Pirelli sponsors Princeton professorship

There’s more to Pirelli than just F1 and calendars crammed with high-profile models. As part of its efforts to promote, sponsor, and support cultural projects in Italy and around the world, the tyre maker has established the ‘Pirelli Visiting Professorship in Italian Studies’ for a five-year term at Princeton University’s Department of French and Italian at Princeton University. The professorship’s stated aim is to support the dissemination of the study of Italian history and culture through new media and technology within Italian studies.

During each academic year, the US ‘Ivy League’ university will invite a prominent Italian scholar or professional to the Princeton campus to teach one course and engage in additional activities that enrich Princeton’s educational experience and expand the breadth and scope of its interdisciplinary programmes. Journalist and writer Gianni Riotta will the first to hold this position; he will begin in spring 2014.

The partnership between Pirelli and PrincetonUniversity will be launched in January 2014 by the university’s Department of French and Italian. A newly designed course, team taught by Riotta and Professor Gaetana Marrone-Puglia, will focus on Italian history from the postwar period to the present day through the analysis of the Italian cinema. Students will be called upon to analyse the period of history in question through the production of multimedia projects, to which Pirelli will contribute by providing content and material from the Pirelli Foundation’s archives.

“The Pirelli Visiting Professorship in Italian Studies will enhance our deep commitment to using a multidisciplinary approach to explore global culture,” said Professor Marrone-Puglia, who serves as the faculty liaison between PrincetonUniversity and Pirelli. “Pirelli’s gift will provide a tremendous opportunity for both students and the Department of French and Italian, and we look forward to sponsoring interdisciplinary events on campus.”

Globally, Pirelli collaborates with 14 universities in an effort to promote scientific and humanistic research. The tyre maker says its partnership with Princeton University in the field of the humanities and mass media not only enables it to support Italian culture abroad, but also gain greater visibility on contemporary trends and the evolution of the world of new media, which are increasingly important also in terms of business.

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