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

Roger Chartier on Castiglione and The Book of the Courtier (Van Pelt, floor 6, Lea Libr.)

Please join us on Thursday, February 6, at 5:30 for the talk of Prof. Roger Chartier entitled "'Per dir forse una nova parola.' Sixteenth-Century Translations of sprezzatura."

The talk takes place in the Lea Library in Van Pelt Library (sixth floor, Kislak Center). 

Date: 6 February 2020

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

We're delighted to host Prof. Lawrence Principe, Drew Professor of the Humanities and Director of the Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe at Johns Hopkins University, for a talk co-sponsored by the Global Medieval and Renaissance Program, entitled 
"Mira Ingenia: Chymical Processes, Religious Metaphor, and the Alchemical Restoration of Christendom?"



Date: 13 February 2020

Ayana Smith on 18th-Century Italian Opera (Music Building)

The Center for Italian Studies and the Italian Studies Unit, in collaboration with Department of Music, are excited to host a talk by Associate Professor of Musicology 

Ayana Smith 

Date: 18 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, Anna Corrias (Toronto), a SIMS Visiting Research Fellow, will deliver a talk entitled "Riddles and Puzzles": Pythagoras in the Italian Quattrocento." 

Please note this event will be on Wednesday!

Date: 4 March 2020

Carlo Ginzburg's two-week residency (Italian/Kislak)

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

Jürgen Müller on Caravaggio (Art History)

Jürgen Müller (Technische Universität Dresden) on Caravaggio's "Boy Bitten by a Lizard" (co-sponsored with History of Art, thanks to Shira Brisman)

Date: 1 April 2020

Multimedia concert "Island of Peoples" (Fisher-Bennett Hall)

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Island of Peoples is a multimedia concert based on stories of immigrants coming to the United States and draws inspiration and material from the stories of the Ellis Island Oral Histories, a project of the Ellis Island Museum, that preserves and collect interviews of US immigrants who went through Ellis Island between 1900 and 1954. The concert includes original material obtained directly from actual immigrant interviews.

Date: 27 April 2020

Recent Events

Millicent Marcus, on Paolo Sorrentino's La grande bellezza. A talk in honor of Robert Cargni (Fisher Bennett 401)

The Romance Languages Department, in co-sponsorship with Cinema Studies and the Wolf Humanities Center, is delighted to announce a talk by professor Millicent Marcus (Yale), in honor of Robert Cargni and his invaluable contribution to the life of our department. 

Prof. Marcus will deliver a talk entitled "What Lies Hidden Beneath the 'Blah Blah Blah': Paolo Sorrentino's La grande bellezza."

Date: 3 December 2019

Laura Protano-Biggs on the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (Music Building 101)

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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: 26 November 2019