Armando Maggi

Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor in Western Civilization, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Italian Studies, and the College
Wieboldt 225 (On leave Autumn 2023 & Winter 2024)
PhD, University of Chicago, 1995

Professor Maggi’s most recent essays are:

  1. “The Fairy Tale as ‘Waste Product’: Bachelard, Benjamin, Agamben, and the Anamnesis of Childhood”
  2. “The Nostalgia for Il Cortigiano: Francisco Rodrigues Lobo’s Corte na aldeia e noites de inverno(1612) and the Absence of the Portuguese Court”
  3. “Pasolini’s Che cosa sono le nuvole?: Velázquez, Shklovsky, and the Gaze of Childhood”
  4. “Staging a Demonic Possession: Calderón’s auto sacramental El diablo mudo

His scholarship focuses on early modern intellectual history (magic and demonology, early-modern epic, women writers, Neoplatonic love treatises, baroque literature) and contemporary culture with a special emphasis on a phenomenological approach. He is the co-editor-in-chief of the journal Studi pasoliniani. Among his latest essays are works on Tasso’s poetic self-commentary, our contemporary reception of Pasolini’s documentary The Walls of Sana’a, and essays on Ariosto’s Orlando furioso and Marino’s Adone.

His most recent published essays are:

  1. “The Tale of the Pregnant Slave Buried Alive: The Unsettling Closure of Basile’s The Tale of Tales and the Issue of Moral Imperative,” Intersezioni: Rivista di storia delle idee (2020)
  2. Frame e cornice citazionale in Nerolio (1996) e Pasolini (2014)” Fata Morgana (2020)
  3. “Abuse of Power, Gender, and Race in Straparola’s and Basile’s Tales,” in A Cultural History of the Fairy Tale: The Age of the Marvelous (1450-1650), ed. Suzanne Magnanini (Bloombury, 2021)

He is currently writing two books:

  1. The World in Ruins (working title), which investigates our contemporary view of destruction and decay in all its connotations.
  2. Reading Tasso in the Third Millennium (working title) on a reinterpretation of Tasso’s oeuvre based on our contemporary cultural environment.

He is also writing essays on the relationship between modern philosophy and fairy tales, and the early-modern concept of sign in the divinatory discipline called metoposcopy.

He is the author of many books. His latest work is the volume titled Preserving the Spell (2015, University of Chicago Press; Premio Flaiano Italianistica 2016) on the Western interpretation of folk and fairy tales from Giambattista Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti to the French late seventeenth-century tradition, German Romanticism, and American post-modernism. 

His most recent publications on early modern culture are:

  • The first English edition of Giovambattista Della Porta's treatise on the art of memory L'arte del ricordare (1566).
  • The first critical edition of two of Lucrezia Marinella’s hagiographies: Catherine of Siena titled De’ gesti heroici (Ravenna: Longo, 2012) and Vita del serafico et glorioso S. Francesco (prima ed. 1597) e Le vittorie di Francesco il Serafico (Longo: Ravenna, 2018)
  • The first critical edition of the love treatise L’innamorato by Brunoro Zampeschi (published in 1565), which is a contentious response to Castiglione’s Il Cortigiano (Ravenna: Longo, 2010).
  • Petrarch: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works (University of Chicago Press, 2009), co-edited with Victoria Kirkham.

His most recent book in the area of contemporary culture is:

His previous books are:

He is also the author of Uttering the Word (Suny, 1998) on the mystic Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi, and Identità e impresa rinascimentale (Longo, 1998) on the Renaissance emblematic tradition.

Professor Maggi also has a keen interest in Italian baroque prose and poetry. He has published, for example, an article on Emanuele Tesauro's panegyrics on the shroud of Turin (Journal of Religion, fall 2005) and on baroque poetry on Saint Francis of Assisi (Studi secenteschi, 2008). Professor Maggi has published more than 70 essays.

Recent Courses in RLL
  • ITAL 22210/32210 Italian Renaissance Epic (Spring 2017)
  • ITAL 23510/33510 Barocco e Neobarocco
  • ITAL 23900/33900 Marsilio Ficino's "On Love" (Winter 2018)
  • ITAL 26200/36200 Renaissance and Baroque Fairytales and Their Modern Rewritings (Autumn 2016, Autumn 2018)
  • ITAL 26210/36210 The World in Ruins (Spring 2021)
  • ITAL 26401/36401 Torquato Tasso (Autumn 2017, Spring 2020)
  • ITAL 26500 Renaissance Demonology (Winter 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2024)
  • ITAL 28400/38400 Pasolini (Winter 2019, Autumn 2021)
  • RLLT 47000 Professional Academic Writing (Winter 2022, Winter 2023)


Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities
Subject Area: Italian Studies