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Sanson, Helena Louise

Visiting Fellows


Dr Sanson has successfully created and developed a new and fruitful field of studies, which combines, with an interdisciplinary approach, the history of linguistic thought and women’s history in Italy, uncovering the contribution of women to the history of language, and linguistics more broadly, between 1500-1900. This field also includes a number of sub-fields — grammar, conduct literature, and translation — in which she has also demonstrated a significant contribution to scholarship and advancement of knowledge, as well as reputation and established leadership.

Sustained by a very strong international publications record and a rich range of research/dissemination/public engagement activities, Dr Sanson’s research is rooted in first-hand research on library and archival primary sources: it stands out for its ambition and is widely praised for its ability to pioneer future research. Her first monograph, "Donne, precettistica e lingua nel Cinquecento" (2007) was published by the Accademia della Crusca and her second monograph, "Women, Language and Grammar, 1500-1900" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) was one of the winners of the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition.

Over the years, her work has been supported by numerous grants/awards/honours/prizes, among them the prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize. Among her current research projects and collaborations are Knowledge across Boundaries: Women and Translation in Italy, 1690-1815 (2017-present), a history of women and translation in Italy 1690-1815, across genres, from literature to science, and Women in the History of Linguistics (2014-present), the first investigation into the role of women in the history of linguistics across the centuries worldwide. In 2015 she published the critical edition of Lodovico Dolce’s Dialogo […] della institution delle donne (1545) and in 2016 she co-edited the volume Conduct Literature for and about Women in Italy 1470-1900: Prescribing and Describing Life. Her edition of the Ammaestramenti e ricordi (1628) by Isabella Sori is currently in press (spring 2018).

Dr Sanson is the founder and general editor of the first peer-reviewed book series entirely dedicated to women, literature, language, and gender issues in Italy, Women and Gender in Italy, 1500-1900, published by Classiques Garnier, Paris, and of the new peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary journal Women Language Literature in Italy.

From: Dec 01, 2018 To: Dec 31, 2018

Structure Department of Italian (Reader in Italian language, Literature and Culture)

Clare college, University of Cambridge

Cambridge,  UK