The project will study an exemplary case of the construction of a cultural identity, the Lombard courts of the 14th and 15th centuries. Language, space, architecture and imagery under the Visconti and Sforza dynasties form the fields of enquiry. It thus respects a temporal and geographic unity. It is interdisciplinary, founded on the conviction of unitary guiding principles and strategies of communication, in a desired continuum between the Visconti and Sforza dynasties, and involving the history of Italian language and literature, history of art and architectural history.
The research project explicitly aims at bridging the different academic cultures of linguistic regions in Switzerland and to combine Swiss theoretical approaches and practice with methodologies from French, Italian and German-speaking scholarship. In contrast to those research trends that tend to concentrate on themes transcending epochs and cultures, it wishes to restate the vital importance of specific temporal and geographic investigation for cultural and social history in the contemporary academic and political field.