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Casanova in Place:

A Symposium in Venice

Venice, Italy
28-30 June 2019

The Symposium

28-30 June

Known as one of the eminent travelers of the 18th century, Giacomo Casanova visited much of Europe and wrote one of the era's most important chronicles, as much a travel account as an autobiography. Exploring his interactions with people in the many cities he visited and on the roads reveals insights into both the man and his times. How do we, of other places and times, expand our understanding of his contributions? Join us in Venice, Casanova's birthplace and heart-home, to explore the impact of place and time on Casanova's identity, writing, and ideas.

This symposium aims to bring together anyone interested in the study of Casanova's life and letters. A rich variety of participants will engender rich discussion and invite new ideas and perspectives. On offer will be events both academic as well as popular.


The Symposium will include papers, readings from published books, and receptions. Optional extra excursions may include a trip on the Burchiello, a tour of the Casanova's cell in the Doge's Palace,  and walking tours to Casanova sites in Venice. The reception will be held at the Galleria il Redentore on Giudecca and the lectures will be held at the Centro Cultural Don Orione Artigianelli in Dorsoduro. 

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The Conference

About the Organizers

Presented by Kathleen Ann Gonzalez, author of Seductive Venice: In Casanova's Footsteps (also known as Casanova's Venice: A Walking Guide and A Venezia con Casanova) and Malina Stefanovska, University of California, Los Angeles, co-organizer of the 2016 conference Casanova: Libertine Legend and contributor to the catalogue for the exhibit Casanova: The Seduction of Europe

Sponsored in part by the William Andrews Clark Library /

UCLA Center for 17th & 18th Century Studies.

Tentative Schedule of Events

Thursday 27 June:

8:00 – 17:00 Optional Full day cruise on the Burchiello boat from Venice to Padua, lunch included. 109 euros.


Friday 28 June:

10:00 – 12:00 Optional Walking tour of Casanova-related sites in Venice, with Kathleen Gonzalez, ending at optional lunch. 

14:00 – Optional Visit to Casanova Museum. 13 euros.

18:00 – 19:30 Symposium Reception. The evening will include a recitation of Casanova's translation into Venetian of Homer's Iliad by Albert Gardin.  Location: Galleria il Redentore, Giudecca (vaporetto stop Redentore)

Saturday 29 June: 

8:30 – 16:30 Presentation of papers, moderated by Bruno Capaci. (lunch provided). Location: Centro Culturale Don Orione (vaporetto stop either Zattere or Accademia)

19:00 Dinner on your own.


Sunday 30 June: 

9:00 – 12:00 Author Panel Discussion. Location: Centro Culturale Don Orione

12:00 – 14:00 Lunch (provided)

14:00 – 17:00 Screening of film version of Casanova Ballet. By special arrangement with Sky Arts, Digital Theatre and Northern Ballet. Directed and choreographed by Kenneth Tindall and scenario by Kenneth Tindall and Ian Kelly, based on his biography of Casanova. Location: Centro Culturale Don Orione

19:00 Dinner on your own.


Monday 1 July:

9:55 – 11:30 Optional Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour (includes Casanova’s prison cell). 20 euros. Tour is in English, with tours at other times in Italian and French.

Afternoon: Optional walking tour of northern Venice to Casanova sites, with tour guide Luisella Romeo. 



Presenting papers
Gregory Dowling, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Gregory Dowling is Associate Professor of American Literature at Ca' Foscari University of Venice. His field of research is mainly 20th- and 21st-century British and American poetry but he also has a special interest in the Romantic Poets. He is on the committee for a new museum dedicated to Lord Byron which will be opened in Ravenna in 2020. His non-academic publications include six thrillers, the last two being set in 18th-century Venice. 

Jean-Christophe Igalens, Senior lecturer, Faculté des  Lettres de Sorbonne Université

Specialist of French literature of the eighteenth century, Jean-Christophe Igalens is the author of Casanova. The writer in his fiction (Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2011) and the publisher, in collaboration with Erik Leborgne, of the History of my life of Casanova (Robert Laffont, coll. "Bouquins", Paris, 2013-2018).

Stefano Feroci, author and editor

Stefano Feroci lives in Paris and Florence and works in the pharmaceutical and IT industry. He cultivates an interest in eighteenth century literature, has collaborated with the magazine "L'Intermediaire des casanovistes" and is part of the editorial board of the magazine "Casanoviana." He published two books on the Casanova journeys in Tuscany and in Milan. He has also published a book on the identification of the character of "Teresa-Bellino", written with Furio Luccichenti. Finally, together with Dominique Vibrac, he has published a book on the Casanovian sites in Paris.

