PhD, Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina (1987)
MA, Sacred Poetics, Boston University (1980)
BA, Classical Greek, Boston University (1978)
Research Interests & Fields of study
Renaissance Studies; reception of the classical tradition in European literature and culture; vernacular classicism; Dante; Ariosto; Medievalisms
- Italian Cultural Heritage I: Middle Ages to Renaissance, ITAL 0080
- Italian Cultural Heritage II: From Early Modern to Contemporary Italy, ITAL 0081
- Italian Renaissance Literature, ITAL 1082
- Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, ITAL 1085
- The Poetics of Dante's Commedia, ITAL 2200
- From Hell to Harlem: African American Responses to Dante from 1850 to Today, ITAL 2210
- Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Vernacular Classicism, ITAL 2320
- Introduction to the Study of Literature, ITAL 2710/ FR 2710/ GER 2110
- The Discourse of Science in Italian Literature, ITAL 2750
- History of the Language, ITAL 2801
Ariosto, Ludovico. Carmina: Ariosto’s Lyric Poems. Ed., intro., and trans. Dennis Looney and Mark Possanza. I Tatti Renaissance Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2015.
Freedom Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy, U of Notre Dame Press, Devers Series in Dante Studies, 2011.
'My Muse Will Have a Story to Paint': Selected Prose of Ludovico Ariosto, U Toronto P, Lorenzo da Ponte Italian Library Series, 2010.
Zatti, Sergio. The Quest for Epic: From Ariosto to Tasso. Ed. Dennis Looney. Trans. Sally Hill and Dennis Looney. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2006
Phaethon's Children: The Este Court and Its Culture in Early Modern Ferrara. Co-edited with Deanna Shemek. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies. Tempe: Arizona State UP, 2005.
Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996.
“Ariosto’s Dialogue with Authority in the Erbolato.” MLN 128.1 (January 2013): 20-39.
“The Reception of Herodotus in and around the School of Guarino Veronese.” Annali Online Lettere VII/1 (2012): 167-83. http://annali.unife.it/lettere/
“Le postille al codice del volgarizzamento di Erodoto di Matteo Maria Boiardo, Biblioteca Estense, Modena, α.H.3.22.” In Hérodote à la Renaissance. Eds. Susanna Gambino Longo and Laurence Boulègue. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2012. 67-85.
"Dante Abolitionist and Nationalist in the 19th Century: The Case of Cordelia Ray." In Dante in the Long Nineteenth Century: Nationality, Identity and Appropriation. Eds. Nick Havely and Aida Audah. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.
"Marvelous Vergil in the Ferrarese Renaissance." In A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and its Tradition (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World). Eds. Joseph Farrell and Michael C.J. Putnam. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 158-72.
"The Beginnings of Humanistic Oratory: Petrarch’s Coronation Oration." In Petrarch: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works. Eds. Victoria Kirkham and Armando Maggi. U of Chicago P, 2009. 131-40.
"Epoch-making Letters: Hiram Powers in the Gabinetto Vieusseux." In The Politics of Writing Relations: American Scholars in Italian Archives. Eds. Deanna Shemek and Michael Wyatt. Florence: Olschki, 2008. 139-63.
"'Flame-coloured Letters and Bugaboo Phraseology': Hiram Powers, Frances Trollope and Dante in Frontier Cincinnati." In Hiram Powers a Firenze: Atti del Convegno di studi nel Bicentenario della nascita (1805-2005). Ed. Caterina Del Vivo. Florence: Olschki, 2007. 135-52.
"Il mito di Fetonte ed altri miti luttuosi nel rinascimento ferrarese." In Lucrezia Borgia. Storia e mito. Eds. Michele Bordin and Paolo Trovato. Firenze: Olschki, 2006. 151-61.
"Collodi and Ariosto: Episodic Misadventures in Pinocchio." In Approaches to Teaching Collodi's Pinocchio and Its Adaptations. Ed. Michael Sherberg. NY: MLA, 2006. 34-40.
"Leopardi's Il Copernico and Paradigm Shifts in Art." Annali d'italianistica 23 (2005): 133-46.
"Fragil arte: tradurre e governare nei volgarizzamenti boiardeschi ad Ercole I d'Este." Il Principe e la storia. Eds. S. Matarrese and C. Montagnini. Novara: Interlinea Edizioni, 2005. 117-30.
"Spencer Williams: An African American Filmmaker at the Gates of Hell." In Dante and Cinema. Ed. Amilcare Iannucci. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2004. 129-44
"Ariosto and the Classics." In Ariosto Today. Eds. D. Beecher, M. Ciavolella, and R. Fedi. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2003. 18-31.
Awards and Honors
Ronco Scholarship in 19th-Century Studies, Gladstone’s Library, St. Deiniol’s, Wales, 2012
American Association of Italian Studies, First Prize, Book Award General Category, 2011, for Freedom Readers
ESC/UCIS, Faculty European Grant Competition, U Pittsburgh, 2005, 2010, 2011
Vatican Film Library Mellon Fellowship, St. Louis University, 2011
Central Research Development Fund, U Pittsburgh, 1991, 1994, 2000
FAS Research Grant, U Pittsburgh, 1987, 1988, 2003–04
Research Abroad Program Grant, U Pittsburgh, Summer 2002, 2009
Compromising the Classics, Honorable Mention, Marraro-Scaglione Prize in Italian, 1996-97
President's Distinguished Teaching Award, U Pittsburgh, 1992
NEH Summer Institutes, 1988, 1989, 1990
MLA, Division of Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature, Executive Committee, 2006-10
Assistant Dean, Humanities, 2004-06
ADFL, Executive Committee, 2002–04; President, 2004
Profession, Editorial Advisory Committee, 2002–03
Chair, Department of French and Italian, 1996-2003; 2006-2010