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Davis recognized by British Academy
September 21, 1998

History professor John Davis has received a prestigious award for his work in Italian history from The British Academy, the governing body for the humanities in the United Kingdom.

Davis, the Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair in Modern Italian History, was given the Serena medal, for "eminent services towards the furtherance of the study of Italian history, literature, art and economics." Awarded annually, the medal was endowed by Arthur Serena in 1919 to commemorate Great Britain's alliance with Italy in World War I.

"In the field of modern Italian history, Professor John Davis enjoys a very distinguished reputation," the citation reads. It notes his books on Bourbon Naples, on law and order in 19th-century Italy and the Napoleonic period, and his work editing books and writing scholarly articles in European and social history.

"It is a great and somewhat overwhelming honor to receive this award," Davis said, "particularly since previous recipients include many of this century's most outstanding scholars of every branch of Italian history, culture and the arts. As well as giving me personal satisfaction, I see the award as recognition of the important contribution that the University of Connecticut is making to Italian studies."

Davis was appointed to the Noether Chair in 1992 and has built one of the strongest programs on modern Italy in the U.S. In 1995, he launched the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, recognized as the foremost English language scholarly journal on modern Italian studies. In 1997, Davis was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and used it to complete a study in Italy of the historical origins of Italy's "southern problem." His study will be published next year by Oxford University Press.

Before coming to UConn, Davis taught at the University of Warwick, in the United Kingdom, for 20 years. He received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Oxford University.

Sherry Fisher