Mladen Kozul, Associate Professor of French, 
University of Montana

Mladen Kozul is Associate Professor of French at the University of Montana. He taught at the Sorbonne, at Institut des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), at Scripps, and at UCLA. His recent research focuses on the culture, literature and philosophy of the French Enlightenment. His publications include five books, among them one on the translation and the radical Enlightenment, on the history of the body, and on the legitimacy of fiction in early modern France. He divides his time between Paris and Missoula, MT.  

Cyril Frances, Senior Lecturer, 
Université Jean Moulin - Lyon 3

Maître de conférences in eighteenth century's literature at the University of Lyon, Cyril Francès wrote a book about l'Histoire de ma vie (Casanova. La Mémoire du désir, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2014) and numerous articles about Casanova's works. His main research areas are the Memoirs of the Ancient Régime and the libertinage. He is currently working on memorialists of the French Révolution and the writing of history at the end of the eighteenth century. 

Malina Stefanovska, University of California, Los Angeles

Teaches at UCLA and has held visiting positions at the University of Lausanne, and the University of Tours. A specialist of 17th and 18th century literature, she has published on autobiography, memoirs, court society, passions and emotions, and is presently working on Casanova, preparing a manuscript of fictional letters to Casanova, and an edited book to appear with the University of Toronto Press. Her next project is to publish the personal memoirs she has written of her life in Macedonia.  

Dr. Nicola Vinovrški, University of Queensland

Nicola has a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and PhD from the University of Queensland. Her undergraduate studies were in international law, French language and literature and German. Her honours thesis was about French films and their American remakes. The topic of her doctoral thesis was "Casanova's Celebrity: A Case Study of Well-knownness in 18th century Europe." She is currently working on a special issue of Historical Social Research dealing with historical celebrity. Her research interests are Casanova, celebrity and the 18th century. She is also a lawyer working in commercial dispute resolution and international arbitration. She lives in London.

Tom Vitelli, author, editor, and researcher

Tom Vitelli has been studying Casanova since 1977.. He did his undergraduate thesis on Casanova As Literary Critic at Vassar College, began a friendship with the American Casanovist J. Rives Childs, and went to Venice to do research at Pierre Gruet’s Istituto Francese di Studi Storici, where he transcribed two of Casanova’s major unedited manuscripts. Vitelli has contributed articles to the three recent journals of Casanova studies.  Vitelli is a healthcare marketing executive and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Author Panel Discussion

Authors Include:

Barbara Lynn-Davis, Ph.D., lecturer, Department of Art, Wellesley College, USA, and author of Casanova's Secret Wife

After graduating from Brown University with a degree in art history, Barbara Lynn-Davis worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and began a life-long love affair with the lagoon city. She returned to Venice for a year while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University. Along the way, she discovered the memoirs of famed lover Giacomo Casanova, and found the story she wanted to tell. Lynn-Davis teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College. 

Kathleen Ann González, author of Seductive Venice: In Casanova's Footsteps

Kathleen Ann Gonzalez has written  five books, notably Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps and its Italian edition Casanova's Venice: A Walking Guide. Her research on Casanova has been noted in Smithosonian magazine, by the BBC, in a French documentary, and for the American art exhibit on Casanova's era. She also published a 2012 article in l’Intermediaire des Casanovistes. As a high school English teacher, Kathleen has won recognition for her work. Though she lives in California, Kathleen considers Venice her second home.  

Michelle Lovric,
author of Carnevale, The Wishing Bones, and other books

Michelle Lovric writes novels for adults and children, memoir and poetry. She has particular interests in Venice, art, trauma, and the history of medicine. A number of her books are set in Venice, notably Carnevale, The Floating Book, and The Wishing Bones. Michelle Lovric has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Kings College London’s Graduate School. Her poetry has been recognized in the Bridport and other prizes.  

Ian Kelly,
author of the biography Casanova

Ian Kelly is a multi-award winning historian, playwright, screenwriter, and actor. His series of 18thcentury studies include biographies of Casanova, Beau Brummell, the chef Antonin Careme, and the transvestite-comedian Samuel Foote. He also co-wrote the authorised biography of the designer Vivienne Westwood. After scholarships to Cambridge University and UCLA’s Film School, Ian has pursued twin careers as writer and actor, writing fellowships at The Wellcome Trust and Huntington Libraries, as well as journalism.

Casanova Ballet

"In a claustrophobic Venice of lavish dress and gilded interiors, Casanova is preparing for a career in holy orders when an erotic encounter sets him on a different path. Sexual conquests and intellectual liberation define this whirlwind of scandal and excess. 


