Massimo Riva Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence and Professor of Italian Studies, Chair of Italian Studies

Massimo Riva graduated with a Master in Philosophy from the University of Florence, Italy (1980) and continued his studies in the U.S. where he received his Ph.D. in Italian Literature from Rutgers University in 1986. He has taught at Brown since 1990. Beginning July 1, 2014 and until June 30, 2017, he will be Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence. While teaching at Brown, he has been invited as a visiting professor at the University of Bologna and the IULM (University Institute of Modern Languages) of Milan, in Italy, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, in Mexico City. In 2010, he was Director of Research at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, France. He is the author of four monographs, including, more recently: Pinocchio Digitale. Post-umanesimo e Iper-romanzo (Digital Pinocchio. Posthumanism and the Hypernovel, Milan, 2012), and Il futuro della letteratura. L'opera letteraria nell'epoca della sua (ri)producibilità digitale (The Future of Literature. The literary work of art in the age of its digital [re]production, Naples, 2011). He is the editor or co-editor of three more books, including more recently: Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man. A New Translation and Commentary (Cambridge, 2012, with F. Borghesi and M. Papio, paperback edition 2015). Since the mid-1990s, Prof. Riva's research has mainly focused on the role of emerging technologies in the humanities. His NEH and ACLS supported online projects are now part of the Virtual Humanities Lab that he directs. They include the Decameron Web and the Garibaldi and the Risorgimento project, centered on the Garibaldi panorama, a unique survival of a form of public art that was prevalent throughout the nineteenth century. This project was featured in the Italian pavilion at the 23rd general conference of the International Council of Museums, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was also part of various exhibits, at the British Library in London, and museums and libraries in Italy. He is currently at work on a collection of "epistemological tales," tentatively entitled: Italian Shadows. Casanova's Polemoscope and Other Tales of Imaginary or Forgotten Media, focused on the intersection of literary texts and optical devices in 18th- and 19th-century culture. This book has been selected for the Brown Digital Publication Initiative funded by a grant of the Mellon Foundation.  

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