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News and Announcements: RSA News

RSA Member David G. Lummus to Receive MLA's Scaglione Publication Award

Wednesday, December 4, 2019  
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The Modern Language Association of America today announced it is awarding its twenty-second annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies to David G. Lummus, of the University of Notre Dame, for The City of Poetry: Imagining the Civic Role of the Poet in Fourteenth-Century Italy, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

The award is one of eighteen that will be presented on 11 January 2020, during the association’s annual convention, to be held in Seattle. The members of the selection committee were Andrea Ciccarelli (Indiana Univ., Bloomington); Richard H. Lansing (Brandeis Univ.), chair; and Nicoletta Marini-Maio (Dickinson Coll.). The committee’s citation for the winning manuscript reads:

David G. Lummus’s superlative The City of Poetry is a rigorous and erudite study of the poet’s civic role as an authority in the political arena of the city. In considering the Latin and vernacular works of four major medieval Italian authors—Mussato, Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio—he offers a new reading of the role of poetry as a political force, showing how each to a greater or lesser degree articulates a defense of poetry both as another form of theology and as a means of attaining the laurel crown within the political domain of the city. The manuscript establishes a coherent, nuanced, and tightly framed argument, developing a lucid and well-focused narrative that reads like a story, and it contributes significantly to present-day critical debates on the role of the poet as an authority in society.

David G. Lummus is assistant director of the Center for Italian Studies and the Devers Family Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He was previously on the faculty at Yale University and then at Stanford University, where he taught medieval and early modern Italian literature and culture. He received a BA summa cum laude in Italian and classics from the University of Texas, Austin, and an MA and PhD in Italian from Stanford University. His publications on authors of the Italian fourteenth century and their reception have appeared in journals such as Mediaevalia, Renaissance Quarterly, and Speculum as well as in books such as the Cambridge Companion to Boccaccio and Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works. He is coeditor of A Boccaccian Renaissance: Essays on the Early Modern Impact of Giovanni Boccaccio and His Works and editor of the forthcoming The Decameron Sixth Day in Perspective: Lecturae Boccaccii VI.

Read the MLA's full award press release (PDF) or find more information about the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award on the MLA website.


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