While the influence of the Italian Renaissance on early modern England is a phenomenon well known to every reader of Shakespeare, its reception in the American colonies has been almost completely neglected. And yet, Renaissance Italy did occupy a central place in the American mind throughout the colonial period. By studying several private and public libraries in colonial America this talk will present the first findings of a larger project that studies the circulation of books, ideas and knowledge in the Protestant Atlantic and investigates the many ways in which early American readers collected, appropriated and manipulated Italian Renaissance texts.
Diego Pirillo (Ph.D., Scuola Normale Superiore) is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with several articles and book chapters, he is the author of The Refugee-Diplomat: Venice, England and the Reformation (forthcoming with Cornell University Press), Filosofia ed eresia nell’Inghilterra del tardo Cinquecento: Bruno, Sidney e i dissidenti religiosi italiani (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2010) and (with O. Catanorchi) Favole, metafore, storie: Seminario su Giordano Bruno (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2007). He is currently working on a new project entitled Atlantic Libraries: Renaissance Italy and the American Colonies that studies the circulation of books, ideas and knowledge in the Protestant Atlantic and investigates the many ways in which early American readers collected, appropriated and manipulated Italian Renaissance texts.
The talk will be followed by a discussion and a reception. Co-sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame and the William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies.
Originally published at italianstudies.nd.edu.