Boccaccio Public Seminar: "Boccaccio’s Poetics between the Genealogy and the Decameron” - David Lummus (Stanford)


Location: Room 404, Main Building

Boccaccio Public Seminar: "Boccaccio’s Poetics between the Genealogy and the Decameron” - David Lummus (Stanford)

Tuesday September 3 at 12:30pm in Room 404, Main Building

David Lummus will present a lecture, “Boccaccio’s Poetics between the Genealogy and the Decameron,” to which members of the public are welcome, as part of Christian Moevs' graduate seminar on Boccaccio. 

The presentation is meant to serve both as a general introduction to Boccaccio’s mythographic treatise, the Genealogy of the Pagan Gods, and as an exploration of the possible ties between it and the Decameron, in order to provide a fruitful theoretical apparatus for examining the individual tales and the work as a whole. More specifically, it will try to show how Boccaccio’s critical approach to storytelling in the Genealogy is linked to the diegetic structure of the Decameron. Lummus will speak about Boccaccio’s notion of poetry in Book 14 of the Genealogy and his reflection on allegory in Book 1, bringing in some examples of his exegeses from across the treatise. From the Decameron, in addition to the Proem and Introduction to Day 1, Lummus will discuss aspects of the frame narrative in Days 3, 4, and 9, and the author’s conclusion. 

If you would like to attend, please contact Anne Leone at for information about assigned readings.

David Lummus holds a B.A. in Classics and Italian from the University of Texas at Austin (2001) and a Ph.D. in Italian from Stanford University (2008). He is currently assistant professor of Italian at Stanford, where he returned in 2012 after teaching for four years at Yale University. His research focuses on late medieval and early modern literature and humanism in Latin and the vernacular, especially on the interrelationship between politics and poetry and on the mythographic tradition between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. In the field of Boccaccio studies, he has published journal articles on the Decameron and its relationship to the Genealogie Deorum Gentilium, on the theories of poetry and history in the Genealogie, and on the question of the Hellenic tradition in the humanism of Boccaccio and Petrarch. Forthcoming in 2014 are his essays on Boccaccio’s poetics for the Cambridge Companion to Boccaccio and on the Buccolicum Carmen for Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works (Chicago). He has also published essays on the reception of Dante’s Inferno and on Edoardo Sanguineti’s Dantism, in addition to several translations of contemporary Italian poets.