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Teodolinda Barolini

Lorenzo Da Ponte Professor, Department of Italian, Columbia University

Governing Board Member, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (1998–2000)

Headshot of Teodolinda Barolini

Teodolinda Barolini is Lorenzo Da Ponte Professor of Italian at Columbia University. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Medieval Academy of America. From 1997 to 2003, Professor Barolini served as fifteenth president of the Dante Society of America.

Barolini's research focuses on thirteenth- and fourteenth- century Italian literary culture, its relation to classical antiquity, and its reception through the centuries to our own day. She has written widely on Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and the medieval lyric. Her first book Dante's Poets: Textuality and Truth in the 'Comedy' (Princeton, 1984; Italian trans. Il miglior fabbro: Dante e i poeti della "Commedia," Bollati Boringhieri, 1993), won the Marraro Prize of the Modern Language Association and the John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy. The Undivine Comedy: Detheologizing Dante (Princeton, 1992; Italian trans. La Commedia senza Dio: Dante e la creazione di una realtà virtuale, Feltrinelli, 2003) looks at how Dante constructs a virtual reality in language in the light of his repeated truth claims, and sets out a method of reading - "detheologizing"- that counteracts the narrative structures that work to over determine our hermeneutic response to the poem. Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture (Fordham, 2006; Italian trans. Bompiani, forthcoming) explores the origins of Italian literary culture through four prisms: "A Philosophy of Desire"; "Christian and Pagan Intertexts"; "Ordering the Macrotext: Time and Narrative"; and "Gender." This volume won the Premio Flaiano in italianistica in 2007.