Northern Ballet's atmospheric and seductive production, Kenneth Tindall’s first full-scale narrative ballet, was captured by Digital Theatre at Manchester’s Palace Theatre and stars Giuliano Contadini as the infamous Italian lover." --Digital Theater website

Ian Kelly and Kenneth Tindall wrote the scenario, based on the Sunday Times bestselling biography Casanova by Ian Kelly, and choreographed and directed by Kenneth Tindall. The ballet won numerous awards, including Best Classical Choreography at the 2017 National Dance Awards and Outstanding Achievement in Dance, 2017, in BroadwayWorld. It will be touring internationally in 2020. 

By special arrangement with Sky Arts, Digital Theatre and Northern Ballet, we will screen this film version of the ballet, to be introduced in person by Ian Kelly.


On Display: Photographs by David Winston

Noctune 6.JPG

The photographer, David Winston, was born in California and moved to the UK in 1970 and travels extensively with his camera. Like many artists before him, he has been drawn to the city of Venice as a constant source of inspiration and now divides his time between Venice and the UK.

With his photography he has sought ways to work beyond the constraints of modern digital imagery. This has led him to both look back to the earliest photographic processes and also develop his own alternative ways of producing a photographic image:

"The two major elements of magic and emotion are the driving forces behind my photography. The camera is a completely objective observer, simply recording everything the lens sees, rather than filtering it through our individual human perceptions. The use of alternative photo processes allows me to work with the more painterly aspects of photography--to portray what I see in a more subjective way. The art for me is to produce a photograph that engages our imagination."

His work displays the detached, watchful eye of the outsider, evidenced in his evocative and atmospheric images.

The spirit of Casanova cannot be separated from the night of Venice:  the half-lift doorways, the shadowy colonnades, dim figures caught in a fleeting glimpse.  The American photographer David Winston, who lives part-time in Venice, has captured the mystery of the Venetian night in his series of "Nocturnes," some of which will be on display during the symposium. 

Past Events

Optional Events

Optional excursions will be available outside of the weekend schedule. These may include:

  • A tour on the Burchiello up the Brenta River to Padova, following Casanova's childhood route.

  • Two walking tours of Casanova sites from the book Seductive Venice: In Casanova's Footsteps, one by author Kathleen Gonzalez and the other by guide Luisella Romeo.

  • Group tour of the "Secret Itineraries" in the Doge's Palace.

  • A visit to the Casanova Museum.



Registration is now open. Please complete the two step process:
1. Click on "Registration form" to provide your contact information.
2. Use the PayPal link below to make the payment of $100 USD.

Malina Stefanovska

Contact us for more information.

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Cancellation Policy:

A refund of $70 USD will be provided if your registration is cancelled by June 10. After that no refunds will be granted. 

Lectures and Author Panel will be  held at the Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli in Dorsoduro, 29 and 30 June 2019.

Reception will be held at the Galleria il Redentore on Giudecca, 28 June 2019.


Galleria il Redentore

Manuel Carrión is the founder and owner of Galleria il Redentore, where he showcases his own work as well as that of other local artists. His 2015 series "Spying on History with Casanova" consists of 1160 small canvases, each depicting individual impressions of Giacomo Casanova. Subsequent series have explored Venetian women as "Donne corragiose" and "Spying on History: Marco Polo." 


Participants should make their own hotel reservations. Here are some nearby accommodations.

Hotel Belle Arti

Rio Terrà Foscarini, 912/A, Dorsoduro 30123

Tel. 0039 041 5226230


Pensione Seguso

Dorsoduro 779

Tel: 0039 041 52 86 858


Santa Margherita Guesthouse

Sestiere Dorsoduro 2885

Tel: 0039 327 854 1710

Domus Cavanis 

Dorsoduro 895

Tel : 00 39  041 5287374

There are also options for religious guest houses, though these are farther away from the conference venue.

Istituto Canossiano

Dorsoduro 1323, Fondamenta delle Romite 

Tel : 00 39  041 2409711

e-mail info@romite


Istituto Ciliota
Calle delle Muneghe (S. Stefano), S. Marco, 2976
Tel : 00 39 041 5204888


Casa Mons. Caburlotto
Santa Croce, 316, Fondamenta Rizzi

Tel : 00 39 041 710 877

Casa Cardinal Piazza            .

Cannaregio, Fondamenta Contarini, 3539/A
Tel : 00 39 041 721 388

Casa Sant'Andrea
Santa Croce, 495/B

Tel : 00 39 041 277 09 45

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