Professor of Italian Literature; Italian Graduate Adviser; Editor-in-Chief, Dante Studies
Wieboldt 218
Phone Number: 

PhD University of Minnesota, 2000

BA University of California, Berkeley, 1991


Program(s): Italian

Professor Steinberg joined the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures faculty in 2003. His scholarship focuses on medieval Italian literature, especially on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and the early lyric. Related interests include manuscript culture/material philology, reception studies, the connections between legal and literary culture, and medieval political theory. 

Currently, he is working on theological/legal/literary conceptions of fictio, on Dante's engagement with the question of "Jewish" justice, and on a book project (Mimesis on TrialEvidence, Inquest, and Realism in Boccaccio's Decameron) exploring the connection between procedures for investigating and depicting crime and representations of the real in the trecento novella.

Dante and the Limits of the Law (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013) won the MLA's Howard. R. Marraro Prize.
Selected reviews:
Diacritics 42.4
New York Review of Books 2/19/2015
Renaissance Quarterly 68.1
Speculum 90.1




Accounting for Dante: Urban Readers and Writers in Late Medieval Italy (Notre Dame: Notre Dame UP, 2007) won the MLA’s Scaglione Publication Prize.
Selected reviews:
Renaissance Quarterly 61.1
Speculum 83.3
Medioevo Romanzo 34.1





Selected Articles (click to download):

Other essays are viewable here.

Awards, Honors, and Professional Experience

  • MLA Howard R. Marraro Prize, 2014
  • Franke Institute for the Humanities Fellow, 2013-2014
  • ACLS Fellowship, 2009-2010
  • MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literature, 2005
  • Franke Institute for the Humanities Fellow, 2005-2006

Selected Courses Taught

  • Dante's Divine Comedy
  • Dante e i suoi rivali
  • Poeti del Duecento
  • The Making and the Unmaking of Petrarch's Canzoniere
  • Boccaccio minore
  • Boccaccio's Decameron