Svenska bilder av Italien: reselitteratur under Frihetstiden

Tidsperiod: 2013-01-01 till 2015-12-31

Projektledare: Stefano Fogelberg Rota

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 2 391 000 SEK

Swedish travel literature from Italy during the Age of Liberty (Frihetstiden, 1719-72) approaches some of the main cultural and political debates of the time. Nevertheless, this literature stemming from the first half of the eighteenth century has not yet been investigated. Swedish travellers show both a reorientation in the understanding of classical Antiquity, as a result of the sensational archaeological discoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, and a deep interest in the various claims for social reform that characterise the Age of Enlightenment. Their representations of Italy convey new approaches to these issues while highlighting the tensions between perceptions of antiquity and contemporary debates pertaining to culture, politics and religion. The focus of my project is thus the image of Italy presented in the travellers´ writings and how this image is mediated and rhetorically formulated. My aim is to investigate ´how´ the foreign in Italy´s culture and society is expressed. An analysis of the rhetorical composition of these writings will reveal the patterns of style and the figures of speech used by the travellers. This investigation will be inspired by postcolonial theory focusing on the ways in which western subjects reconstruct an image of the cultures they encounter. I will argue that Swedish travel literature not only describes Italy but is also an important contribution to the contemporary political and cultural debates in Sweden.