursive practices belonging to different
c) create a methodological paradigm to study transcultural
phenomena of this kind in other geographical, chronological contexts.
Methodologically, I apply Digital Humanities (henceforth DH),
Sociology of Literature and Comparative Literature approaches along
with tools of Reader Response and Reception Studies.
Effective start/end date1/10/2030/09/22


  • Digital humanities
  • journalism studies
  • comparative literature

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Journalism studies
  • Theory and methodology of literary studies not elsewhere classified
  • Media discourse reception
  • Stylistics and textual analysis
  • Sociology of literary texts


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