Albert Russell Ascoli
Department Chair; Terrill Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies
Office location: 6325 Dwinelle Hall
Office hours: Spring 2014: Thursdays 2-4 and by appointment
Albert Russell Ascoli, Ph.D. Cornell University 1983, is Terrill Distinguished Professor. His principal field of research and teaching is Medieval and Early Modern Italian culture from the 13th to the 16th centuries, with comparative interests in the classical Latin, English, and French traditions. Teaching and research interests include the relations between literary form and history; intertwined configurations of authorship and readership; the construction of Italian national identity from the Renaissance to the Risorgimento; literary politics of gender; Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Shakespeare. Methodologically, his point of departure is the close, historically and culturally informed, reading of texts, literary and other; these readings, however, frequently give rise to methodological and/or theoretical interrogation of critical practice. He is the author of Ariosto's Bitter Harmony: Crisis and Evasion in the Italian Renaissance (Princeton, 1987); Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (Cambridge 2008), and A Local Habitation, and a Name: Imagining Histories in the Italian Renaissance (Fordham, 2011). He has edited Machiavelli and the Discourse of Literature (with Victoria Kahn; Cornell 1993) and Making and Remaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento (with Krystyna von Henneberg; Berg, 2001). He has also edited a special double issue of Renaissance Drama entitled "Italy and the Drama of Europe" (with William West, 2010) and the second issue of the electronic journal California Italian Studies dedicated to the theme "Italian Futures" (with Randolph Starn, 2011). He has held a number of fellowships, including the ACLS (1986), the NEH (1990-1991), and the NEH-Mellon Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome (2004-2005), as well as residencies: at the Newberry Library (1985-86), in the Chair of Italian Culture at UC Berkeley (Fall 1996), and at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Ludwig-Maximillian University of Munich. He has directed two NEH Summer Institutes for College and University Professors. He is currently editing the Cambridge Companion to Petrarch (with Unn Falkeid; expected 2013), and the MLA Approaches to Teaching Ariosto's 'Orlando Furioso' (with Eleonora Stoppino), and is working on a study of the problem of fede (faith) as promise and belief in the early modern period in Italy and Europe.
For a complete bibliography of publications, click here