PhD programmes

Current year courses

International PhD in Arts and Archaeology
The doctoral course is an educational path aimed at offering to its students all the facilities, the experience, and the results of long lasting research of two Universities with different but complementary traditions of studies.
Our PhD students are expected to progressively produce an original contribution to knowledge in the research field of their dissertation. They should relate their studies to the scholarly body of knowledge within the specific area, and present the results of their research in a critical and scientific manner. Students should be accustomed to use, when necessary and useful, scientific approach to the object of their research and evaluate, test, and measure the material aspects of the investigated topic. They should know when and how to resort to instruments in order to improve and expand the knowledge of the cultural heritage, how these instruments work and the limits of their use in terms of reliability, meaning of the results, possible comparisons with similar cases, and related problems. Students shoud be able to use, when required, different methods and to exploit the results by combining them in an appropriate form, according to the different features and value of the methods themselves.
The outcomes of the doctoral studies could consist in a thesis alone or, when appropriate, in a combination of thesis and informatic documents or products, such as databases, internet sites, three-dimensional documents, meterials for a public exhibition.
Students should be informed of the variety of methods and of theoretical and historical frameworks thanks to which their chosen research can be approached and organized. They should be able to choose, read and understand all the available historical documents and texts related to the topic of their dissertation. Every approach to art and archaology cannot be just descriptive, but should be, first of all, conceived within a historical framework and could, hopefully, also produce a better historical knowledge of the studied period.
Moreover, students should be aware of the possible professional or even commercial value of the studied documents and monuments, and they should know what the normative and legal requirements preview for the study, the eventual publication, and the other uses of the object of the research itself.
Students are also encouraged and supported in developing or improving methodologies, theoretical frameworks, new educational opportunities, forms of preservation, and other possible ways to know and use the cultural heritage.
Students should know and use appropriately specialised terminology typical of their research field. They should be able to read, understand, and evaluate the modern bibliography on the specific topic, even if it is written in different European languages, such as English, Flamish/Dutch, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.
Students are expected to show a personal ability in evaluating the correctness and the scientific weight of previous approaches and to create their own original research paths within the chosen theme.
With reference to the two curricula, students of archaeology should be also trained in carrying out field research, such as digging activities, geo-physical prospections, and other predictive forms of knowledge before digging, documentation of both excavations and related finds. Aerial photographs, satellite images, three-dimensional models of either an area or a find are means to recognize traces and remains of human activities in a certain areal, and PhD students should be acquainted with such forms of study, when they are useful for the chosen thesis.
Students of art history should be specifically trained in museum practices, such as the conservation, registration, and inventorisation of art objects, the managment of museum practice, the preparation and elaboration of exhibition projects. Also, the students will be taught how to display objects in museum ambiences and how to deal with various problems related to the conservation and preservation of monuments.
Ph.D. programme in Philology, Literature, and Performance Studies
The PhD in Philology, Literature and Performing Arts aims to promote a specific research field, related to the area of ​​ history of literature and to those disciplines focused on textual studies and performance studies. Its timeframe and subject area include the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary age; the field of investigation concerns European and non-European literature.
Both literary texts and plays, as well as their textual and historical tradition are therefore at the center of the scientific interest of the PhD. The focus is on the oral or written text, in its diachronic and synchronic aspects, and according to its literary, philological, linguistic, artistic and cultural issues.
The PhD disciplines display a common way of analysis, aimed at the deep research on the poetic and prose text as well as on the documentary and paraliterary text, on the 'score', on the 'filmic texts' and on ancient and modern dramaturgies, on their production, reception, and diffusion. It is a calling strongly rooted in a tradition of studies that has always involved both the sciences that investigate the products of literature and the performing arts (music, theater, more recently cinema).
Within the ancient Greek-Latin, medieval, humanistic-Renaissance, modern and contemporary traditions in Italian and in the languages ​​of European and non-European tradition in a comparative perspective, scholars and experts on different chronological and thematic areas have found an crucial common ground. Such an interdisciplinary exchange becomes fruitful thanks to the contributions of textual hermeneutics, the philological and linguistic analysis, the production, transmission and reception studies. Research on the communication and use of the text and the cultural context that produced it (publishers, musicians, actors, etc.) are a crucial part of the PhD project.
The training plan of the PhD program aims at creating high-level researchers and scholars with a specialized national and international profile. At the end of the three-year cycle students will have acquired methodological basis for theoretical analysis, literary interpretation, philology, as well as the techniques and knowledge relating to the edition, classification and cataloging of the texts proper to the literary field and to the performance studies.
PhD student’s researches will be displayed in the fields of classical and medieval philology, languages ​​and literatures, Greek and Latin humanities, Romance philology and linguistics, Italian philology, the history of the Italian language and literature Italian from its origins to the present day, the comparative analysis of literature, musicology, the theory and history of theater, cinema and media, the techniques of literary composition (rhetoric, style, metrics), commentary on texts.
The PhD learning process will be carried on developed through specialized seminar activities, common training meetings (lectures, exercises, conferences), inspired by a strong character of scientific and methodological interdisciplinarity.


