Italian Studies

Events & Activities

Events & Activities
The Italian Studies program organizes several activites: here you can check out our events calendar and catch a glimpse of the life of the department. Italian film nights, visiting authors and filmmakers, lectures and schedule for language table can all be found here.

Contact Us

Franco Baldasso
Office Hours: Tues. 2:30 - 4:30 and by appt.

Current and Upcoming Events

There are no current or upcoming events scheduled.

Italian Events Archive by Year



  Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Professor Guy Raffa

Associate Professor of Italian, University of Texas, Austin
Preston 110  5:30 pm

Romancing the Tomb:
Dante's Bones and Italian History

Holy grave robbers, a conspiracy of silence, a forgotten coffin, an empty tomb, hidden bones, exhumations, cranial measurements—Romancing the Tomb: Dante's Bones and Italian History assembles and interprets these and other pieces of Dante's skeletal history from his death in Ravenna in 1321 to a computer-generated reconstruction of his face in 2006. As Italy prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday as a nation, many scholars are turning their attention to issues of Italian nationhood and identity. This talk highlights Dante's important place in this discussion by showing how individuals and institutions have used events surrounding his tomb and remains to promote various political, religious, and cultural agendas. Arguing that physical claims on Dante's bones are ideological claims on his legitimating authority, Romancing the Tomb traces the poet's evolution from an object of regional rivalry in the Renaissance and the founding father of Italy in the nineteenth century into a nationalist symbol during the fascist period before becoming the global icon he is today. Guy Raffa has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1991. He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Italian Literature from Indiana University. His primary scholarly field is medieval Italian literature with a complementary interest in modern Italian authors, particularly Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco. In addition to articles and book-chapters, he has written three books on Dante: Divine Dialectic: Dante’s Incarnational Poetry (Toronto, 2000), Danteworlds: A Reader’s Guide to the "Inferno" (Chicago, 2007), and The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the "Divine Comedy" (Chicago, 2009). He has won numerous teaching and research awards and has been recognized for his contribution to digital humanities with the Danteworlds Web site. He received a three-year Humanities Research Award from the University of Texas for his current project, about which he will speak.  

Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program
Contact: Joseph Luzzi  845-758-7150
  Thursday, April 15, 2010

Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg

Brown University
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  5:30 pm
Associate Professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature;
Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies

A History of Italian Repression:
Indro Montanelli's Anti-Politics
"In my presentation I will discuss the foundations of the anti-politics movement in post-War Italy. I will do this through a reading of Indro Montanelli's 1945 novel Here They Do Not Rest. I will conclude with some reflections on the impact this movement had on the work of Giorgio Agamben."Professor Stewart-Steinberg is the author of Sublime Surrender: Male Masochism at the Fin-de-Siecle (Cornell UP, 1998); The Pinocchio Effect:  On Making Italians, 1860-1920 (Chicago, 2007; winner of Scaglione Award); Imaginaries Socialities;  Five Essays on Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis and Politics (under consideration at Cornell UP).
Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program
Contact: Joseph Luzzi  845-758-7150
  Wednesday, April 14, 2010


University of Chicago
Kline, College Room  12:00 pm
"Law and Exception in Dante's Commedia"

     Despite centuries of  interpretations of the Divine Comedy, Dante’s contribution to theories of justice has been in large part misunderstood. Traditionally, when scholars encounter anomalies in Dante’s juridical otherworld, they search for doctrinal answers that safeguard and reconfirm the classifications of his penal order.  My hypothesis is that, in reality, Dante signals certain incongruities in his normative system of punishments and rewards so as to call attention to the system itself, including the potential fragility of its foundations.  In these unresolved moments of dramatic tension within the Comedy, he confronts the logical and ethical dilemmas that arise when law and justice do not coincide, when legislation is used to justify force, when the exception increasingly becomes the rule. 

Justin Steinberg is currently associate professor of Italian at the University of Chicago.  He is a scholar of medieval Italian literature, with research interests in the early lyric, manuscript culture, and the intersection of literature and law. His first book Accounting for Dante: Urban Readers and Writers in Late Medieval Italy (Notre Dame: Notre Dame UP, 2007) won the MLA Scaglione Prize for a Manuscript in Italian Studies. He has published articles on the Compiuta donzella (the first female Italian poet), Dante's dreams, and Petrarch's uncollected poems. His current book project, for which he was recently awarded a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, is entitled “Law and Exception in Dante’s Commedia.” 
Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program
Contact: 845-758-6822