Jane Tylus

Jane Tylus's picture
Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Italian and Professor of Comparative Literature
320 York, Rm 520, New Haven, CT 06520-8311
(203) 432-1058

Jane Tylus specializes in late medieval and early modern European literature, religion, and culture, with secondary interests in 19th-20th century fiction.  Her work has focused on the recovery and interrogation of lost and marginalized voices –historical personages, dialects and “parole pellegrine”, minor genres such as pastoral, secondary characters in plays, poems, and epics.  She has also been active in the practice and theory of translation. Her current book project explores the ritual of departure in early modernity, especially how writers and artists sent their works into the world.

She previously taught at NYU in Italian Studies and Comparative Literature, where she was founding faculty director of the Humanities Initiative, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has been General Editor for the journal I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance since 2013, and currently sits on the advisory committee for PMLA.

BA, William and Mary
PhD, Humanities Center, Johns Hopkins

Publication Highlights:

  • Writing and Vulnerability in the Late Renaissance (1993, Stanford)
  • “Women at the Windows: Commedia dell’arte and Theatrical Practice in Early Modern Italy.” Theatre Journal 49 (1997): 323-42
  • Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World, (1999, California), co-edited with Margaret Beissinger and Susanne L. Wofford
  • Sacred Narratives: The Poems of Lucrezia Tornabuoni de’ Medici (2001, Chicago), Translation Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women
  • The Longman Anthology of World Literature: Early Modern Europe (2003, 2nd ed. 2007), with David Damrosch
  • Reclaiming Catherine of Siena: Literacy, Literature, and the Signs of Others (2009, Chicago), Howard Marraro Prize for Outstanding Work in Italian Studies, MLA
  • The Poetics of Masculinity in Early Modern Italy and Spain (2010, Toronto), co-edited with Gerry Milligan
  • Gaspara Stampa: The Complete Poems, co-edited with Troy Tower (2010, Chicago)
  • Siena, City of Secrets (2015, Chicago)
  • Early Modern Cultures of Translation (2015, Philadelphia), co-edited with Karen Newman


Ital 888 Novels of War, Revolution, and Plague

The seminar moves from the traditional idea of the historical novel to other, often more experimental versions of fictions that engage historical events: war, revolution, plague, genocide. We consider how individual lives intersect with and are changed by historical events, and the extent to which individuals are able to understand how history impacts their lives. Is the course of history controllable or even understandable to its participants and bystanders? Does historical knowledge always arrive too late? Texts include: Manzoni, I Promessi Sposi; Balzac, Le Colonel Chabert; Flaubert, L’Education sentimentale; Verga, Novelle; Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Modiano, Dora Bruder. There are also readings in the history and theory of the novel, as well as works contextualizing issues of nationalism in the nineteenth century. They include essays/chapters by Georg Lukács, Nelson Moe, Roberto Dainotto, Edward Said, Franco Moretti, Peter Brooks. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussion, to lead discussion on a selected moment from one of the texts, and to write a term paper as well as several shorter essays throughout the term. Students in French and Italian are expected to read the texts in the original languages. Translations are made available for others.

Prerequisite: reading knowledge of French and/or Italian.

Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Wednesday, 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.