Lansing receives modern language award

Professor of Italian studies and comparative literature focuses on Dante

Photo/ Se Jun Lee

Professor Richard Lansing

Richard Lansing, professor of Italian studies and comparative literature, alongside Professor Teodolinda Barolini of Columbia University, received the Modern Language Association’s Scaglione Publication Award for their manuscript entitled, “Dante’s Lyrics: Poems of Youth and the Vita Nuova.”

MLA style has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for more than half a century. The association's guidelines are also used by more than 1,100 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines and by many university and commercial presses.

The Modern Language Association of America and its 30,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. Founded in 1883, the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. The MLA sustains one of the finest publication programs in the humanities, producing a variety of publications for language and literature professionals and for the general public

“Dante has been my focal interest since the beginning,” says Lansing. “He is quite simply the most profound and gifted writer of Italian literature, and one who did more than any other writer to create the Italian language itself.”

An MLA release on the award-winners noted, “Teodolinda Barolini’s scholarship melds a theoretically and philologically rigorous critical apparatus and analysis with the superb translations of Dante’s poems by Richard Lansing…Lansing’s new translations will prove to be an invaluable resource for an audience without access to Dante’s original Italian…”

Barolini, the Lorenzo Da Ponte Professor of Italian at Columbia University, focuses her research on 13th- and 14th-century Italian literary culture and how it is viewed today. 

Lansing says he and Barolini have worked together frequently over the past 20 to 30 years, and they were delighted when they learned they had won the Scaglione Award for best manuscript this year.

“Coincidentally, I studied with Professor Scaglione at U.C. Berkeley many years ago, so it's a pleasure to have merited an award with his name on it,” says Lansing.

Lansing, who will end his Brandeis career this year, is editor of “The Dante Encyclopedia,” editor in chief of Dante Studies, associate editor of “Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia,” and author of “From Image to Idea: A Study of the Simile” in Dante’s Commedia.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Research

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