The ERC AdvGrant Graff-IT Project aims to develop a new interdisciplinary approach to the study of medieval and Renaissance Italian graffiti (7th – 16th century) as a historical source. Graffiti are meant here as a form of writing, sometimes mixed with figurative patterns, made on a surface not primarily designed for this purpose by means of an occasional tool, regardless of the technique used and beyond the writer’s dependency on an authority. In Italy, there are hundreds of monumental and natural sites preserving graffiti, most of which are still undeciphered or have been studied only marginally.
The Project, therefore, represents the first attempt to survey and investigate this immensely rich body of sources through the lens of Palaeography, with the overall goal to assert the full dignity of graffiti as written sources and integrate them into the realm of historiographical thought and practice. New in this Project is the idea of considering graffiti as but one part of their cultural context, and consequently as an essential component of the communication system of their time. Graffiti allow us to get access to the worldview of individuals in the past. This explains why the Graff-IT Project wants to examine graffiti in their multifaceted complexity (writing, image, language, and material aspects) and in relation to all kinds of written media within specific space-time and social-production frames. By doing so, it will be possible to shed more light on the nature and role of graffiti in medieval and early modern culture, thereby bringing into the focus of scholarly research a history of signs that claims its due place in the yet far too strict classification of historical sources.
This Project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 101020613).
News & Events
The Graff-IT ERC-Project will participate in the 2023 edition of the European Researchers’ Night, a Europe-wide public event which will take place in 26 countries on Friday 29 September. From 4 p.m. until late in the night, the Campus of the University “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara will host the longest Academic day of the year, with stands, concerts, guided tours, seminars, and many other initiatives.
The Graff-IT ERC-Project and the FARE SCRENIM Project of the University “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara participate in the organization of the International Conference “Limiti: muri e confini nella storia”, which will take place on 23-24 September 2023 at Procida. The conference is organized by the ‘Centro Studi Santa Rosa da Viterbo ETS’, in cooperation with several cultural institutes and universities from Italy and abroad
On Monday 11 September 2023, Dr Simone Allegria (Research staff member of the University “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara) participated in the Medieval History Seminar Series of the University of St Andrews, with a lesson entitled “Graff-IT, an ERC Project to...
On September 8th, 2023, on the occasion of the 770th anniversary of the canonization of St. Stanislaus, a guided tour of graffiti written by Polish franciscan friars and pilgrims has taken place in the basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. With the participation of Dr...
Late medieval graffiti at the basilica of S. Francesco of Assisi. Conference and guided tour. On 14 September 2023, Prof. Carlo Tedeschi and Dr. Pier Paolo Trevisi will participate in the cultural event 'Cortile di San Francesco', edition 2023, to present the rich...
A new field mission for GRAFF-IT was just carried out in several sites of the Umbria region. The team surveyed the many graffiti found at the Basilica of S. Francesco at Assisi, and found new graffiti on church walls and artworks at Foligno, Trevi and Spello. A visit was also paid to the diffused exhibition on graffiti (Trevi, Complesso Museale of S. Francesco), curated by Dr. Pier Paolo Trevisi within the Graff-IT Project
The Ducal Palace of Urbino is a true “palace to be read”: graffiti occupy doors, windows, walls, seats... A survey was just carried out thanks to Prof. Raffaella Sarti (Univ. Urbino), member of the Graff-IT advisory board and author of several studies on the Palace’s graffiti.
Video conference presentation of the catalogue on medieval and early modern graffiti from Umbria
From the 1st of June till the 31st of December 2023, the diffused exhibition on medieval and early modern graffiti from Umbria, curated by Dr. Pier Paolo Trevisi within the Graff-IT ERC Project, will be on show at Trevi, Complesso Museale di San Francesco, and at Vallo di Nera, Casa dei Racconti.