Who We Are

The Italian Association for the Study of English (Associazione Italiana di Anglistica [AIA]) boasts a rich history that traces back to its inception. To provide insights into this history, we present a report delivered by the first AIA President, G. Melchiori, during the inaugural National AIA Conference. This historic event took place in Rome from April 27 to 29, 1978. The conference aimed to showcase the scientific achievements in the field of English studies in Italy and evaluate the level of research. The report discusses the challenges faced by the association, including the need to overcome the limited visibility of Italian research in the international arena. But most notably, in this report, the President also retraces the historical context leading to the formation of the Italian Association for the Study of English. In the 1960s, a tentative association was established under the auspices of the National Research Council, focusing on fruitful research projects related to English literature and language. However, after 1968, individual research projects operated independently, and due to the increased challenges faced by universities in this period, a stop was put on the formation of an actual association. Despite the pause in organisational efforts, the necessity for coordination and a unified strategy to confront the challenges encountered by English studies in Italy became increasingly apparent. The subsequent years saw a growing urgency to address the issues faced by the discipline. In response to this need, the AIA Association was officially established in October 1975. The association aimed not only to promote research but also to improve the quality of English language and literature education. It addressed the precarious conditions of universities and sought collaboration with other foreign associations. The report also discusses the association’s goals, such as promoting international collaboration, organising courses and seminars, and improving English language teaching in Italy. It emphasises the importance of balancing research and teaching, coordinating activities among different English study centres, and establishing connections with secondary schools.  
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