Justin Steinberg

Professor of Italian Literature; Editor-in-Chief, Dante Studies; Italian Graduate Adviser
Wieboldt 218
PhD, University of Minnesota, 2000

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
Italian translation: Dante e i confini del diritto (Viella, 2016).

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
Italian translation: Dante e il suo pubblico. Copisti, scrittori e lettori nell’Italia comunale (Viella, 2018).

Selected Articles (click to download):

Other essays are viewable here.

Awards, Honors, and Professional Experience
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2017-2018
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2017-2018
  • Emilio Goggio Visiting Professorship, University of Toronto, 2016
  • 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
Recent Courses in RLL
  • ITAL 21900/31900 Dante's Divine Comedy I: Inferno (Winter 2021, Autumn 2023)
  • ITAL 22000/32000 Dante's Divine Comedy II: Purgatorio (Spring 2020, Winter 2024)
  • ITAL 22101/32101 Dante's Divine Comedy III: Paradiso (Winter 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2024)
  • ITAL 22600/32600 The Making & Unmaking of Petrarch's Canzoniere (Winter 2017)
  • ITAL 23101/33101 Early Italian Lyric: Dante and his Rivals (Autumn 2018)
  • ITAL 23502/33502 Boccaccio's Decameron (Spring 2017, Winter 2020, Spring 2022)
  • ITAL 33501 Boccacio Minore (Autumn 2021)
  • RLLT 37000 Revising Prose (Autumn 2018)
  • RLLT 47000 Academic Publishing (Winter 2021)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Committee on Medieval Studies
Subject Area: Italian Studies