Bard News & Events

Press Release

Bard College Faculty Member Joseph Luzzi Awarded Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies by MLA

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College faculty member Joseph Luzzi will be presented with the fifth biennial Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) for his book Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale University Press). The Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies is awarded for an outstanding book by a member of the association in the field of Italian literature or comparative literature involving Italian. The MLA will present the award to Luzzi on December 28th during the association’s annual convention held this year in Philadelphia.

The selection committee writes: “In Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, Joseph Luzzi addresses with learning and eloquence what he calls a ‘vexed relationship with modernity’ that characterizes Italy’s unique version of Romanticism. In focusing on Foscolo’s, Leopardi’s, and Manzoni’s returns to medieval and Renaissance Italy as sources of inspiration, he provides an engaging account of the creation of a national culture in the decades before unification of the modern Italian state. Free of jargon and sensitive to literary and ideological nuances, Luzzi’s study not only contextualizes Italian Romanticism within its European framework but also offers rich and original interpretations of canonical figures, positioning them against the backdrop of 19th-century Italian and European philosophical discourses.”

Joseph Luzzi holds a B.A. cum laude in political science from Tufts University, an M.A. in French literature from New York University, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Italian literature from Yale University. He is a tenured associate professor of Italian and director of Italian studies at Bard College. His articles have appeared in Comparative Literature, Dante Studies, Italica, Modern Language Notes, Modern Language Quarterly, and Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century. He coedited a special volume on translation for the Yale Journal of Criticism in 2003. He has published translations in PMLA and Romanic Review and reviews in Italica, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Modernism/Modernity, Salmagundi, and Yale Italian Poetry. His awards and honors include the Dante Society of America Grandgent Prize for a best essay by a graduate student, a Yale College Teaching Prize, a Keats-Shelley Association of America Pforzheimer Grant, and fellowships at the Yale Whitney Humanities Center and National Humanities Center.

From 1996 until 2000, the Scaglione Prize was awarded jointly with the Howard R. Marraro Prize; since 2001, it has been awarded as a separate prize biennially and alternately with the Marraro Prize. The members of this year’s selection committee were Valerio Ferme (University of Colorado); Ellen Nerenberg (Wesleyan University), chair; and Jane Tylus (New York University). In addition to the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies, the MLA will present 17 other awards during the association’s annual convention.

The Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Endowment Fund was established in 1987 by Aldo Scaglione, a member of the MLA since 1957 and the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature at New York University. The fund honors the memory of Scaglione’s late wife, Jeanne Daman Scaglione. A Roman Catholic, Jeanne Daman was headmistress of a Jewish kindergarten in Brussels, Belgium. When arrests and deportations of Jews began in 1942, she worked with Belgian and Jewish resistance units, helping to find hiding places for 2,000 children throughout Belgium. She also helped rescue many Jewish men about to be deported as slave laborers by obtaining false papers for them. Jeanne Scaglione’s life and contributions to humanity are commemorated in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Modern Language Association of America, the largest and one of the oldest of American learned societies in the humanities (est. 1883), promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies. The 30,000 members of the association come from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as from Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. PMLA, the flagship journal of the association, has published distinguished scholarly articles for over one hundred years. The association’s annual convention, held each December, is attended by approximately 9,500 members of the MLA and its allied groups. The MLA is a constituent of the American Council of Learned Societies and the International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures.

back to top

This event was last updated on 12-03-2009