Seven Questions with Francesca Masiero
29 May 2019
This week we put seven questions to Francesca, a Renaissance Studies PhD student at UCL SELCS. Francesca shares with us her love of exploring fifteenth-century Latin manuscripts, artistic family and favourite restaurants in Shoreditch.
What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I am a PhD student in Renaissance Studies in the Italian Department at the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at UCL. I am interested in this field because I love exploring fifteenth-century Latin manuscripts to retrieve the wisdom of classical antiquity through the treatises and orations of early modern thinkers. I am planning to embark on a post-doc and eventually become a professor.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
The most interesting thing I have got involved with at UCL was a living Latin course organised by the Greek and Latin Department in which Latin was the only language of communication and students learned this idiom only by reading, conversing and speaking in Latin.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
I have discovered a fifteenth-century manuscript written in Italian vernacular with some precious illuminations and elegant marginal glosses at UCL Special Collections while researching some incunabula for my research project.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
My top three things to do/see/go to in London are the temporary exhibitions at Kew Gardens, Dishoom and Andine restaurants in Shoreditch and a stroll at sunset along the Thames from Southbank to London Bridge.
If you were Provost for the day what one thing would you do?
I would organise a competition for UCL students at postgraduate level to win three weekly sessions with three professionals in their dream job and a daily pass to visit any institutions in London related to their field of study to explore where they could start developing their career.
Who inspires you and why?
I have two British and Italian professors in my field who inspire me to excel in my PhD studies and keep me focussed and motivated to achieve my goals. They inspire me because they managed to develop a remarkable career over a long timespan and relentlessly travelled for research abroad without losing their passion for their chosen subject and rigour in disseminating their findings.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Despite my serious and austere attitude, I hide an artistic soul. The majority of people with whom I currently interact think that I am a clever, well-organised and disciplined person. However, they do not know that I belong to a family of artists since my father is an art restorer and my mum is a glass decorator. As a tradition in Venice, they taught me to paint and draw when I was quite young. I chose to devote my academic career to languages, literature and history but, in truth, I am an incognito artist!