University of Pittsburgh




Dennis Looney

Adjunct Professor of Italian








PhD, Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina (1987)
MA, Sacred Poetics, Boston University (1980)
BA, Classical Greek, Boston University (1978)

Curriculum vitae (PDF)

Research Interests & Fields of study

Renaissance Studies; reception of the classical tradition in European literature and culture; vernacular classicism; Dante; Ariosto; Medievalisms

Selected Teaching

Selected Publications


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.

DOI: 10.1353/mln.2013.0002  

“The Reception of Herodotus in and around the School of Guarino Veronese.”  Annali Online Lettere VII/1 (2012): 167-83.

“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

Professional Service

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



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