Europe (in Theory) 

Europe in Theory by Robert M

2010 Prize in the Humanities

by Roberto M. Dainotto
Publisher: Duke University Press (2007)

Jury Statement

Written by an academic but readable by all, Dainotto’s Europe (In Theory) incisively analyzes how important theories about Europe have long relied on the construction of an “Oriental other” within Europe’s own borders. Showing how Europe’s southern territories were used in this way, Dainotto’s book transcends a focus on any one country and places Eurocentric ideology into serious question more generally. His work contains original reworkings of genealogies such as those of European history and European literature, and first-class analyses of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Madame De Stael, and Hegel. Thus, Europe (In Theory) presents an admirable synthesis of the critical and theoretical literature on the history of the idea or theory of Europe and offers a critical perspective on the question. Forceful, biting, compelling reading.

About the Author

Roberto M. Dainotto is professor of Romance Studies and the Literature Program at Duke University, where he has been teaching modern and contemporary Italian literature since 1998. Dainotto’s research focuses on the relationship between writing and places (real or imaginary). A native of Italy, Dainotto did his undergraduate work at the University of Catania. At New York University, he completed his master and doctorate degrees in comparative literature. His publications include Racconti americani del Novecento (Einaudi, 1999), Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000), and Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007).

2010 Jury

Piero Boitani
Professor of Comparative Literature
University of Rome, La Sapienza

Theodore J. Cachey, Jr.
Albert J. Ravarino Family Director of Dante and Italian Studies
Professor and Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
University of Notre Dame

Donald Crafton
Professor and Chair, Department of Film, Television & Theatre
University of Notre Dame

Margaret W. Ferguson
Professor of English
University of California, Davis

Christopher B. Fox
Professor of English
Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
University of Notre Dame