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Pellegrino A. D'Acierno

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, Languages, and Linguistics


PHD, 1973, Columbia University; MA, 1967, Columbia University; BA, 1965, Columbia University


Pellegrino D’Acierno is Professor of Comparative Literature at Hofstra University, where he has been honored to serve as the inaugural Queensboro Unico Distinguished Professor of Italian and Italian American Studies. The chair marks the culmination of his career-long attempt to render Italian texts central to the curriculum of the American university.

Educated at Columbia University (B.A. 1965, M.A. 1967, Ph.D. 1973), he has a long history of teaching there, having held an assistant professorship in Italian and Comparative Literature (1973-1982) and, more recently, visiting professorships in three different graduate programs: Italian; Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Comparative Literature and Society. He has also held visiting professorships in various fields at Cornell and New York University, and in the graduate schools of architecture at Yale, Rice and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. In 2006, NYU named him as the first holder of the Tiro a Segno Visiting Professorship in Italian American Studies.

He has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University; Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies; and a Prix de Rome in Post-Classical Humanistic Studies from the American Academy in Rome. In 2009 the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio awarded him a fellowship that enabled him to undertake the writing of The Labor of the Negative: Italian Philosophical and Theoretical Culture from Vico through “Weak Thought,'? which contains all of his previous work on Vico and Gramsci, the two thinkers who have inspired his project as a critical humanist and poet.

His publications in prose include: F.T. Marinetti and the Freedom of Poetry (1988); The Itinerary of the Sign: Scenes of Seeing in Giotto’s Frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel (1995); The Italian American Heritage: A Companion to Literature and Arts (1998): and The Signature of D’Annunzio and Other Counter-Essays on “Dagotude'? (forthcoming), a collection of (im)personal essays. His interdisciplinary work on the relations between cinema and architecture will appear in two installments: Thirteen Ways of Crossing the Piazza: Rome as a Cinematic City (2016), a study of the topos of the piazza in Italian city films, and Strange Loops: Cinema and Architecture as Spatial-Temporal Practices (forthcoming). He has translated Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth: Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s (1987) and edited or co-edited three other books: C.G. Jung and the Humanities: Toward a Hermeneutics of Culture (1989), For a Dangerous Pedagogy: A Manifesto for Italian and Italian American Studies and Delirious Naples: For a Cultural History of the City of the Sun, both of which are forthcoming at Fordham University Press.

His book of poems-- The Fat Man Arpeggios-- was published in 2015 by Guernica Editions.He is now preparing for publication a collection of his earlier poems written over three decades
Photo of Pellegrino D'Acierno

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