The Italian Ambassador to the Court of St James
The British Ambassador to the Quirinale

The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes CH, PC
Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Honorary Presidents
Prof. David Clary FRS
Mr David Rowe
Mr Richard Gadeselli

Prof Simon Gilson, Magdalen College, Oxford

Prof Emanuela Tandello
Prof Luciana John

Mr Spencer Gray

Treasurer and Trustee of the Dorothy Rowe Trust
Prof Luciana John

Membership Secretary
Mr Dante Ceruolo

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New Chair Simon Gilson
In December 2021 TOIA welcomed Simon Gilson as its new Chairman. He is Fiat-Serena Professor of Italian Studies in the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Magdalen College. His Chairmanship will maintain and carry forward TOIA’s close connection with the University in general, as well as with Italian Studies at Oxford in particular.

Simon Gilson came to Oxford from Warwick University where he was Professor of Italian, having previously taught at a number of universities including Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. He is a nominated honorary member of the Italian Dante Society in Florence. His research is focused on Dante, the reception of Dante, and Renaissance Italian literary, cultural and intellectual history. He has been involved in several collaborative funded research projects in the fields of medieval and Renaissance studies.


Clara Florio Cooper Memorial Bursaries

The Oxford Italian Association invites applications for open bursaries set up by family, friends and colleagues to commemorate the life and work of Clara Florio Cooper (1947-2004).  This year it is intended to offer two annual awards out of a total sum of up to £1,500.  The judges are free to divide this, into two larger bursaries of £600 each plus up to three smaller top-up grants (of £100), but they are also free to divide the sum in a different way depending on the quality of applications received.  The large bursaries are intended to promote graduate research into aspects of Italian culture (including, for instance, travel to consult manuscripts in Italian archives).  The smaller top-up grants are intended for graduates specifically based in Oxford and working on Italian culture.

Applications should include a brief curriculum vitae, with an e-mail contact address, an outline of the research proposed (on no more than one page of A4), and a letter of support from the applicant’s supervisor, and should be sent to Dante Ceruolo via email:

The Dorothy Rowe Trust

The award is for students up to the age of 18 who are in full time secondary school education in the UK or Italy. It currently involves an exchange of students between the Oxford High School for Girls and the Liceo Ettore Majorana in Pozzuoli, Naples.  The awards were endowed to commemorate the work of the late Dorothy Rowe, the first secretary of TOIA. She dedicated the last 6 years of her life to a greater understanding between the UK and Italy mostly by helping young people to become familiar with the other country’s culture and language. Her friends and family agreed that Dorothy Rowe would wish that any memorial to her should help young people towards a greater cultural and linguistic understanding between the UK and Italy. The Trust Fund was launched in June 1996 by Luciana John.


Courses, study weeks, trips to Italy and other activities are organised from time to time. Please contact the Secretary at or use the form on the Contact page.