Kristina Marie Olson
Italian Program Coordinator
Italian: Medieval and Renaissance studies, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, gender studies, reception studies
I research the works of medieval Italian authors, namely the "tre corone" (the "three crowns") of Italian literature: Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. I read their works through the lens of history, and especially politics and gender. Several of my articles explore the reception of Dante in 20th and 21st century art and literature.
My current book project, The Material Afterlife: Dante's Sartorial Poetics, examines dress and ornamentation in Dante's works as an essential part of his poetic project. Recovering the rich textual and iconographic histories that belong to a sartorial lexicon, Dante's Sartorial Poetics sheds new light on Dante's material vision of the afterlife.
Together with Christopher Kleinhenz (Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison), I edited a new edited volume, Approaches to Teaching Dante's Divine Comedy
, with the Modern Language Association's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series (2020).
Recently, I created an Italian language course with The Teaching Company (Great Courses), titled "Learning Italian: Step by Step and Region by Region
," which was released in December 2020. This course includes 24 video lectures and an accompanying workbook, which I co-authored with Alyssa Falcone.