How ReIReS is Supporting Scholars: Interview With Carlo Bovolo

Carlo Bovolo is one of the first scholars who made use of the ReIReS transnational access scholarships. He worked two weeks in the facilities of KU Leuven and tells us now how he experienced this scholarship.

Who is Carlo Bovolo?

I am a lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy, and I am collaborating with the Museum of Criminal Anthropology “Cesare Lombroso” of the University of Turin. In 2017 I earned a PhD in History at the University of Eastern Piedmont, dealing with a research on the Italian Catholics’ apologetic uses and strategies towards science in the second half of the 19th Century, focusing especially on the clerical periodical press. From my PhD dissertation, in 2017 I also published my first monograph, entitled I cattolici italiani e la scienza, about the relationship between Catholics and sciences in the age of Posivitism.

How did you use the ReIReS scholarship?

The ReIReS scholarship at the KU Leuven allowed me to work on a research project about Catholic approaches and attitudes towards eugenics in the first half of 20th Century. In particular, I worked on the Belgian Jesuit Valére Fallon (1875-1955), economist, demographer and eugenist, professor of Moral philosophy and Economy at the Jesuit College of Leuven. Thanks to the rich collections and the research facilities of the Maurits Sabbe Library and of the Central Library of the KU Leuven, I studied and examined several of Fallon’s works about eugenics and demography and two other essays related to his activity.

What is your opinion of your stay at the KU Leuven?

My experience at KU Leuven has been very stimulating, fruitful, and satisfying. Examining Fallon’s books, I collected interesting and useful material about Catholic attitudes towards eugenics and now I intend to prepare and submit an article about this research. In addition, I really appreciated the welcoming and stimulating environment of the Maurits Sabbe Library and the city of Leuven itself.

Finally, I would like to thank the ReIReS network for giving me this interesting chance, and especially Prof. Mathijs Lamberigts of KU Leuven, who assisted and supported me during my research stay in Leuven.

Image: Maurits Sabbe Library, Leuven

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