Massimo Lollini

Massimo Lollini profile picture
  • Title: Professor Emeritus of Italian
  • Phone: 541-346-0957
  • Office: 325 Friendly Hall
  • Office Hours: By appointment: write
  • Departments: Italian, Romance Languages
  • Affiliated Departments: Comparative Literature
  • Interests: Humanisms, More-than-Human-Humanism and Ecocriticism, Digital Culture and New Media, Digital Philology, Mediterranean Studies, Italian and European literature and theory.
  • Website: Website


Laurea, 1978, University of Bologna; Ph.D., 1992, Yale University.


Since I was a teenager, I have been attracted by literature and and philosophy when I sought meaning in my life and in my relationships with others and with the natural landscape. Starting from this original youthful impulse, I have developed my career as a teacher, researcher and writer. My youthful questions and the search for meaning in my life have never abandoned me and have constituted the deepest nourishment of my long years of teaching and research. Even today I continue on this path and I try to learn by reformulating those questions in the new context in which I live. Indeed, the emergence of a reality organized around the Internet is provoking a profound crisis of identity in which the older principles of self-orientation and communitarian identification lose their effectiveness. What concepts, what methods do we need to understand the “knowledge space” in which we live an increasing part of our life? How can we orient our individual and professional identity within it? These are some of the questions that nurture my life and I keep in mind for myself and my students.

My research addresses from different points of view the problem of Humanism in our time and reflects on the crisis of traditional notions of human subjectivity. In this perspective, in my first book, Le muse, le maschere e il sublime. G.B. Vico e la poesia nell’età della “ragione spiegata” (1994), I have studied the emergence of the mask as an emblem of Baroque culture that for Vico testifies to the loss of the perception of nature as divine substance, producing a loss both of the constitutive referentiality of language and of its supposed “natural” origin. In my recent publications, including the essays “Vico’s More than Human Humanism” and “Vico's Wilderness and the Places of Humanity”, I developed an original ecocritical approach to culture and literature that emphasizes the relationality, processuality, and possible demise of the human subject. I further developed this approach editing two volumes on L'autobiografia nell'epoca dell'impersonale (2007) and on Humanisms, Posthumanisms and Neohumanisms (2008).

In my second authored book, Il vuoto della forma. Scrittura, testimonianza e verità (2001), I studied how writers such as Antonio Gramsci, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi and Paul Celan bear witness to tragic historical events such as WWI, WWII and the Holocaust. In 2006 with Norma Bouchard, I coedited, Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Vincenzo Consolo.

In my research in the area of Digital Humanities, I study  the reconfiguration of literary studies  introduced by the use of digital technologies and the remediation of literature in social and new media. In this context, since 2003 I am the Principal Investigator of the Oregon Petrarch Open Book hypertext project, and I have led students to the creation of the first complete Twitter edition of Francesco Petrarca's Canzoniere (2014). Moreover, I explore the cognitive dimension of computer technology focusing on digital research, topic modeling, textual analysis, close and distant reading. Finally, since 2010 I am the Editor in Chief of the journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. In this capacity, I have co-edited seven monographic issues of this peer-reviewed e-journal including Lector in Rete: Figures of the Readers in Digital Humanities (2015) and Steps Toward the Future: More-Than-Human-Humanism in the Age of AI (2022).



Courses taught


ITAL 150 Cultural Heritages of Italy; ITAL 399 Federico Fellini; ITAL 399 Pier Paolo Pasolini; 431/531 Baroque and Neo-Baroque in Italian Literature; ITAL 407/407 Re-reading Petrarch's Canzoniere in the digital era; ITAL 407/507 Dante e Petrarca nella poesia del Novecento; ITAL 407/507 Italo Calvino; ITAL 481/581 Giacomo Leopardi between philosophy and poetry; ITAL 481/591 Irony and Novel (Manzoni, Verga, Pirandello); ITAL 461/561 Vico and the Settecento; ITAL 382 Machiavelli and the birth of modern politics; ITALIAN 461-561 Images of the Self in Modern Autobiography; Ital 481/581 Re-reading Manzoni's Promessi sposi; ITAL 491/591 Primo Levi and Italo Calvino; ITAL 491/591 Trieste, A Border-line City Between Umberto Saba's Poetry and Italo Svevo's Novels; ITAL 591 Poetic Frontiers: History and Geography in Italian Literature; ITAL 407/507 Italy and the Mediterranean; ITAL 407/507 Italian Theory.


