News and Events


Isabella Szpigiel C'19 in Ravenna!


Isabella Szpigiel, who earned this summer her B.A. in Psychology and the Minors in Theatre Arts and Consumer Psychology (attending last spring ITAL180, Italian Conversation), travelled to Italy in June and July thanks to the Amici Prize 2019, awarded by the Center for Italian Studies. Enjoy her wonderful report here!

Mario Sassi Awarded Newberry Fellowship

Ph.D. student Mario Sassi received a fellowship to attend the 2019 Mellon Summer Institute for Italian Paleography at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He will participate in the three-week institute, which offers intensive training in the reading and transcription of handwritten Italian vernacular texts from the late medieval through the early modern periods.

Luna Sarti, Dean's Scholar!


Congratulations to Luna Sarti, Ph.D. Candidate in Italian Studies, for being selected as a 2019 Penn Arts and Sciences Dean's Scholar. This prestigious award is given to nine SAS graduate students per year "who exhibit exceptional academic performance and intellectual promise." It's a richly deserved honor!

Graduate Students Meet in Reading Group Mil@p - First Meeting: Wed. Oct. 2 @5pm in Van Pelt 625


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.

Italian Studies Launches New Journal on Dante


Published online with the support of the Penn Libraries, Bibliotheca Dantesca is the result of a collaboration among the students of Penn’s Italian Studies doctoral program, its faculty, and the Center for Italian Studies.


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Upcoming Events

Lawrence Venuti on Translation Studies (TBD)

More on this co-sponsored event here.

Co-sponsors: Center for Italian Studies, Comparative Literatures & Literary Theory, Classics, Jewish Studies Program.

Date: 23 October 2019

Hans Cools (Brueghel Visiting Professor at Penn) on Italians in Early Modern Amsterdam (Cherpack)

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We are delighted to welcome Prof. Hans Cools as Visiting Breughel Professor at Penn for 2019-’20 from the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven (Belgium)! Prof. Cools, who was a researcher at the European University Institute in Florence and completed his doctorate at the University of Amsterdam, is a distinguished historian of early-modern Europe, with a strong interest for Italy. 

His talk is entitled:

"Communities of Strangers. Italian merchants in 17th century Amsterdam"

(see abstract below)

Date: 24 October 2019

Federica Francesconi on Books and Censorship in 17th-cent. Jewish Culture (Cherpack)

Federica Francesconi (SUNY, Albany), who is currently a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, will deliver a talk entitled "Books and Readers in the Early-Modern Italian Jewish Home." The talk is closely related to her forthcoming book Invisible Enlighteners: Modenese Jewry from Renaissance to Emancipation (University of Pennsylvania Press).

Date: 7 November 2019

Laura Protano-Biggs on the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (Music Building)

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We are excited to host a talk by Prof. Laura Protano-Biggs, who teaches at the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University) and is visiting professor at Penn (Music Department) this semester!

Her paper is entitled: 

Pure Sound: Architectural Acoustics and Lowered Orchestras

Date: 19 November 2019

Taije Silverman and Marina Johnston on Pascoli in Translation (Penn Book Center)

We're very pleased to co-sponsor an event taking place at the beloved Penn Book Center! Esteemed colleagues Dr. Marina Della Putta Johnston, well-known in our Department for her teaching activities and for having served as Associate Director of the Center for Italian Studies, and Dr. Taije Silverman, who teaches poetry and literary translation in the English Department and is the author of the poetry collection "Houses Are Fields," will present:

Date: 21 November 2019

Lawrence Principe on Medieval Alchemy (Van Pelt, Class of 55, 2nd floor)

The talk, co-sponsored by the Global Medieval and Renaissance Program, is entitled 
"Mira Ingenia: Chymical Processes, Religious Metaphor, and the Alchemical Restoration of Christendom?"


Date: 13 February 2020

Maddalena Signorini, SIMS Fellow (Kislak), on Petrarch

Maddalena Signorini is the second SIMS-Italian Studies Fellow in Italian Manuscript Studies. The fellowship is sponsored by the Center for Italian Studies, the Italian Studies section of the Department of Romance Languages, and the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies. The recipient spends one week at Penn working on manuscript material from the library’s collections of rare books and manuscripts, offering, in exchange, a graduate-student workshop and a lecture on the research conducted while in residence.

Date: 27 February 2020

Anna Corrias on Renaissance Philosophy (Kislak)

In co-sponsorship with the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Date: 5 March 2020

Carlo Ginzburg's Residency

We're thrilled to announce that distinguished historian Carlo Ginzburg Date: 30 March 2020

Recent Events

Paola Viganò on Urbanism and Society (Fisher Fine Arts Library)

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What are the principles and the aesthetics guiding the design of our cities today? What are the ideals behind urbanists’ responses to pressing questions on the responsible use of resources, respect for the environment and planning collective living and multi-culturalism?

"Urbanism and Society"

A talk by Prof. Paola Viganò, who will be discussing the breakthrough work of her studio throughout Europe.

The talk takes place on Oct. 4 at 5:30 in the Kleinman Center in Fisher Fine Arts Library (note change of location).

Date: 4 October 2019

Fabrizio Lelli, SIMS/Katz fellow lecture (Kislak)

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Thanks to our friends at the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (part of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts) and at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies we are delighted to welcome back Prof. Fabrizio Lelli (Univ. del Salento) at Penn for a lecture on a fascinating 16th-century geographical treatise preserved in our library. The event takes place on Tuesday Sep. 10 at 5:15 in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and it's sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program at Penn.

Date: 10 September 2019