University of Notre Dame

Center for Italian Studies


Public Seminar: "Critica nova, or Everything Old is New Again: A Conversation, with Examples, on the Renewal of Dante Studies" - Albert Russell Ascoli (UC Berkeley)

Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:00PM - 5:00PM Calendars: Lectures, Seminars, and Workshops

Albert Russell Ascoli (University of California, Berkeley) - "Critica nova, or Everything Old is New Again: A Conversation, with Examples, on the Renewal of Dante Studies"

A Public Workshop and Seminar in connection with Zygmunt Baranski's Graduate Course, "Dante's World of Books"

Tuesday, March 26th from 2-5pm in the Hayes-Healy Center, Room 129


Albert Russell Ascoli is Terrill Distinguished Professor and Department Chair of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, a founding member of the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS), and vice-president of the Dante Society of America.  He is the author of Ariosto's Bitter Harmony (Princeton, 1987), Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (Cambridge, 2008), and A Local Habitation and a Name: Imagining Histories in the Italian Renaissance (Fordham, 2011). He is co-editor of essay collections on Machiavelli and Literature (Cornell, 1993), the discourse of "Risorgimento" in 19th and 20th century Italy (Berg, 2001), and "Italy in the Drama of Europe" (Northwestern, 2010), as well as of volume two of the electronic journal, California Italian Studies, entitled "Italian Futures" (escholarship, CDL, 2011).  He is currently editing the Cambridge Companion to Petrarch and preparing a study entitled (provisionally) ‘What’s in a Word?’: The Languages of Faith and the Emergence of Modernity.  

The overall focus of the workshop will be the current state of Dante Studies. Professor Ascoli will speak specifically about his own attempts in that direction, both in the recent past and currently, in dialogue with those of others, including Zygmunt Baranski, Theodore Cachey, Christian Moevs, and Vittorio Montemaggi, and one or two other scholars not currently teaching at Notre Dame. He will conclude by presenting an example of a current interpretive problem that he is puzzling over, highlighting its methodological implications for the study of the Commedia.

Recommended readings:

Albert R. Ascoli:

          Dante and the Making of a Modern Author, Chapter 1, sections i-v, and Chapter 4 (Cambridge, 2008)

          "Poetry and Theology," in Dante and Theology, ed. by Claire Honess and Matthew Treherne, forthcoming (please contact for access to this article)


          Chapters 18-19 of the Vita nova

          "Amor che nella mente mi ragiona," Convivio, Book III 

          Book II, chapters 6-8 of De Vulgari Eloquentia 

          Purgatorio II and XXIV

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