RL 407/507 Humanism&Posthumanism; RL 407/507 Literature and Testimony; RL 620 Autobiography in the Romance World; COLT 610 Vico and the Modern Sublime; COLT 610 Literature and Testimony


RL 407-507 Re-reading Petrarch in the Digital Era; RL 620 Digital Texts and Critical Theory; RL 407-507 Digital Cultures

Recent lectures

  • "The Oregon Petrarch Open Book: Poetry, Digital Humanities, and the Landscape." Arizona State University, February 16, 2023.
  • "Ricordati di vivere": La Teologia Biocentrica di Pier Cesare Bori." Vivere per sé e per gli altri. Ricordando Pier Cesare Bori. Bologna, Archiginnasio, November. 3, 2022.
  • "Petrarca's Canzoniere from Early Print to the Oregon Petrarch Open Book." Université de Franche Comté à Besançon, Master Rare Book and Digital Humanities. March 15, 2022.
  • “Petrarch’s Open Book from the  Editio  Princeps  (Inc. Queriniano G V 15) to Digital Culture.” Université de Franche Comté à Besançon, Master Rare Book and Digital Humanities. March 11, 2021.
  • “Re-reading Manzoni at the time of Covid-19: Contagion, Ethics, and Justice. The Graziadio Center, California State University Long Beach, February 22, 2021.
  • “Pre-human, Human, and Post-human in Giambattista Vico”. MLA Annual Meeting, Seattle, January 2020.
  • “Exploring the Dolomites: A View From Above.” University of Bolzano in Bressanone, September 2019.
  • “WW1 Between Sleepwalkers and Witnesses”. The Idea of Europe, University of Oregon, May 2019. 
  • “L’ipertesto tra rimediazione e ipermediazione.” Annual Conference of the American Association for Italian Studies, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC, March 17, 2019.
  • "Hypertext and Twitterature." Annual Conference of the American Association for Italian Studies, Istituto Sant'Anna (Sorrento), Italy, June 14-16, 2018.
  • “Le Dolomiti tra Natura e Storia.” Annual Conference of the American Association for Italian Studies, Istituto Sant’Anna (Sorrento), Italy, June 14-16, 2018.
  • “Pythagoras’ Mediterranean: Travels, Migration and Philosophy”: presentation at the 2018 Spring Workshop and Conference of the Mediterranean Seminar.
  • “The Candle of Light: Revisiting Cesare Beccaria’s Vision.” University of Oregon. November 2, 2017.
  • "Language in Life and Work." Commencement Speech University of Oregon, Department of Romance Languages. June 20, 2017.
  • "Reading, Rewriting and Encoding Petrarca's Rvf as Hypertext." Annual Conference of the MLA, Philadelphia, PA, January 5, 2017.
  • "The Ancient Roots of a Non-Anthropocentric Humanism: A Pythagorean Perspective." Mellon Symposium – Environmental Posthumanities in the Anthropocene - Friday, Dec. 2nd 2016, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
  • "Early Modern Ecocriticism?." Annual Conference of the American Association for Italian Studies, Baton Rouge, LA, April 23, 2016.
  • "Twiitterature and Hermeneutics of the Text." Annual Conference of the American Association for Italian Studies, Baton Rouge, LA, April 23, 2016."The Oregon
  • Petrarch Open Book: Preservation, Hypertext, and Pedagogy." University of Oregon. Digital Humanisties Working Group, November 20, 2015.
  • "Roberto Saviano's Letter to My Land." Annual Conference of the PAMLA, Portland, Oregon, November 7, 2015.
  • "Lector in Rete: The Oregon Petrarch Open Book as Hypertext." Annual Conference of the Sixteenth Century Society, Vancouver, October 23, 2015.
  • "Suggestioni mediterranee: la Riviera Ligure da Montale a Biamonti." California State University, Long Beach. March 24, 2015. 
  • "Sicilian Ruins from Vittorio De Seta's Documentaries to Vincenzo Consolo's Citiscapes." Common Knowledges Symposium 2014, Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Culture, the Environment and Labor. Wednesday May 14, 2014. UC San Diego. 
  • "Natura parens from Bernardus Silvestris' Cosmographia to Petrarch's Canzoniere." Renaissance Society of America, New York, March 29, 2014.
  • "Poetic Geography and More than Human Humanism in Sardinian Literature from Grazia Deledda to Marcello Fois." Notre Dame University, November 7, 2013.
  • "Philology and Sense Making in the Oregon Petrarch Open Book." Digital French and Italian conference held at Darmouth College, October 30-31, 2013.
  • “Vico’s more than Human Humanism.” AAIS Conference, Eugene, Oregon, April 11-13, 2013.  
  • “Encoding Text and Images in the  Oregon  Petrarch Open Book.”  AAIS Conference, Eugene, Oregon, April 11-13, 2013.  
  • “Petrarch's Open Book from the  Editio  Princeps  (Inc.  Queriniano G V 15) to Digital Culture.” International Conference on  Petrarch and His Legacies . University of Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin, March 4-5, 2013.
  • “Oregon Petrarch Open Book Project.” Symposiumon Textualities in the Digital Age held at the University of Oregon on April 14, 2012.
  • "The Daimon, the Wisdom and the Pietas: Giambasttista Vico's Paths to a More Than Human Humanism." Keynote Address Graduate Student Symposium on "Giambattista Vico: Education, Politics and Poetics." Yale University, March 2-3, 2012.

