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Italian Studies PhD Students Shine at Penn


Doctoral students Natale Vacalebre and Luna Sarti have recently earned prestigious recognitions for their scholarly projects. Vacalebre has been awarded the first annual Stallybrass Prize in the History of Material Texts for his paper “Divine Markets: Producing, Selling and Reading Dante’s Commedia in the Early Typographic Age." Sarti has been awarded the GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation for her project “Mapping Labor and Water in Medieval Florence: An Experiment in Historical Imagination.” Congratulations Natale and Luna!

Mario Sassi Awarded Grant from Medieval Academy


PhD Candidate in Italian Studies Mario Sassi has been awarded the 2021 Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant of The Medieval Academy of America. His dissertation is entitled "Bedeviled Clergy and Demonic Roosters: The Supernatural in Trecento and Quattrocento Exempla." Congratulations!

Samantha Gillen, Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching


PhD Candidate in Italian Studies Samantha Gillen has been selected to receive a School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students for the 2020-2021 academic year! These highly competitive awards are presented annually to graduate students in the arts and sciences to recognize their contributions to teaching at the undergraduate level. The awards seek to recognize teaching that is intellectually rigorous, exceptionally coherent, and has had considerable impact on students.

Natale Vacalebre Winner of the Grandgent Award in Dante Studies


Congratulations to Ph.D. student Natale Vacalebre for receiving the 2020 Charles H. Grandgent Award for the best graduate research paper in Dante Studies, sponsored by the Dante Society of America! Dr. Vacalebre's essay is entitled "Paradiso (e Purgatorio) riconquistati. Un incunabolo dantesco in America e ii riscoperto autore delle sue chiose." Bravissimo, Natale! 

Masterpieces of Italian Literature at Penn (MIL@P)


The graduate students of the Department of Italian are proud to announce the third year of “Masterpiece of Italian Literature @ Penn,” a graduate-led group that aims to read literary texts that have played a pivotal role in global literature. This year we will venture into Giacomo Leopardi’s Operette Morali, written between 1824 and 1832. Please see here for more!

Congratulations to all of our students!


We cannot do it in person (for now!) but we are delighted to celebrate the achievements of our graduate and undergraduate students. Luna Sarti has been awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Samantha Gillen and Natale Vacalebre have both received a Diss. Research Fellowship. Natale has also received short-term fellowships from the Houghton Library (Harvard) and the Harry Ransom Center (UTexas), as well as Penn Salvatori Research Award, together with Tommaso De Robertis. Last but not least, Mario Sassi won the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Penn Graduate Students.

Students and faculty presenting at RSA, AAIS and STS


March is a busy month for our faculty and graduate students! Mario Sassi will present at the Society in Textual Scholarship (STS) Conference (Philadelphia, March 19-21); Giuseppe Bruno-Chomin, Tommaso de Robertis, Samantha Gillen and Luna Sarti will present at American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS)/American Association for Teacher of Italian (AATI) joint conference (Tucson, March 26-28); Tommaso de Robertis and Natale Vacalebre will present at the Renaissance Society of America (RSA) conference (Philadelphia, April 2-4). Prof.

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!