Lecture: "Boccaccio, the Disguised Revolutionary" by Martin Eisner (Duke)


Location: Rare Books and Special Collections 102 Hesburgh Library

The Spring lectures are being planned in a hybrid online and in-person format. Please register here.
The Center for Italian Studies is pleased to host a lecture by Professor Martin Eisner (Duke) titled:

Boccaccio, the Disguised Revolutionary


Medieval and renaissance, feminist and misogynist, radical and conservative, class-warrior and aspiring aristocrat, Boccaccio has been interpreted in a variety of contradictory ways since the fourteenth century. Prof. Eisner's lecture proposes a new way of reading Boccaccio's work that puts the Decameron at the center to show how the revolutionary ideas about fleshly desire, language, gender, cultural diversity, and power that Boccaccio identifies in the Author's Conclusion to the Decameron radiate throughout his works. 

 Martin Eisner is Chair of Romance Studies and Professor of Italian at Duke University. He is the author of Dante's New Life of the Book: A Philology of World Literature (Oxford UP, 2021), which won the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association. His first book Boccaccio and the Invention of Italian Literature: Dante, Petrarch, Cavalcanti, and the Authority of the Vernacular (Cambridge UP, 2013) has recently been published in Italian as Boccaccio e l'invenzione della letteratura italiana (Salerno, 2022). He is currently working on a biography of Boccaccio forReaktion Books's Renaissance Lives series. He continues to develop the online research project Dante’s Library. His articles on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Machiavelli have appeared in PMLA, Renaissance Quarterly, Dante Studies, Mediaevalia, California Italian Studies, Quaderni d’Italianistica, Annali d’Italianistica, and Le Tre Corone. His research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the American Academy in Rome, the American Philosophical Association, and the Fulbright Foundation.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Medieval Institute.

The Italian Research Seminar, a core event of the Center for Italian Studies, aims to provide a regular forum for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and colleagues from other universities to present and discuss their current research. The Seminar is vigorously interdisciplinary, and embraces all areas of Italian literature, language, and culture, as well as perceptions of Italy, its achievements and its peoples in other national and international cultures. The Seminar constitutes an important element in the effort by Notre Dame's Center for Italian Studies to promote the study of Italy and to serve as a strategic point of contact for scholarly exchange.