Dr Guyda Armstrong

Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies

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Research interests

My research focuses primarily on Boccaccio and medieval Italian literature, and its transmission across languages and cultures from the medieval period to the present day. I am interested in the material, textual, and visual forms of the book and how they mediate and remake the text for multiple audiences, from medieval manuscripts up to digital media. I have published widely on Boccaccio and Dante and early modern translated print cultures, and my wider research interests include the information design of the translated book, digital humanities, and translation studies. I am currently developing a major new research project using AI and machine vision to investigate early printed book design.

My monograph, Boccaccio in English: A History in Books (UTP, 2013) reads 500 years of Boccaccio's reception through the material forms of his translated book-objects. I am currently completing a critical edition of the 17th-century English translation of Boccaccio's Decameron for the MHRA New Tudor and Stuart Translations series, and developing a new research project on the previously unstudied French Boccaccio manuscript I identified in the University's John Rylands Library. I am also one of the co-editors of the Cambridge Companion to Boccaccio (CUP, 2015).

From 2017-2019 I was Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded grant Petrarch Commentary and Exegesis in Renaissance Italy, c. 1350- c.1650, with Professor Simon Gilson (PI, Warwick) and Dr Federica Pich (Co-I, Leeds). The project reconstructed the corpus of exegetical material around Petrarch's vernacular poetic outputs, and I directed the Petrarch Digital Library component of the project, which has digitized 84 Petrarch editions held in the Special Collections of the John Rylands Library.

With my colleagues Steve Milner (Manchester) and Rhiannon Daniels (Leeds), I organized the major UK conference on Boccaccio to commemorate his septcentenary, 'Locating Boccaccio in 2013', and curated the accompanying exhibition at the John Rylands Library. You can access the archived conference blog here. 

I am also the PI for the British-Academy funded Manchester Digital Dante project, which has digitized culturally significant incunable editions of the Divine Comedy from the holdings of the John Rylands Library. You can read the project blog here.

Research awards and projects

  • 2018 Named international collaborator on Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant, ‘Trajectories of Translation in Early Modern Britain (1473-1660): Routes, mediations, Networks’; PI Dr Marie-Alice Belle, Linguistique et traduction, Université de Montréal (2018-2024)
  • 2017-2019 ‘Petrarch Commentary and Exegesis in Renaissance Italy, c. 1350-c. 1650’ (Co-I), AHRC Standard Grant 2016
  • 2017 ‘Envisioning Dante’: John Rylands Research Institute Pilot collaboration grant/ Seebibyte Transfer Application Project, Visual Geometry research group, Department of Engineering, University of Oxford 
  • 2016-2017 ‘Dramatizing Boccaccio for the 21st century’. SALC Research Impact Award
  • 2015-16 ‘Fostering Digital Humanities Collaborations with Computer Science’. Co-I, University of Manchester Research Institute Pump-priming award
  • 2013 Short-Term Research Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C.
  • 2008/09 British Academy Small Research Grant, for Manchester Digital Dante Project
  • 2006/07 AHRC Research Leave Scheme
  • 2006 Cardiff University Early Career Travel Grant (Visiting Researcher, Brown University)
  • 2004 University of Edinburgh, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Centre for the History of the Book Visiting Fellowship
  • 2001-2003 Brown University, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Early Modern Italian and New Media


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display