Alejandro Cuadrado is a Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies. He received his PhD in Italian and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 2023, where he was also a Core Preceptor and Provost Diversity Fellow. He has an undergraduate degree in French & Italian from Princeton University.
His research focuses on medieval Italian literature at the intersection of history and religion. He is currently writing his first book, Dante, Historian of Religious Institutions, which argues that Dante embeds parallel histories of the papacy, monasticism, and the mendicant fraternal orders into the Commedia. His other research has considered medieval exemplarity, travel and pilgrimage narratives, Boccaccio, Petrarch, lyric poetry, Mediterranean Studies, and Cervantes.
With Akash Kumar, he is the co-editor of the Dante Simile Project, which brings together a wide range of scholars to historicize and contextualize Dante’s narrative similes. He is an Assistant Editor of Digital Dante, an online resource dedicated to original research and ideas on Dante, including Teodolinda Barolini’s commentary to the Divine Comedy.
ITAL 322: Travelers, Immigrants, and Exiles from Italy to the Americas
This course focuses on the experiences of Italian travelers and immigrants in the Americas, from New Haven to Argentina. Its goal is to promote a historical consciousness of the social, political, and cultural reality of the Italian presence in the United States and Latin America. Students engage with a variety of media: from letters and diaries to memoirs and unpublished documents, from novels and poems to music and films. Through close readings and literary analyses, the course considers the historical and cultural context of each source, eliciting reflections in at least three key areas: national identity, transcultural encounters, and the relevance of the arts for travelers, migrants, and exiles.
The course is taught in English, with an Italian section for those students who are pursuing the Advanced Language Certificate in Italian. This course counts as an LxC course.
Ital 552: Italian Lyric Poetry from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance
An exploration of Italy’s vernacular lyric tradition from its emergence in the thirteenth century through its flowerings in the sixteenth, with special attention to the emergence of the genre of the autobiographical Canzoniere and to the ascendance of the modern authorial self. Poets studied may include those of the Scuola Siciliana and Dolce stil novo, Boccaccio, Petrarca, Poliziano, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Sannazaro, Boiardo, Bembo, Vittoria Colonna, Gaspara Stampa, Veronica Franca, and Michelangelo.