The Centro Studi Sara Valesio

The Centro Studi Sara Valesio(CSSV), founded in 2013 and directed by Paolo Valesio, works to support the commitment to the humanities demonstrated by Sara, who graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Bologna

The Center was conceived as a cultural hub and research collection that includes approximately 20,000 volumes and a vast archive, which is currently being held and organized at Palazzo Fava. It is also a place for exchange, education, research, and discussion.

Its primary focus is literary and philosophical writings, understood in their broadest sense and envisioned within the context of their contact with people, especially those who exist between different worlds (cultural, geographical, psychological) and who live and breathe the range of matters connected to this kind of movement: assimilation, migration, expatriation, repeated relocation. Hence, the focus characterizing the Center: “Writers between worlds.” The worlds in question are primarily though not exclusively Italy, Europe, and the United States, and the term “writer” is again understood in the broadest sense; not only poets, novelists, dramaturges, philosophers, but also essayists, historians, sociologists, memoirists, epistolarians, translators, scriptwriters, directors, journalists, etc. In other words, the project is not merely an intellectual abstraction, as it continually stresses the relationship between textual worlds and existential experiences. Critical research encouraged in this way is necessarily sensitive to the human, social and spiritual matters that inhabit the most diverse texts.

The Centro Studi Sara Valesio places its emphasis on the cultivation of the verbal arts and in this way complements the rich activity of the Genus Bononiae. Musei nella città, traditionally focused on the figurative arts

Paolo Valesiois a writer, essayist and literary critic.

A native of Bologna, Valesio is the Giuseppe Ungaretti Professor Emeritus of Italian Literature at Columbia University in New York, where he concluded a lengthy academic career that began with studies in Bologna and Harvard and included appointments at New York University and, for a quarter century, Yale University. Since 2013, he has served as president of the Centro Studi Sara Valesio in Bologna. At Yale, Valesio founded and coordinated the “Yale Poetry Group”, a biweekly gathering of readings and conversation about poetry (1993-2003). Valesio is also founder of the journal Yale Italian Poetry -YIP (1997-2005), which he has directed under its new title, "Italian Poetry Review – IPR" since it moved to Columbia University. The journal operates today between New York, Bologna and Florence. Valesioalso has a blog dedicated to literature and social trends, is frequent contributor to the online daily, and acts as president of the jury of the Piero Alinari International Poetry Prize in Florence.

Organizational Structure of the CSSV

  • Paolo Valesio: President
  • Assunta Pelli: Honorary President
  • Coordinator: Flavia Manservigi

Executive Board

  • ​Gian Mario Anselmi (Università di Bologna)
  • Andrea Battistini (Università di Bologna)
  • Chiara Elefante (Università di Bologna)
  • Marcello Neri (Europa-Universität Flensburg)
  • Assunta Pelli
  • Gino Tellini (Università di Firenze)
  • Fabio Roversi Monaco (Presidente, Genus Bononiae. Musei nella Città)
  • Paolo Valesio (Columbia University)

Advisory Board

  • Ferdinando Amigoni (Università di Bologna)
  • Alberto Bertoni (Università di Bologna)
  • Martina Della Casa (Université de Haute-Alsace, Francia) - membro corrispondente
  • Guglielmo Forni Rosa (Università di Bologna)
  • Guido Mattia Gallerani (Università di Bologna)
  • Erin Larkin (Southern Connecticut State University) - membro corrispondente
  • Giuseppe Leporace (University of Washington)
  • Simone Magherini (Università di Firenze) - membro corrispondente
  • Flavia Manservigi (Museo della Città di Bologna)
  • Raffaele Milani (Università di Bologna)
  • Filippo Naitana (Quinnipiac University, USA) - membro corrispondente
  • Mauro Pesce (Università di Bologna)
  • Margherita Petranzan (Direttore della rivista “Anfione e Zeto”)
  • Markus Pohlmeyer (Europa-Universität Flensburg) - membro corrispondente
  • ​Alessandro Polcri (Fordham University, USA) - membro corrispondente
  • Mauro Roversi Monaco (Bologna)
  • Giuseppina Samoggia (Liceo Ginnasio Luigi Galvani)
  • Graziella Sidoli (“Italian Poetry Review – IPR”)
  • Paolo Valesio

The Archive

The archive's primary nucleus consists of the Collection, made up of approximately 20,000 volumes and the Valesio papers. The library consists mainly of works of literature and literary criticism, most of them in Italian and English (in addition to French, German and Spanish); many are germane to philosophy, religious studies ;and theology, as well as art history, sociology and psychology. The heart of the library consists of volumes of poetry, a large number of which are rare. The library also includes full year collections of various journals, and a special section of essays of literary criticism spanning forty years. The papers consist of unpublished manuscripts of poetry and narrative, as well as critical works; manuscripts with versions of published works, a vast collection of bilingual correspondence with various writers and intellectuals between Italy and the United States, covering primarily the last two decades; and also some special collections (in particular, a collection of devotional cards and another of theatrical programs and flysheets of various kinds relevant not only for the study of literary history, but also for research on sociology and folklore between Italy and the United States). Both the book and manuscript collections are growing continuously, almost daily. In addition, the CSSV has begun to receive donation offers for libraries and archival collections. This collection will come to constitute the Comparative Studies Library of the Centro Studi Sara ValesioValesio and is currently undergoing archival processing by the Centro RAM (Manuscript Research and Analysis) of the Department of Classical Philology and Italian of the University of Bologna.

Before the founding of the Centro Studi, the Valesio papers—in particular literary correspondence spanning 1957 to the early 1990s totaling 60 boxes—were donated to the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University, where they were cataloged as the “Paolo Valesio Papers” and subject to a preliminary inventory.

Some hundreds of volumes of contemporary Italian poetry were donated to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale (autonomous with respect to the aforementioned Sterling Memorial Library). However, during the nineties the donation to Yale University was suspended in view of the Centro Studi Sara Valesio project, which is now beneficiary of all future donations of books and/or papers without exception. The papers and books previously donated to Yale offer the opportunity of consultation to an international community.

Paolo Valesio

The Centro Studi Sara Valesio's Initiatives