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David Lummus

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Contact:

Pigott Hall, 209
650 724 5832
dlummus@stanford.edu
stanford.academia.edu/DavidLummus/

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Office Hours:

Spring Quarter: Thursday 1 - 4 pm

Research Groups:

Affinity links:

Medieval and Renaissance Italian and Latin Literature
Medieval and Renaissance Literary Theory
Renaissance Humanism
The Politics of Poetry
Defenses of Poetry
Classical Reception
Mythography
Giovanni Boccaccio
Francesco Petrarca
Dante Alighieri

David Lummus

Assistant Professor of Italian
Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Italian
Faculty Theme Affiliate @ La Casa Italiana
 

David Lummus specializes in late medieval and early modern Italian literature and intellectual history. His research and teaching interests include fourteenth-century literature in Latin and the vernacular, Renaissance Humanism, medieval and early modern mythography, and the pastoral tradition. He explores critical approaches such as reception theory and actor-network theory, and has experience in literary translation. He has written various articles on fourteenth-century Italian literature and intellectual culture and has translated diverse twentieth-century Italian poets. He is currently completing his first book, The City of Poetry, which addresses the nature of the humanist revival of the classical past by examining the political function of the proto-humanist defense of poetry, in the works of Albertino Mussato, Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, and Coluccio Salutati. It argues that the defense of poetry was key to how poets imagined and established a role for themselves in the civic sphere. Between 2008-2012, he was Assistant Professor of Italian at Yale University, and in 2009-2010 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves on the Modern Language Association's Executive Committee for Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education

2008: Ph.D., Italian, Stanford University

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

COURSES

ITALIAN 352 Boccaccio's Decameron: The Ethics of Storytelling (ITALIAN 152)

This course involves an in-depth study of Boccaccio's Decameron in the context of medieval theories of poetry and interpretation. The goal is to understand more fully the relationship between literature and lived experience implied by Boccaccio's fictions. We will address key critical issues and theoretical approaches related to the text. Taught in English translation, there will be an optional supplementary Italian discussion section during weeks 2-9.

ITALIAN 152 Boccaccio's Decameron: The Ethics of Storytelling (ITALIAN 352)

This course involves an in-depth study of Boccaccio's Decameron in the context of medieval theories of poetry and interpretation. The goal is to understand more fully the relationship between literature and lived experience implied by Boccaccio's fictions. We will address key critical issues and theoretical approaches related to the text. Taught in English translation, there will be an optional supplementary Italian discussion section during weeks 2-9.

ITALIAN 127 Inventing Italian Literature: Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca

The origins of Italian literature. Poetry such as 13th-century love lyrics, Dante's Vita Nuova and Petrarca's Canzoniere; prose such as stories from Boccaccio's Decameron. Taught in Italian. Prerequisites: ITALLANG 22A or equivalent.

ITALIAN 221 Italo Calvino: Literature, Science, Philosophy

The course will follow the development of Italo Calvino's literary career, with a particular focus on his interest in fantastical and meta-fictional forms of narrative. Readings of Calvino's literary works, such as Cosmicomics, Invisible Cities, and Mr. Palomar, will be supplemented by readings from his critical prose, collected in the volumes The Uses of Literature and Six Memos for the Next Millennium. Taught in English.

ITALIAN 101 Italy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Renowned for its rich cultural tradition, Italy is also one of the most problematic nations in Europe. This course explores the contradictions at the heart of Italy, focusing on five key words and their corresponding human figures, which embody the spirit of Italy and its people: Stile (the artist), Spirito (the hero-saint), Scienza (the thinker), Migrazione (the explorer), and Crisi (the political man). Through the study of historical and literary texts, films, and news media, the course addresses figures such as Dante, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Galileo; and socio-cultural phenomena such as fashion and design, the scientific revolution, immigration, and Berlusconi. Offered as a part of the Gateways to the World program. Taught in English.

ITALIAN 101 Italy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Renowned for its rich cultural tradition, Italy is also one of the most problematic nations in Europe. This course explores the contradictions at the heart of Italy, focusing key phenomena, such as art, corruption, migration, and crises of all kinds. Through the study of historical and literary texts, films, and news media, the course seeks to examine Italy's present and future trajectory by looking to its past as a point of comparison. Taught in English.

ITALIAN 325 Petrarch & Petrarchism: Fragments of the Self (COMPLIT 225E, COMPLIT 325E, ITALIAN 225)

In this course we will examine Francis Petrarch's book of Italian lyric poems, Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, and its reception in early modern France, England, and Spain. Readings from Petrarch's epistolary and ethical writings will contextualize historically and intellectually the aesthetics and ethics of the fragment in his poetry. With this foundation, we will investigate the long-lasting impact of Petrarch¿s work on Renaissance poetry and humanism, with attention to both the literary and the material aspects of its reception. Taught in English.

ITALIAN 225 Petrarch & Petrarchism: Fragments of the Self (COMPLIT 225E, COMPLIT 325E, ITALIAN 325)

In this course we will examine Francis Petrarch's book of Italian lyric poems, Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, and its reception in early modern France, England, and Spain. Readings from Petrarch's epistolary and ethical writings will contextualize historically and intellectually the aesthetics and ethics of the fragment in his poetry. With this foundation, we will investigate the long-lasting impact of Petrarch¿s work on Renaissance poetry and humanism, with attention to both the literary and the material aspects of its reception. Taught in English.

COMPLIT 325E Petrarch & Petrarchism: Fragments of the Self (COMPLIT 225E, ITALIAN 225, ITALIAN 325)

In this course we will examine Francis Petrarch's book of Italian lyric poems, Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, and its reception in early modern France, England, and Spain. Readings from Petrarch's epistolary and ethical writings will contextualize historically and intellectually the aesthetics and ethics of the fragment in his poetry. With this foundation, we will investigate the long-lasting impact of Petrarch¿s work on Renaissance poetry and humanism, with attention to both the literary and the material aspects of its reception. Taught in English.

COMPLIT 225E Petrarch & Petrarchism: Fragments of the Self (COMPLIT 325E, ITALIAN 225, ITALIAN 325)

In this course we will examine Francis Petrarch's book of Italian lyric poems, Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, and its reception in early modern France, England, and Spain. Readings from Petrarch's epistolary and ethical writings will contextualize historically and intellectually the aesthetics and ethics of the fragment in his poetry. With this foundation, we will investigate the long-lasting impact of Petrarch¿s work on Renaissance poetry and humanism, with attention to both the literary and the material aspects of its reception. Taught in English.

DLCL 311 Professional Workshop

Meets regularly throughout the year to discuss issues in the professional study of literature. Topics include the academic job market and the challenges of research and teaching at different types of institutions. Supervised by the graduate affairs committee of the DLCL. May be repeated for credit.

ITALIAN 128 The Italian Renaissance: Power and Perspective

The literature, art, and history of the Renaissance in Italy. Topics vary year to year. In 2015, the course will address the question of perspective in art, history, politics, literature, and philosophy, with a focus on the Florentine Renaissance. Taught in Italian. Prerequisites: ITALLANG 22A or equivalent (2 years of Italian)