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Announcing Dr. Sergio Basso as the 2020/2021 Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global Postdoctoral Fellow

July 28, 2020

We are pleased to introduce Dr. Sergio Basso as our incoming 2020/2021 Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global Postdoctoral Fellow. 

Dr. Basso’s research interests include Greek palaeography, 11th century Byzantine literature, the Byzantine presence along the Silk Road, Manichaeism, and Chinese art history and archaeology. He has authored a wide variety of publications including both academic and non-academic works. During his time at the Centre, he will be completing his book manuscript which theorizes a new paradigm for the genesis of the “Barlaam and Ioasaph” hagiographic novel, as well as participating in the Centre’s annual Seminar Series. 

Dr. Basso received two MAs, one in Oriental Languages from Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia (1999), and the other in Classics at Università degli Studi di Milano (2011). Prior to beginning his PhD program, he spent time living in China learning about oriental art and literature, as well as studying Chinese, Sanskrit, and Syriac. In 2018 he completed his PhD in Civilizations and Linguistic-Literary Cultures from Antiquity to the Modern times (Classics and Byzantine studies) at the Università Roma Tre, on the formation of the narrative nucleus of the Byzantine novel “Barlaam and Ioasaph”, using several tools of comparative literature and literary theories to produce a new narratological approach. 

In studying the fictional material of “Barlaam and Ioasaph”, he became exposed to Greek and Latin hagiographical tradition and synaxaria. His resulting fascination with the transmission of narrative motives moving between East and West continues to inspire his work, which has won national competitions, including the Certamen Florentinium and Agòn in Gela. 

Fittingly, Dr. Basso’s non-academic endeavors match the interdisciplinary nature of his research. Once an actor and theatre director, he has since become an award-winning film director and screenwriter, who has produced several documentaries and animated films over the course of his career. His first feature film “Elementary Love”, released in 2014, was selected for the Moscow Film Festival and Giffoni Film Festival. In addition to film, he has previously developed crossmedia platforms and participated in radio broadcasts.

Dr. Basso has lectured at Cambridge University, the Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts, Oxford University, and UCLA, and performed research for the Network of research on Distributed Authorship at UCLA on 11th century Byzantium, as well as for the ETNO project on oriental artwork in Italian museums. He is currently working with a team of researchers at Centro di Ricerca sulle Minoranze (CERM) at the Università degli Studi dell’Insurbria.

Particularly adept at languages, he can speak English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Modern Greek, Georgian and Russian, and read Ancient Greek, Latin, Syriac, Classical Chinese, Pahlavi, some Sanskrit, Sogdian, and Parthian.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Basso to the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies! Learn more about research and most recent publications on the contact page of our website.

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