Skip to main content
Loading Events
Detail from book cover
History & Politics, Literature

CANCELLED: Dante and the Discourse of Race in 20th Century America

Allen Tate, Melvin Tolson, Robert Penn Warren, Ralph Ellison

March 12, 2020
6:30 pm

We are sorry to have to inform you that this event has been cancelled due to the latest instructions received from NYU in containing the spread of the coronavirus.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Staff @ Casa Italiana


A lecture by
Dennis Looney

In this presentation Dr. Looney examines how the reception of Dante Alighieri–his biography and the Divine Comedy–contributes to the productive literary entanglement of several key figures of American literary life in the middle of the 20th century.

Since 2014, Dennis Looney has served as director of the Office of Programs and director of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages at the Modern Language Association of America. From 1986 to 2013, he taught Italian at the University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in classics and philosophy. He was chair of the Department of French and Italian for eleven years and assistant dean of the humanities for three years at Pitt. His work includes Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance (1996), which received honorable mention in the judging for the 1996–97 joint Howard R. Marraro Prize and Scaglione Award in Italian Studies from the MLA, and Freedom Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy (2011), which received the American Association of Italian Studies Book Prize (general category) in 2011. With D. Mark Possanza, he is co-editor and translator of Ludovico Ariosto’s Latin Poetry (2018).

Looney holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a BA in classical Greek from Boston University.


Organized by Prof. Alison Cornish, “Dante and…” is a series of lectures that focus on Dante’s relevance in today’s world. These lectures feature scholars and experts from many different fields of interest, invited to present their unique readings of the poet’s works.