Lecture by Massimo Lollini (Oregon)


Location: Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries

Massimo Lollini | Photo credit: University of Oregon

Massimo Lollini (University of Oregon) – “Poetic Geography and More than Human Humanism in Sardinian Literature from Grazia Deledda to Marcello Fois”

Thursday, November 7 at 6:00pm,
Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

This lecture will first address in a theoretical perspective the notion of “more than human humanism” based on a critical dialogue among philosophers such as Giambattista Vico, Antonio Gramsci, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Theodor Adorno and Gilles Deleuze. Furthermore, the first section will introduce Vico’s idea of poetic geography as a key concept that may nurture and reinforce a relational idea of humanism nowadays so important in environmental philosophy and ecocriticism.

The second section of the lecture will study the notion of a relational, non-exclusively human humanism, originated from a deep listening of and response to the natural environment, in the works of the founding writers of Sardinian poetic geography: Grazia Deledda and Salvatore Satta. Lollini will focus on how these writers perceive Sardinia and the Mediterranean as constitutive of a sense of identity in which land and sea, history and nature intersect in inextricable circles. The Sardinian writers of younger generations, such as Alberto Capitta, Giulia Clarkson, Giulio Angioni and Marcello Fois, will also be considered as a further level of Sardinian poetic geography, one that faces the flattening, homogenizing forces of contemporary capitalist globalization. Finally, the conclusion will offer some reflections on the importance of the notion of poetic geography as necessary premise to a very different understanding of politics from the exclusively human humanism of contemporary political thought.

Co-sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame, the PhD in Literature Progam and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Reception to follow.


Massimo Lollini has written articles on Dante, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Campanella, Vico, Leopardi, Manzoni, Gramsci, Calvino, Primo Levi, Montale, Saba and Consolo. In 1994 he published a book on Giambattista Vico (Le Muse, le Maschere e il Sublime. G.B. Vico e la Poesia nell’età della Ragione Spiegata, Naples: Guida). In 2001 he published his second book entitled Il vuoto della forma. Scrittura, testimonianza e verità (Genua: Marietti). This book received the 2002 Premio Letterario Nazionale “Grazia Maria Deledda” in Italy and the 2002 American Association for Italian Studies Book Award in the USA.  

In 2006 he co-edited two collections of essays, one with David Castillo, Reason and Its Others. Italy, Spain, and the New World (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press); and the other with Norma Bouchard, Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Vincenzo Consolo. (Toronto UP).  In 2007 he edited another collection of essays, L’autobiografia nell’epoca dell’ impersonale (Bologna: Il Mulino, “Intersezioni”).  In 2008 Prof. Lollini edited a volume on Humanisms, Posthumanisms and Neohumanisms, “Annali d’Italianistica”. 

He is the Principal Investigator of the Oregon Petrarch Open Book web project and the Editor in Chief of the peer-reviewed e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age.

In 2012 he received an ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship for a project on Manuscripts and Incunabula in the Oregon Petrarch Open Book.

Originally published at italianstudies.nd.edu.