Field Seminar: Exploring the Dolomites

Exploring the Dolomites: Landscape, History and Ecology – Field seminar (Summer 2018)

I look forward to leading a group of UO students in the exploration of the astonishing natural history and geological wonders of the Dolomites, and the discovery of the traces of human history in these sublime mountains. This will be a transformative voyage of discovery where the individual “self” learns to relate to the pervasive and embracing dimensions of time and space written in the landscape.

This unique travel/study-field seminar features a wide-ranging exploration of the Dolomites, recently designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO  for the distinctive variety of their morphology, geology, and landscape. These spectacular and monumental mountains retain traces of extraordinary interest for disciplines such as Geology, Paleogeography, Geomorphology, and Paleontology. As the theater of some of the most extreme battles of WWI, they preserve a vivid and painful memory of the Great War that changed world history forever and altered the borders of many countries, including Italy and Austria.

During the 2-week journey, we will experience the best of the Dolomites, practice conscious excursions, and an experiential environmental and historical education. Hiking from hut to hut and through tunnels created during WWI, we will become aware of the magnificent natural landscape, becoming appreciative of the contrast of the  gentle curves of flowery meadows with the extraordinarily varied sculptural shapes of bare, pale-colored towering peaks. And we will see the traces of history and appreciate the different cultures and the various cuisines of the Dolomites. Students can focus on one of the following two areas of study: 1) Landscape, History, and Literature; 2) Geology, ecology, and photography.

GEO site for this program. My Blog page on Exploring the Dolomites.




Massimo Lollini wrote articles on Dante, Petrarca, Machiavelli, Tommaso Campanella, Giambattista Vico, Giacomo Leopardi, Antonio Gramsci, Grazia Deledda, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Vittorio De Seta, Vincenzo Consolo and Marcello Fois.

  • In 1994 he published a book on Giambattista Vico (Le Muse, le Maschere e il Sublime. G.B. Vico e la Poesia nell'età della Ragione Spiegata, Naples: Guida).
  • In 2001 he published his second book entitled Il vuoto della forma. Scrittura, testimonianza e verità (Genua: Marietti). This book received the 2002 Premio Letterario Nazionale “Grazia Maria Deledda” in Italy and the 2002 American Association for Italian Studies Book Award in the USA.
  • In 2006 he co-edited two collections of essays, one with David Castillo, Reason and Its Others. Italy, Spain, and the New World (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press); and the other with Norma Bouchard, Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Vincenzo Consolo. (Toronto UP).
  • In 2007 he edited another collection of essays, L'autobiografia nell'epoca dell' impersonale (Bologna: Il Mulino, "Intersezioni").
  • In 2008 Prof. Lollini edited a volume on Humanisms, Posthumanisms and Neohumanisms, "Annali d'Italianistica".

