Academic Programs and Support

During the fall of the 2005-2006 academic year the Devers Program successfully continued its Distinguished Visiting Professor series with the appointment of Professor Piero Boitani, Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." This initiative, designed to significantly improve the environment for advanced literary study in the languages and literatures and to prepare the way for a permanent senior distinguished appointment in Italian literature at Notre Dame, was conceived and funded by the Directorship of the Devers Dante Program in collaboration with the Department of Romance Languagesthe Medieval Institute and the College of Arts and Letters. Boitani taught a graduate seminar on 20th century Italian authors Italo Calvino and Primo Levi and on undergraduate course on Dante's Divina Commedia.

In addition, the Devers Program in Dante Studies co-sponsored with the Medieval Institute, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Department of Classicsthe Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Ph.D. in Literature Program a lecture on September 14, 2005 by Professor Boitani, "The Pain and the Joy of Recognition: Aeschylus to Proust."

During the spring semester, the Devers Program sponsored, together with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Demergasso Fund for Excellence in Italian Studies and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures a meeting dedicated to the discussion of "The Place of Italian Studies in the Modern University."

Scholarly Publication

Volume 7 of the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante Studies appeared in the fall of 2005: Experiencing the Afterlife: Soul and Body in Dante and Medieval Culture by Manuele Gragnolati of Oxford University. Experiencing the Afterlifeprovides the first sustained analysis of popular, vernacular depictions of the afterlife written in Italy before the Divine Comedy by authors such as Uguccione da Lodi, Giacomino da Verona, and Bonvesin da la Riva.

Volume 8 in the Devers series, to be published in 2007, Accounting for Dante: Urban Readers and Writers in Late Medieval Italy by Justin Steinberg of the University of Chicago, won the 2005 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies of the Modern Languages Association.Volume 6 in the Devers Series, Understanding Dante by John Scott, which appeared in 2004, received during 2005 an Outstanding Academic Title award from Choice magazine.

Internet Research and Publications

The Devers Program has continued its support of the ItalNet project. Through this collaboration, a year-long internship at the Italian national dictionary project for a graduate student in the Ph.D. in Literature Program and the Italian Studies Program, Mr. Charles Leavitt, was organized for the 2005-2006 academic year.

This represented the continuation of the internship program that was inaugurated in 2003-2004 with James Kriesel, a Ph.D. student in the Medieval Institute, who during his stint at the OVI authored seventeen credited dictionary entries as a part of this internship. Kriesel has since won a Fulbright fellowship for 2006-2007 and will be in Italy to research his dissertation project, "Boccaccio's First and Second Friend: Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio's Synthesis of Vernacular and Latin Poetics."

Rare Book Acquisitions

A list of works purchased during the 2005-2006 academic year is available here.