Professor of Italian Studies


Massimo Riva ​was educated in Italy (Laurea in Filosofia, University of Florence, 1979) and the United States (Ph.D. in Italian literature, Rutgers University, 1986). He is the author of four books, published in Italy: on literary maladies in the 18th century, national identity in the 19th century, post-humanism and the hyper-novel, and literature in the digital age. He is the editor of a fiction anthology Italian Tales published by Yale University Press, and the co-editor of the Cambridge University Press edition of Pico della Mirandola's Oration "On Human Dignity." He has held visiting positions at the University of Bologna, the University of Modena, the University of London, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the École des Hautes Études in Paris, and the University of Sydney, Australia. His teaching ranges from Boccaccio's Decameron to modern and contemporary literature, film, digital media, and the digital humanities. In recognition of his research-based teaching, he was nominated Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence (2014-2017). His awards and honors also include the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (with the rank of Ufficiale) for his contribution to the dissemination of Italian culture in North America. 

Prof. Riva is the recipient of three major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Digital Innovation Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Society, in support of various digital projects, now part of the Virtual Humanities Lab. Among his recent collaborative initiatives, a series of interactive installations of the Garibaldi moving panorama was featured in libraries and museums in Brazil, Italy, and the U.K. His digital monograph, entitled Shadow Plays. Virtual Realities in an Analogue World (part of Brown University Digital Publications, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) was published by Stanford University Press in 2022 and is the winner of a Prose Award from the Association of American Publishers in the category of e-Products

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

On the Web