  • He has co-edited seven monographic issues of the peer-reviewed e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age, including Francesco Petrarca: from Manuscript to Digital Culture (2011), The Mobile Text: Studying Literature in the Digital Age (2012), Textualities in the Digital Age (2013), Lector in Rete: Figures of the Readers in Digital Humanities (2015), Networks and Projects: New Platforms in Digital Humanities (2017), and Semantic Metadata, Humanist Computing, and Digital Humanities (2019), and Steps Towards the Future: More-Than-Human Humanism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (2022). 

His most recent publications includes,

  • “Anima Mundi and Metensomatosis in Giordano Bruno: Religion, Ethics, and Eco-theology.” Italy and the Ecological Imagination. Ecocritical Theories and Practices. Eds. Damiano Benvegnù and Matteo Gilebbi. Wilmington: Vernon Press, 2022, 3-19.
  • “The Blind spot of the Future” and “Time of the End? More-Than-Human Humanism and Artificial Intelligence” in Steps Toward the Future: More-Than-Human-Humanism in the Age of AI. Monographic Volume of the e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. Ed. M. Lollini. December 2022. Web.
  • “Re-Reading Manzoni at the Time of COVID-19: Contagion, Ethics, and Justice.” Forum Italicum, vol. 56, no. 1, May 2022, pp. 38–75, doi:10.1177/00145858221081889.
  • “Petrarch’s Open Book from the  Editio  Princeps  (Inc.  Queriniano G V 15) to Digital Culture.” Petrarch and His Legacies. Eds. E. Livorni and J. Todorovic. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2021. 113-144.
  • “Research and Teaching with the Oregon Petrarch Open Book.” Italian Culture, XXXVII, n.2, September 2019, pp. 116-122.
  • “Pierre Lévy and the Future of Internet.” Humanist Studies and the Digital Age, Vol. 6, n.1 (2019). Web pp.1-4. 
  • "Hypertext and Twitterature". MLA on line journal Profession. 22 March 2018. Web.
  • "Worlds of Meaning." Editorial. Networks and Projects: New Platforms in Digital Humanities. Monographic Volume of the e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. Eds. Crystall Hall, Massimo Lollini and Massimo Riva, December 2017. Web.
  • “Reading, Rewriting and Encoding Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium.Nemla Special Issue: The Italian Digital Classroom. Eds: Tania Convertini and Simona Wright. Volume xxxix, 2017, 100-124. 
  • An essay on "The Wisdom of the Hand and the memory of a Mediterranean More than Human Humanism." Ecocritical Approaches to Italian Culture and LiteratureThe Denatured Wild. Ed. by Pasquale Verdicchio. Lanham-Boulder-New York-London: Lexinton Books, 2016. 1-30.
  • An essay on the history of reading from manuscript culture to the digital era: "Circles: Networks of Reading." Lector in Rete: Figures of the Readers in Digital Humanities. Monographic Volume of the e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. Eds. M. Lollini and J. Staiger. October 2015. Web.  
  • articles on Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (“Petrarch and the Ethics of Writing and Reading.” Approaches to Teaching Petrarch’s “Canzoniere” and Petrarchism. Edited by Christopher Kleinhenz and Andrea Dini. NY: MLA, 2013; “Petrarch’s Early Manuscripts and Incunabula in the Oregon Petrarch Open Book.” Humanist Studies & the Digital Age, North America, May 2013. Web.
  • on Vico (“Vico’s More than Human Humanism” in Annali d’Italianistica, Vol. 29, (2011), 381-400; “Vico Wilderness and the Places of Humanity” in Romance Studies, No. 2, April, 2011, 119–31; “On Becoming Human: the Verum Factum Principle and Giambattista Vico’s Humanism” in MLN 127.1, January 2011: 21-31).
  • on Italo Calvino (“Autobiography, History, and Writing in Calvino: Toward an Ethics of the Subject.” Approaches to Teaching Italo Calvino. Ed. Franco Ricci. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2013)
  • on Sardinian literature from Grazia Deledda to Marcello Fois  ("Sardinia: The 'Greatest Poem' and Its Maritime Face. Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment. Fall 2013. Web).