Knowledge and skills acquired by young researchers fit fully into the path of a scientific career within the academic context, or in other research centers. The PhD training also aim to provide students with a specific professional and intellectual profile that can be used in the context of cultural production in a broad sense: editing, journalism, communication; papyrology, paleography, librarianship, archival, print culture, up to those public and private working environments that require professional figures with cultural competences and skills in the management, processing and production of texts and information.

Courses not currently running

PhD in Cultural Heritage and Territory (last activated in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
This doctorate has the didactic purpose of giving the students the theoretical and practical knowledge that is necessary to the scientific side of a research, with particular attention to the results that are obtained in the chosen field of investigation and to the mastery of the problems connected to the scientific work. That is why it aims at developing the student’s ability at recognising and processing the sources of investigation that are available. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to use the computer, both in the phase of acquisition and elaboration of the data (by means of GIS maps, charts and tables, that are proper, for example, to the branches of Geography and Archaeology) and in the phase of the studying itself, in particular for students of the Historical-Artistic area, who need to visit the web sites of Cultural Institutions and Auction Houses.
The periodical seminars with tutors, board and Ph.D. teachers, external lecturers (not only Italian) and colleagues will lead the students to the improvement of their methodological perspectives and to the optimization of their results; the students will thus get used to interdisciplinary exchange, as in the doctorate there are historical, artistic, geographical, economical, chemical-physical and juridical topics (some themes of economical and chemical interests have been included because they are helpful to the dealing of the Artistic Heritage).
In the seminars, proper audio-visual material (such as slides, tracings, PowerPoint presentations) will be used in order to let the students get acquainted with the techniques of the scientific research, that are essential in the organization and the spreading of the results, even though not yet complete.
PhD in History and Anthropology (last activated in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
Aim of the doctoral program is the acquisition of the methodological tools and the techniques of enquiry which are required in order to produce high-profile research in the fields of history and anthropology, with particular interest for the social history of the ancient world, of medieval civilization, of the modern period, and of cultural and social anthropology. It is intended as a natural prosecution and further stage of academic development for the main master’s courses within the humanities. Lectures and seminars will be specifically designed for doctoral students, partly in connection with courses taught for master degrees: individual and team research will be conducted in archives and libraries, museums and archaeological sites visited, as well as field research, research travel in Italy and abroad, in connection with the writing of the final dissertation or with the purpose of attending courses at Italian or foreign research institutes. For cycles of lectures and seminars, highly qualified scholars, both Italian and international, will be invited, thus stimulating students on methodological and historiographical issues. Further seminars are organized together with other Italian or international doctorates operating in the same disciplinary fields. The program promotes the development of a cooperation with national and international universities and research centres: such cooperation is regulated by ad hoc agreements, via international programs, the mutual acknowledgment of doctoral qualification, co-tutoring, student and lecturer exchange, third party financing of projects involving national and international partner institutions. With the help of tutors and advisors, the board of lecturers will supervise the implementation of the individual research projects
PhD in Linguistics (last activated in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
To ensure the acquisition of the competences necessary to undertake scientific research in the field of linguistics in its historical, theoretical and applied perspectives, with specific attention to the languages of Europe, both modern and ancient. In particular, the basic knowledge, which is assumed to have already been acquired, will be completed in the areas listed below, and in one of them a deeper understanding at an advanced level will be specifically reached: theoretical linguistics (also in its historical perspective), historical and/or synchronic description of one or more European languages or of their dialects, typology of linguistic contact and of language and culture conflicts, processes of second language acquisition, problems of language teaching, clinical application of theoretical linguistics.
PhD in Literature and Philology (last activated in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
The doctoral (PhD) course is meant for graduate students wishing to deepen their understanding of modern literature, philology, and other literary disciplines, working with a markedly comparative and interdisciplinary method. The aim of the course is to build on basic knowledge within these disciplines and to acquire the methodology, and the theoretical and applicative skills which are necessary for doing advanced research in the literary field, so as to use them also in teaching and professional areas.
