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David Lummus



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Winter 2018, by appointment

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David Lummus

Assistant Professor of Italian
Faculty Theme Affiliate @ La Casa Italiana


David Lummus is assistant professor of Italian in the Department of French and Italian. He holds a B.A. in Classics and Italian from The University of Texas, Austin and a Ph.D. in Italian from Stanford Univeristy.

He specializes in Latin and vernacular texts produced in Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries, especially those by Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. His interests include medieval poetics and exegesis, the intersection of politics and poetics, the reception of Dante's works, the reception of classical thought and literature in the Italian Middle Ages, and literary theory (esp. actor-network theory, reception theory, and theories of narrative).

His first book combines some of these interests in an inquiry about how 14th-century poets conceived of their role in society. It examines the defenses of poetry of Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch, alongside those of Paduan humanist Albertino Mussato and Florentine chancellor Coluccio Salutati, in a story that links reflections on the purpose of poetry with poetic and political practices across the century.

His articles have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly, Speculum, and Mediaevalia, among others, and he has contributed essays to The Cambridge Companion to Boccaccio and to Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works. He is involved in editing volumes of essays on Boccaccio's reception in the Renaissance, Boccaccio's reception of Dante, and on Day VI of the Decameron.

Before coming to Stanford, he taught at Yale University for four years. He has been a visiting scholar in the Medieval Institute and a guest assistant professor in Romance Langauges and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame. In June 2016, he was visiting professor in the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici at l'Unversità degli Studi Roma Tre.

He teaches courses on medieval Italian literature, including Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Dante, but also more general courses on western ideas about love and on modern Italy. He is also the resident faculty theme affiliate at La Casa Italiana, where he lives with and teaches a great group of Italophile Stanford undergraduates. In 2016 he was awarded the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Humanities and Sciences for the First Years of Teaching at Stanford.


2008: Ph.D., Italian, Stanford University
2001: B.A. summa cum laude, Italian and Classics, University of Texas at Austin


DLCL 189B Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189C Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 199 Honors Thesis Oral Presentation
FRENCH 199 Individual Work
FRENCH 399 Individual Work
FRENCH 802 TGR Dissertation
ITALIAN 101 Italy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
ITALIAN 199 Individual Work
ITALIAN 399 Individual Work
ITALIAN 802 TGR Dissertation