The Interdisciplinary Italy team sitting on the grass next to a sculpture that resembles the shape of Italy

Dr Clodagh Brook has just won an AHRC award of almost £700,000 for the second phase of her project: Interdisciplinary Italy, 1900-2020: Interart/Intermedia.

Since the start of the 20th century, the arts in Italy have rapidly developed hybrid forms. Cinema, digital visual poetry, sound art, filmed book trailers and other practices which cross arts and media and have become a major cultural force. Artists are shifting between different art forms with a fluidity which is striking: Dino Buzzati, for instance, writes novels, but also designs their illustrations; the poet Eduoardo Sanguineti traces his poetry back to atonal music. Until very recently this interartistic fluidity has been the prerogative of artists. Researchers worked against the grain of this cultural shift, analysing cultural products according to our own disciplines (literature, art, music etc.). In so doing, we risked overlooking a paradigm shift, losing hybrid art forms in the gaps between disciplines - where they receive only marginal treatment - and underestimating the value of one art for another.

As interdisciplinary methodologies develop, however, researchers now find themselves at a new historical vantagepoint. It is finally possible to build a groundbreaking interartistic perspective on the arts. The proposed project maps the paradigm shift in 20th and 21st century Italy. We also propose it as an intriguing case study for other language disciplines.