PhD in Philology, Literature and Linguistics Course partially running (all years except the first)
The research field of the doctoral programme brings together the areas of LINGUISTIC, TEXTUAL and LITERARY studies within an interdisciplinary context of mutual interaction, including a wide range of approaches (i.e. diachronic and synchronic, written and oral, theoretical and practical). The different areas of research converge on a common overall methodological perspective rooted in a long-standing tradition of humanistic dialogue between different textual approaches.
The doctoral programme wishes to stimulate intellectual curiosity and critical competence thanks to the acquisition of both theoretically and methodologically advanced and innovative tools and techniques. In particular, it offers the opportunity to compare and use critical instruments pertaining to linguistic analysis, philology, and literary hermeneutics in order to develop an all-round critical competence with reference to on the concept of language, textual typologies (in their literary and non-literary variants), and the relation between text and discourse.
The aim of the doctoral programme is to train both young researchers in view of an internationally-oriented academic career open to scientific challenges, and experts for intellectual professions, by strengthening competences and vocations already developed at BA and MA level, with particular reference to the LM 14, 19, 37 and 39 degree programmes. Fields of prospective employment are: the book industry, journalism, mass communication; librarianship, archive-keeping, and more generally conservation of manuscripts and printed texts; other public and private sectors requiring a high profile of humanistic and cultural competence in handling written
communication and oral information. In line with the three main areas belonging to the research field, the programme comprises three curricula - philological, literary, and linguistic - which share the above-mentioned common theoretical-methodological approaches and aims.
The philological curriculum explores the literary text from the point of view of its tradition through the centuries and its critical reconstruction, with specific reference to the literary areas belonging to the doctoral course. Thus, it provides training in Greek, Latin, Romance, Germanic, and Italian philology. As an historically aware science concerned with restoring the cultural, literary and linguistic contexts in which texts are produced, philology supplies an invaluable whole set of methodologies and techniques for the analysis of literary texts and linguistic corpora. It thus shows a substantial complementarity with the literary and linguistic sciences and offers a unique opportunity for dialogue with the other curricula of the doctoral programme (literary and linguistic). Thanks to important networks connected with international academic institutions on a global scale such as TEI and MENOTA, philology is today leading the way in the diffusion of computer-assisted methodologies, and the processing and spreading of standardised applications by which texts can be digitalised (in line with the aims of the 2020 Horizon programme). Ali this entails theoretical, methodological and practical skills in many areas as specified in the paragraph on topics below.
The literary curriculum studies the historical and cultural tradition of ancient, medieval and modern texts, with specific reference to the literary areas comprised within the doctoral programme. Ancient Greek, Latin, Medieval Latin, Medieval and Modern Romance, Italian; Comparative Literature and other European modern and medieval literatures. The literary curriculum thus promotes the acquisition of highly specialised research skills thanks to the state of art methods and tools of literary criticism, philology, historical linguistics, al so in a comparative and international perspective. With it specific attention to poetical structures and styles and their dynamic dimension, the literary curriculum highlights the artistic value of texts, their linguistic structure and form, foregrounding the texture of their correspondences in a historical perspective that takes into account poetics, genres and literary movements. It also investigates, issues of genre and periodization, as well as questions raised by contemporary interlinguistic, intercultural, and interdisciplinary research. Following thematic lines of investigation, conceived of as longue durée structural constants, it explores the ideological transformations of themes and the metamorphoses of myths.
The linguistic curriculum focuses on man's ability to use language considered as a cognitive faculty, a cultural and historical expression, and as a means of communication. Research activities will concentrate both on language in general (in its oral, written, ancient, modern, standard, dialect and pathology-related varieties) and on individual languages, analysed as manifestations of specific cognitive skills and as expressions of cultural and historical aspects.
Following these lines of definition, the study of language envisages the adoption of different analytical perspectives, both theoretical and applied, in order to clarify the biological, cognitive, cultural, and communicative factors that underlie man's ability to produce and understand language. On the whole, this research programme is characterised by a strong interdisciplinary approach and is based on a systematic interaction with adjacent research fields such as cognitive psychology, neurosciences, philosophy of language, and the social sciences). The methods of investigation are inspired by both theoretical analysis and experimental research, and imply the crucial employment of the most modern electronic research tools for gathering and processing linguistic data.
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