About

Since 2014, I have served as director of the Office of Programs and director of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages at MLA. For the Office of Programs I oversee projects relating to the profession, such as departmental reviews, the ongoing examination of faculty rights and responsibilities, monitoring educational and curricular changes, and the development of statements of best practices. As director of ADFL, I oversee the Language Consultancy Service, the MLA Language Map, the language enrollment database, survey, and report, and other projects focused on languages other than English.

From 1986 to 2013, I taught Italian at the University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in classics and philosophy. I was chair of the Department of French and Italian for eleven years and assistant dean of the humanities for three years at Pitt. Publications include Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance (1996), which received honorable mention in 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, I am co-editor and translator of Carmina: Ariosto’s Latin Poetry, forthcoming from Harvard University Press (2018).

Some key research interests: Renaissance Studies; comparative literature; reception of the classical tradition; vernacular classicism; history of the book; Italian; Latin; Greek; Medievalisms; Dante; Divine Comedy; Matteo Maria Boiardo; Ludovico Ariosto; Torquato Tasso; romance/epic; Neo-Latin poetry; Herodotus.

 

Education

PhD, Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1987)

MA, Sacred Poetics, Boston University (1980)

BA, Classical Greek, Boston University (1978)

 

Dennis Looney

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