Yujia (Flavia) Jin

Representations of the Italian Renaissance in the 21st Century: the Borgia and Medici Families stories on the small screen

Yujia (Flavia) Jin (she/her) is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Glasgow. Her doctoral research is an interdisciplinary study of the representation of the Italian Renaissance in the twenty-first century. She is interested in the interplay between historical narratives and media characteristics, especially the family saga as a transmedia genre in historical narrative and the ways in which stories of Borgia and Medici history are told on the small screen. This research views the narratives of these two Renaissance families presented on television and in video games as a heteroglossic phenomenon and deconstructs these narratives via a comparative lens of different media and historical families. The research examines how the Italian Renaissance is consumed in contemporary culture and how the representation of this historical period echoes current popular aesthetic values.

This Research Showcase – Heteroglossic Renaissance – stimulates the audience’s interest in engaging with the Italian Renaissance through creative readings on a series of collages and creative practices for making collages. The intermedialities of my research subjects and methods foreground this showcase. Various artistic expressions participate in the representation of the Italian Renaissance in popular culture. To interpret this phenomenon, I adopt a mixed-media approach by hand-making collages to represent seven Renaissance figures of my PhD research (Rodrigo Borgia, Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia Borgia, Cosimo de’ Medici, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Machiavelli and Savonarola), which together form a heteroglossia of the Italian Renaissance in the contemporary world. Collage presents unity through fragments that reveal the ideology and aesthetic taste of both the creator and spectator. By achieving a strong visual effect on the audience and inviting them to create their own Renaissance experience, this exhibit speaks the heteroglossic language of an Italian Renaissance represented, offering a channel linking the past to the present, as well as providing a space for audiences to connect with history through the audience’s personal experiences with the collages. 

Alongside her PhD research, Flavia works part-time as a scriptwriter.

E-mail: 2711973j@student.gla.ac.uk

Instagram: @yujia_flavia