Dante and the Discourse of Race in Twentieth-Century America:
Allen Tate, Melvin Tolson, Robert Penn Warren, Ralph Ellison
Thursday, March 12 at 6:30PM
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, Auditorium
24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011
In this presentation Dr. Looney examines how the reception of Dante Alighieri--his biography and the Divine Comedy--contributes to the productive literary entanglement of several key figures of American literary life in the middle of the 20th century.
Since 2014, Dennis Looney has served as director of the Office of Programs and director of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages at the Modern Language Association of America. From 1986 to 2013, he taught Italian at the University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in classics and philosophy. He was chair of the Department of French and Italian for eleven years and assistant dean of the humanities for three years at Pitt. Publications. His work includes Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance (1996), which received honorable mention in the judging for the 1996–97 joint Howard R. Marraro Prize and Scaglione Award in Italian Studies from the MLA, and Freedom Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy (2011), which received the American Association of Italian Studies Book Prize (general category) in 2011. With D. Mark Possanza, he is co-editor and translator of Ludovico Ariosto’s Latin Poetry (2018).
Looney holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a BA in classical Greek from Boston University
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