Talk on Dante’s Divine Comedy, Wednesday 3/30

“Performing Salvation in Dante’s Divine Comedy”

Prof. Albert Russell Ascoli UC Berkeley

Wednesday 3/30/11
3:30 p.m.
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (346 Main Library)

Albert Russell Ascoli, Ph.D. Cornell University 1983, is Terrill Distinguished Professor.  His principal field of research and teaching is Medieval and Early Modern Italian culture from the 13th to the 16th centuries, with comparative interests in the classical Latin, English, and French traditions.

Teaching and research interests include the relations between literary form and history; intertwined configurations of authorship and readership; the construction of Italian national identity from the Renaissance to the Risorgimento; literary politics of gender; Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Shakespeare.  Methodologically, his point of departure is the close, historically and culturally informed, reading of texts, literary and other; these readings, however, frequently give rise to methodological and/or theoretical interrogation of critical practice.

He is the author of Ariosto’s Bitter Harmony: Crisis and Evasion in the Italian Renaissance (Princeton, 1987) and Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (Cambridge 2008) and has edited Machiavelli and the Discourse of Literature (with Victoria Kahn; Cornell 1993) and Making and Remaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento (Berg, 2001).  A new study entitled, ‘A Local Habitation, and a Name’: The Historicity and Historiography of Italian Renaissance Literature is forthcoming from Fordham University Press.

He is also editing a special issue of “Renaissance Drama” entitled “Italy and the Drama of Europe” (to appear fall 2009) and the second issue of the new electronic journal “California Italian Studies” dedicated to the theme “Italian Futures” (Spring 2010).

Please join us for the talk!

Cosponsored by the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics and by the Program in Medieval Studies
For information, please contact prof. Eleonora Stoppino ( or prof. Javier Irigoyen-García (


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