The Acton Lectures, formerly known as Graduate Studies Seminar, is a series of public lectures and discussions that take place bi-monthly in the beautiful Salone at Villa La Pietra, on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. during the academic year. The series has been running since 2006, and is co-organized by Bruce Edelstein (Coordinator for Graduate Programs and Advanced Research, NYU Florence) and a visiting faculty member from NYU New York.

The Acton Lectures feature both established and younger scholars and focus thematically on Italian history and culture, understood in the broadest sense. Recent topics include literature (Theodor Cachey, Mapping Italy in Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio; Niccolò Scaffai, ‘Tornare; manguare; raccontare’: Primo Levi da Se questo è un uomo a La tregua); art history and collecting (Ingrid Greenfield, Crocodile Tears: Collecting and Colonial Expansion in the Renaissance); medieval history (Hussein Fancy, The Sicilian Vespers and the Tunisian Matins); cinema culture (Giorgio Bacci, Drawing Dreams: the Cinema of Silvano Campeggi, 1946-69); and history of medicine (John Henderson, Death in Florence: Plague, Prosecution, and Poor in Early Modern Florence). The languages of the series are Italian and English.

From 2016-17, in addition to lectures, the series has incorporated associated events such as workshops, round tables, book presentations, and conferences. This consolidates its previous, valuable contribution to academic and cultural life in Florence. In April 2017, the series held its first full-scale international conference: La prima donna del Rinascimento? Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547): Poetry, Religion, Art, Impact.

Full Calendar of Lectures
Acton Lectures Spring 2018
Acton Lectures Fall 2017
Acton Lectures Spring 2017
Acton Lectures Fall 2016

Seminars From Past Years

Graduate Studies Seminars 2015-2016


Video recordings of Acton Lectures and past Graduate Studies Seminars can be found on the NYU Florence YouTube channel and on individual event pages.