Giuseppe Mazzotta is the Sterling Professor of Humanities for Italian. He has written a number of essays about every century of Italian literary history.
He served as president of the Dante Society of America (2003-2009).
His books include: Dante, Poet of the Desert: History and Allegory in the Divine Comedy (Princeton, 1979); The World at Play in Boccaccio’s Decameron (Princeton, 1986); Dante’s Vision and the Circle of Knowledge (Princeton, 1993); The Worlds of Petrarch (Duke UP, 193); The New Map of the World: the Poetic Philosophy of Giambattista Vico (Princeton, 1998) (Italian translation, Turin: Einaudi, 2001); Cosmopoiesis: The Renaissance Experiment (Toronto UP, 2001) (Italian translation, Palermo: Sellerio 2008). He has also edited or co-edited several boooks, such as Critical Essays on Dante (Hall, 1991) and Master Regis (Fordham UP, 1985). In 2008, he published the Norton edition of Dante’s Inferno (translated by M. Palma).
ITAL 315a, Catholic Intellectual Tradition
Introductory survey of the interaction between Catholicism and Western culture from the first century to the present, with a focus on pivotal moments and crucial developments that defined both traditions. Key beliefs, rites, and customs of the Roman Catholic Church, and the ways in which they have found expression; interaction between Catholics and the institution of the Church; Catholicism in its cultural and sociopolitical matrices. Close reading of primary sources.
ITAL 560a, Age of Disenchantment
This course focuses on the literary debates, theological arguments, and scientific shifts taking place between the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1437–38) and the Council of Trent and beyond, by reading key texts by Valla, Cusa, Pulci, Luther, Erasmus, Ariosto, Campanella, Bruno, Galileo, and Bellarmino. It examines issues such as the crisis of belief, the authority of the past, the emergence of freedom, new aesthetics, and the effort to create a new theological language for modern times.
ITAL 701b, Romantic Quarrels
The course examines the extraordinary intellectual and political feverishness that characterizes Italian history between the time of the French Revolution and the achievement of the national unity of the country (1861). Radical literary theories, terrorist political practices, epoch-making literary works, and passionate debates about aesthetics mark this period. Its vitality and contradictions emerge from a reading of selected works by Cuoco, Alfieri, Foscolo, Leopardi, Mazzini, Manzoni, Rosmini, and De Sanctis. They all in varying degrees explore the nexus between the idea of a “country,” the sense of secret revolutionary action (the so-called Risorgimento), the value of the classical heritage, and the need for the emergence of a new sense of history and a new philosophical discourse that would be addressed also for Europe. In Italian.