Alison Cornish joined the Italian Studies faculty at NYU first as Visiting Professor in Fall 2017 and then as Professor in Fall 2018. She has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Medieval Studies from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Italian from Stanford University.
Professor Cornish’s research interests are primarily in the fields of Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature. She is the author of Reading Dante’s Stars (Yale, 2000), Vernacular Translation in Dante’s Italy: Illiterate Literature (Cambridge, 2011) and, most recently, Introduction, Headnotes, and Notes on Dante’s Paradiso, translated by Stanley Lombardo (Hackett, 2017). She has published articles on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, earlier Italian lyric, and Elsa Morante. Recent articles include: “Music, Justice and Violence in Paradiso 20” (Dante Studies 134 ), “Words and Blood: Suicide and the Sound of the Soul (Inferno 13)” (Speculum 91 ), “Incarnation in Venice” (The Decameron: Fourth Day in Perspective, forthcoming). The main themes of her research have been literature and science, vernacular translation, and currently the category of sound as material medium of music, language, and poetry. She is currently Bibliographer for the Dante Society of America.
Before coming to NYU, she taught in the Department of Italian at Yale University and in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has held a University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Fellowship, a Harvard University Villa I Tatti Fellowship, and a Fulbright Grant to Italy.