Masterpieces of Italian Literature at Penn (MIL@P)

Masterpieces of Italian Literature at Penn (MIL @P)

“Masterpieces of Italian Literature at Penn” aims to develop a thriving community of graduate students of all schools and specializations that will consider some of the texts of Italian literature that played a pivotal role in global history. Although the group will focus on Italian texts, we intend to involve as many Penn students as possible, and therefore our conversations about primary and secondary readings will be in English and the texts might be read either in Italian or in English. Moreover, this reading group plans to use the many resources available in Van Pelt library and its vast collections of Italian manuscripts and prints. While reading some of the most influential works in Italian history, the group will circulate knowledge about Italian culture in the United States, with the help and collaboration of scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and external guests.

This group is led by the graduate students of the Department of Italian and intends to meet regularly during the year.

Italian Reading Group: 
Boccaccio's Decameron

Join us in the discovery of this fascinating and authoritative text of the modern era!



Boccaccio’s Decameron, probably conceived after the plague that devastated Florence in 1348, is a collection of 100 tales that, the author imagines, have been told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death. Dealing with as many and diverse topics such as love, friendship, fortune, sex, and religion, the Decameron stands out as an incomparably rich encyclopedia of the medieval world and a window onto the mentality of that age.
Because of the complexity of its narrative framework, the wide array of sources that it draws from, and the breadth of the themes encompassed, the Decameron is a key-text for the development of modern European literature, art, and culture.

MIL@P is a graduate student-run organization that welcomes all graduate students from any department and background. We particularly encourage those from history, political science, cultural studies, economics, romance languages, philosophy, and law, but all are welcome. We will meet every other Wednesday from 5 pm to 6 pm in Van Pelt 625. We will also take advantage of the fantastic resources of the Kislak Center and look at some original old books and manuscripts related to the history and reception of Boccaccio's Decameron.

Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, October 02, at 5 pm in Van Pelt 625.
Please find the calendar of our meetings here. For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 

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