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- by  New College Communications
New College of Florida History Professor Carrie Beneš to lead research team to create digital edition of Goro Dati’s The Globe (La sfera)

Sarasota, Fla. — New College of Florida History Professor Carrie Beneš — in collaboration with Amanda Madden of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, Laura Ingallinella of the University of Toronto, and Laura Morreale, an independent scholar — has been awarded a $150,000 grant as part of the National Endowment for the HumanitiesScholarly Editions and Translations program.

The grant supports the La Sfera Project, an open-access multimedia edition of Goro Dati’s 15th-century poem La sfera (The Globe). While it will be administered through New College, Beneš is leading a research team collaborating across more than 10 institutions.

“I am honored to have received this significant grant and look forward to leading an international team as we embark on this project,” said Beneš. “Goro Dati’s work reveals fascinating webs of premodern intercultural trade and exchange, and I am glad we will have the opportunity to share it in a more accessible way through this work.”

“We are thrilled that our own Professor Beneš secured this grant,” said New College Interim President Richard Corcoran. “Her work in this field is second to none, and we are proud of this great accomplishment.”

Beneš is a cultural historian of late medieval Italy whose research focuses on landscape, urban identity and the classical tradition. Her publications include Urban Legends: Civic Identity & the Classical Past in Northern Italy (2011), A Companion to Medieval Genoa (2018), and Jacopo da Varagine’s Chronicle of the City of Genoa (2019). She will spend the 2023-24 year in Rome as Co-PI and Director of Spatial Analysis for the Sfera Project.

As a merchant in 15th-century Florence, Goro Dati led an exciting life: he was disappointed by deals that fell through, robbed by pirates, and cheated by unscrupulous partners. Toward the end of a 50-year career in both commerce and politics, he wrote La sfera to introduce fellow merchant venturers to the cosmos, the natural world, and Mediterranean geography.

Madden, who will lead the team at RRCHNM, argues that “La sfera overturns common misconceptions what medieval people believed (that the world was flat, for example), and reveals how premodern Europeans understood the world around them before the so-called ‘Age of Exploration.’”

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About New College of Florida

Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida was named the No. 5 Public National Liberal Arts College from U.S. News & World Report in 2023 and is the Honors College of Florida. New College provides students with limitless, original opportunities for success through a highly individualized education that combines academic excellence with career preparation experiences.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

The NEH’s Scholarly Editions and Translations program supports collaborative teams who are editing, annotating, and translating foundational humanities texts that are vital to scholarship but are currently inaccessible or only available in inadequate editions or translations.