Tom Coyne | February 19, 2020
David Lummus, assistant director of the Notre Dame Center for Italian Studies and the Devers Family Program in Dante Studies, has won an award from the Modern Language Association of America for his manuscript about the poet’s role as an authority in the political arena in the 14th century.
Lummus accepted the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies at the MLA’s annual convention in Seattle last month for The City of Poetry: Imagining the Civic Role of the Poet in Fourteenth-Century Italy (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
In the book, Lummus’ first, he examines how Albertino Mussato, Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarch, and Giovanni Boccaccio viewed the importance of poetry.
“They defended poetry as a kind of theology,” Lummus said. “I wanted to understand what was going on culturally and historically to push them to say poetry was on par with theology. Their works were a product of these individuals’ genius engaging with what was happening around them.”
Read more here.