News and Events


New Publications by Prof. Del Soldato on Early Modern Italy


Assistant Professor Eva Del Soldato has just published a co-edited volume and an article in the most prestigious journal of intellectual history.

Italian Studies celebrates Romeo Castellucci


The Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, together with the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Department of Music, and the Cinema Studies Program, sponsors two academic events (November 20 and 21) devoted to one of the world's most renowned experimental theater and opera director, Romeo Castellucci.

Mauro Calcagno Director of the Center for Italian Studies

[photo of Mauro Calcagno]

The School of Arts & Sciences has appointed Associate Professor Mauro Calcagno as Director of the Center for Italian Studies. Prof. Calcagno, who joined Penn in 2014, received his training in Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Rome, in Piano at the Conservatory S. Cecilia, and in Musicology at Yale.

PPEH Fellowship to Luna Sarti!


Third-year graduate student Luna Sarti has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities for 2017-18. Luna's project as Graduate Research Fellow will focus on the Tiber river, the Arno river, and the Venice lagoon.

Penfield Fellowship 2017-2018


We are happy to announce that the Penfield Dissertation Research Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year has been awarded to Vanessa Di Maggio. Vanessa is working on a dissertation that explores Dante and History. Congratulations, Vanessa, and a propitiatory toast to your dissertation research!


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Upcoming Events

Screening and conversation: "Sacred Mountains" (Music Building)

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Ethnomusicologist Nicola Scaldaferri (University of Milan) will present his documentary "Sacred Mountains: Abrahamic Religions and Musical Practices in the Mediterranean Area." The film includes segments on three religious pilgrimages involving sacred mountains: Israelite Samaritans praying on Mount Gerizim in the West Bank; Bektashi Sufis climbing Mount Tomorr in Albania; and the descent from the Holy Mountain by the Black Madonna in southern Italy. Prof. Scaldaferri will be present to introduce the film and lead a discussion.

Date: 9 February 2018

Colloquium: Marcella Marongiu (Kislak)

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In conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum's exhibit on Michelangelo, we are excited to welcome Dr.

Date: 15 February 2018

Colloquium: Jonathan Combs-Schilling (Cherpack)

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We welcome Jonathan Combs-Schilling (Ohio State University) who will speak about on Petrarch's Bucolicum Carmen. His talk is entitled: "Playing the Professor: The Questio, the Eclogues, and Dante’s Late Voice."

Date: 22 February 2018

Colloquium: Andrea Leone Pizzighella (Cherpack)

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Ph.D. candidate Andrea Leone Pizzighella (Graduate School of Education) will share with us her fascinating research conducted in Italy thanks to a Salvatori Research Award assigned by the Center for Italian Studies in 2016-17. Her talk is entitled: "L'interrogazione and the Linguistics of Academic Performance in Italian Secondary Schools."

Here's an abstract of her paper:

Date: 15 March 2018

A Celebration of Prof. Chris Poggi! (Chemistry Building)

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We are very pleased to announce a symposium in honor of Prof. Christine Poggi, a distinguished art historian who, until last spring, served in the Italian Studies faculty and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Italian Studies. Now Professor Emerita in the History of Art Department, Prof. Poggi became the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in September 2017. We look forward to welcoming her back.

Date: 23 March 2018

Colloquium: Gur Zak (Cherpack)

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Prof. Gur Zak, who heads the Department of General and Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will present a talk entitled: "Umana cosa è aver compassion: Compassion and Literary Empathy in Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio." 

Date: 26 March 2018

Colloquium: David A. Lines (Kislak)

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David A. Lines (University of Warwick) will present a paper entitled "Renaissance Humanism and Universities: The Case of Bologna", based on his forthcoming book Reshaping Learning in Early Modern Italy: Arts and Medicine in the University of Bologna, c. 1400-c. 1750.

Date: 27 March 2018

Colloquium: Lodovica Braida (Kislak)

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Lodovica Braida (Università Statale di Milano) for the Seminar on the History of Material Texts. Title: “'Dangerous Books.' Italian Epistolary Collections in Sixteenth Century: Censorship and Self-censorship." 

More at

Date: 9 April 2018

Colloquium: Lodovica Braida (Cherpack)

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Lodovica Braida, Università Statale di Milano, Title: "Carlo Goldoni and the Construction of the Authorship." In collaboration with the Seminar on the History of Material Texts. 

Date: 12 April 2018

Conference: Strategies of Authority in Med. and Ren. Europe (Kislak)

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On April 16-17, 2018, the Center for Italian Studies and the Italian Studies Section of the Romance Languages Department will host "Strategies of Authority in Medieval and Renaissance Europe." The conference aims to investigate, from trans-national and interdisciplinary perspectives, different uses and applications of the principle of authority in Europe, from Dante to Galileo.

Date: 16 April 2018 - 17 April 2018

Recent Events

Screening with introduction: The Venice Syndrome (Penn Museum)

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For the series “Second Sundays Cultural Films,” the Penn Museum and the Center for Italian Studies present:


Director: Andreas Pichler (2012)

Introduction: Peter Lesnik (Ph.D. Candidate, Italian and Cinema Studies).

Ancient cities and time travel: The future of a long dying city and its very much alive citizens. What is the cost of tourism and gentrification on the world’s heritage cities?

Presented in Association with the Wolf Humanities Center’s 2017-18 Forum on Afterlives

Date: 14 January 2018

Book launch! (Williams 440)

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The Italian Section is delighted to invite you to the book launch of the volume

City, Court, Academy: Language Choice in Early Modern Italy (Routledge 2017) 

which will be discussed by co-editors Eva Del Soldato (UPenn) and Andrea Rizzi (University of Melbourne).

For more details on the volume, please see here

Date: 12 December 2017