Dr Isabella Magni


Digital Humanities Institute

Lecturer in Digital Humanities

Dr Isabella Magni
Profile picture of Dr Isabella Magni

I am Lecturer in digital humanities in the Digital Humanities Institute (DHI). My research stands at the intersection between digital philology and digital editing, text and data analysis, cultural analytics, digital archives, mediaeval and early modern studies, mercantile and transcultural mediaeval cultures.

Before joining the DHI, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the HathiTrust Research Center where I managed five digital humanities projects that tell the story of historically under-resourced and marginalised textual communities. Previously, I worked as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Renaissance Studies, Newberry Research Library – Chicago IL, where I collaborated in creating the Italian Paleography project; and as Postdoctoral Associate in Italian and Digital Humanities at Rutgers University, teaching and researching at the intersection between Italian studies, Medieval and Renaissance literature and cultures and digital scholarship. I completed my PhD in Italian and Medieval Studies with a focus on digital humanities at Indiana University, Bloomington (USA).

I am currently working on exploring how AI and computer vision can help examine and better understand Mediaeval and early modern book production, and in particular Petrarch’s songbook Rerum vulgarium fragmenta; and on non-canonical Italian texts (including a digital edition of the Albizi Memorial Book).

My current main projects, already available online, are:

Additionally, I serve as one of the Editors of the Early Modern Digital Review (an online, open-access, and refereed journal publishing high-quality reviews of digital projects related to early modern society and culture), and as the first Digital Editor of Textual Cultures (the journal of the Society for Textual Scholarship). I also serve on the advisory board of the Renaissance Society of America’s Digital and Multimedia Committee. 


PhD, Indiana University

Research interests
  • digital archives
  • text and data analysis 
  • AI, computer vision and manuscript studies 
  • digital editing
  • digital philology; digital palaeography
  • textual studies; history of the book
  • Mediaeval and early modern texts; translation studies; premodern mercantile cultures; women writers
Teaching interests

At Sheffield, I serve as Director of the M.A. in Cultural Data Management and Communication, and as Director of Admissions and Recruitment. I am a module leader for Introduction to Cultural Data, and Digital Methods in Practice (upcoming). My main teaching interests are:

  • digital cultures and cultural data 
  • digital archives and digital editing
  • digital textual studies 
  • Mediaeval and early modern literature and history 

Books/volumes/special issues:

Selected articles:

  • “Editing the Albizi Memorial Book”, in Interpretation and Visual Poetics in Early Modern Texts, Brill Publishers (2021).
  • “Cultural Mediations and Material Contexts of Dante’s Commedia: the Case of Beinecke MS 428”, Romanic Review, vol. 112.1, Duke University Press (2021). 
  • “Introduction: Special Issue, Digital Paleography”, Early Modern Digital Review Vol.3 No.1, Iter Press, University of Toronto (Fall 2020). 
  • Making a Digital Edition: The Petrarchive ProjectAtti del IX Convegno Annuale AIUCD. La svolta inevitabile: sfide e prospettive per l'Informatica Umanistica. Milano: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, p.287: 2020.
  • “Reading the Comedy in Manuscripts: Material Philology in Dante Studies.” with H. W. Storey, in Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy. Second Edition, Modern Language Association of America, New York, 2020.
  • “The Petrarchive Project: An Overview” in A Dossier of Scholarly Projects at the Intersection of Italian Studies and Digital Humanities, Special Issue of Italian Culture Vol. 37, 2019.
  • Medieval studies at the Newberry Library: new approaches in challenging times” with C. Fletcher and K. Christianson, in print, Essays in Medieval Studies vol.34, West Virginia Univ. Press, 2018.
  •  “The Fragmenta’s Timeline: Models for Reconstructing and Interpreting the Text” in Mediaevalia vol.39, State University of New York Press, 2018.
  • “Visualizing the Fragmenta’s poetic systems”, in Humanist Studies & the Digital Age vol.5 no.1, University of Oregon Journals, 2017.
  • Digital Representations and the Pivotal Instability of “Donna mi vene spesso ne la mente” in the Study of the Fragmenta” with John A. Walsh, in Digital Philology 5.2, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.
  • “I codici paralleli dei Fragmenta”, in Medioevo letterario d’Italia. Vol. 12, 2015.