Romance Languages and Literatures

Armando Maggi

Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor in Western Civilization, Italian Literature, and the College
(On leave Autumn 2019-Winter 2020)


Wieboldt 225

Phone Number: 




PhD, University of Chicago, 1995

Laurea in Lettere, Università degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza, 1982

Program(s): Italian Studies

Professor Maggi’s scholarship focuses on early modern intellectual history (Renaissance philosophy, magic and demonology, early-modern epic, Neoplatonic love treatises, Renaissance emblems, baroque literature) and contemporary culture. In recent years he published essays on Ariosto, Tasso, and Marino. He also published a reading of Matteo Garrone's film The Tale of Tales and essays on the connections between D'Annunzio's biographical novel Notturno and Pasolini's Petrolio, and the mutual influences between Giorgio Bassani and Pasolini.

        He is currently writing a book with the working title The World in Ruins which investigates our contemporary view of destruction and decay, and a study of the sixteenth-century concept of 'sign' through the obscure discipline called 'metoposcopy.' He has recently completed essays on the issues of slavery and abuse of power in early-modern fairy tales, on two thought-provoking biopics of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nerolio and Pasolini, and on Calderón de la Barca's representations of demonic possession.

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. 

View Professor Maggi's curriculum vitae here.

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 Lucrezia Marinella’s hagiography on St Catherine of Siena titled De’ gesti heroici (Ravenna: Longo, 2012).
  • 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 work 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 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.

Awards, Honors and Professional Experience

  • Full-time positions at Purdue University (Visiting Assistant Professor, 1995-1996) and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (Assistant Professor, 1996-1999).

Selected Courses Taught

  • Marsilio Ficino’s On Love
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Renaissance and Modern Fairy Tales
  • Torquato Tasso
  • Giordano Bruno and Tommaso Campanella
  • Barocco e Neobarocco
  • The World in Ruins
  • La poesia petrarchesca del ‘500