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Dennis Looney, Ph. D.

PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Associate professor (and currently chair) in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Classics.

In my research and teaching, I am dedicated to understanding as completely as possible the phenomenon cultural historians call Renaissance Humanism.  This has led me to study the way Italian poets renovated popular literary traditions through their imitation of the classical literature of Greece and Rome.  I have written on how Dante and Petrarch used idiosyncratic interpretations of antiquity to shape their various literary works.  My current research is focused on a group of poets associated with the Estense court in Renaissance Ferrara: Boiardo, Ariosto, and Torquato Tasso. In particular, I am interested in how they altered the genre of chivalric romance through their reception of classical epic. I examine this process in detail in my book, Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996).

Email address: looney+@pitt.edu


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