Kristina Marie Olson

Kristina Marie Olson

Kristina Marie Olson

Associate Professor

Italian: Medieval studies, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, medieval chronicles, historiography, gender studies

My research investigates the intersection of history and literature in the works of medieval and early modern Italian authors, paying particular attention to matters of language, gender and reception.
 
My first monograph, Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio and the Literature of History (University of Toronto Press, 2014), reads Dante’s literary and political influence on Boccaccio in the contexts of social, political, and economic transformations in the fourteenth century.
 
Together with Christopher Kleinhenz (Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison), I prepared a new volume of Approaches to Teaching Dante's Divine Comedy, which is forthcoming with the Modern Language Association's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
 
I currently serve as Vice President of the American Boccaccio Association. I served as Vice President of the Dante Society of America from 2016-18.

Selected Publications

(See attached CV for complete list.)

Monograph

Reviewed in: Choice (May 2015) 52: 9; Renaissance Quarterly 69:1 (Spring 2016): 360-362; Modern Language Review 111:2 (April 2016): 558-559; Heliotropia 12-13 (2015-16): 373-77; Nuova informazione bibliografica 2 (April-June 2016): 379-390; Annali d’italianistica 34 (2016): 552-53; Studi sul Boccaccio XLIV (2016): 432-35; Speculum 92:3 (July 2017): 873-75.

Edited Volumes

  • Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy. Second Edition. Edited with Christopher Kleinhenz. Modern Language Association. Series: Approaches to Teaching World Literature. (forthcoming)
  • Boccaccio 1313-2013. Edited with Francesco Ciabattoni and Elsa Filosa. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 2015.

Reviewed in: Studi sul Boccaccio XLIV (2016): 429-32; Renaissance Quarterly 70:1 (Spring 2017):372-73; Italian Culture 35:1 (2017): 53-4; The Medieval Review (2/12/16); Studi sul Boccaccio 44 (2016); Annali d’Italianistica 35 (2017): 541-43.

  • Open City: Seven Writers in Post-War Rome. Edited with William Weaver. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth Press, 1999.

Selected Articles

  • “Worse than Dante’s Hell: Parents, Children and Pain at the Border,” Dante Notes, September 28, 2018   (https://www.dantesociety.org/node/132).
  • "Shoes, Gowns, and Turncoats: Reconsidering Cacciaguida’s History of Florentine Fashion and Politics." Dante Studies: The Annual Publication of the Dante Society of America 134 (2016): 26-47.
  • "Uncovering the Historical Body of Florence: Dante, Forese Donati, and Sumptuary Legislation." Italian Culture 33:1 (March 2015): 1-15.
  • "Dante’s Urban American Vernacular: Sandow Birk’s Divine Comedy." Special Edition: "New Voices in Dante Criticism," of Dante Studies: The Annual Publication of the Dante Society of America 131 (2013): 143-169.
  • "The Language of Women as Written by Men: Dante, Boccaccio, and Gendered Histories of the Vernacular," Heliotropia 8-9 (2011-12). Reprinted in Heliotropia 700/10: A Boccaccio Anniversary Volume (LED, 2013), pp. 217-236.

 

Expanded Publication List

  • "Legacies of Greed and Liberality: Angevin Rulers in Dante and Boccaccio," Studi sul Boccaccio XLVII (forthcoming, 2019)
  • “Conceptions of Women and Gender in the Comedy.” For Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy, second edition. Edited by Christopher Kleinhenz and Kristina Olson. Modern Language Association. Series: Approaches to Teaching World Literature (forthcoming, 2019)  
  • “The Ethical and Sartorial Geography of the Far East: Tartar Textiles in Boccaccio’s Decameron and Esposizioni,” Le Tre Corone: Rivista internazionale di studi su Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio (forthcoming, 2019)
  • “Worse than Dante’s Hell: Parents, Children and Pain at the Border,” Dante Notes, September 28, 2018   (https://www.dantesociety.org/node/132).
  • “Selected Illustrations from Birk’s Comedy.” Birk Illustrations, Digital Dante. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2017. (https://digitaldante.columbia.edu/image/birk-illustrations/inferno/)
  • “Shoes, Gowns, and Turncoats: Reconsidering Cacciaguida’s History of Florentine Fashion and Politics,” Dante Studies: The Annual Publication of the Dante Society of America 134 (2016): 26-47.
  • “Uncovering the Historical Body of Florence: Dante, Boccaccio and Sumptuary Legislation,” Italian Culture 33:1 (March 2015): 1-15.
  • “Dante’s Urban American Vernacular: Sandow Birk’s Divine Comedy.” Special Edition: “New Voices in Dante Criticism,” Dante Studies: The Annual Publication of the Dante Society of America 131 (2013): 143-169.
  • “The Language of Women as Written by Men: Dante, Boccaccio, and Gendered Histories of the Vernacular,” Heliotropia 8-9 (2011-12, http://www.heliotropia.org/08-09/olson.pdf) Reprinted in Heliotropia 700/10: A Boccaccio Anniversary Volume (LED, 2013), pp. 217-236.
  • Selected poetry from Amelia Rosselli’s Documento. Published in the Italian Poetry Review, volume 4 (Società editrice fiorentina, 2009).
  •  “Resurrecting Dante’s Florence: Figural Realism in the Decameron and the Esposizioni,” Modern Language Notes 124:1 (January 2009): 45-65.
  • “’Concivis meus’: Petrarch’s Rerum memorandarum libri 2.60, Boccaccio’s Decameron 6.9, and the Specter of Dino del Garbo,” Annali d’Italianistica 24 (2005): 375-80.

Courses Taught

At George Mason University:

  • ITAL 110: Elementary Italian
  • ITAL 210: Intermediate Italian
  • ITAL 250: Gateway to Advanced Italian
  • ITAL 320: Italian Cinema / Neorealism and Global Cinema
  • ITAL 325: Major Italian Writers ("Dante's Divine Comedy"; "Dante's Inferno"; "Literature and the Black Death: Boccaccio's Decameron")
  • ITAL 330/331: Advanced Italian: Language and Culture
  • ITAL 340: Italian through the Arts (Film / Opera)
  • ITAL 360: The Italian South
  • ITAL 420: Global and Local Italy
  • FRLN 330: Topics in World Literature
  • FRLN 550: Boccaccio's Decameron
  • HNRS 230: Cross-Cultural Perspectives ("The Language of Empire: Rome, Italy and Africa")

Thesis Advisor and Reader (at Mason)

  • URSP Mentor for Giovanna Uberti, August-December 2017. Project Title: “Urban Policing in Contemporary Italy.” George Mason University.
  • URSP Mentor and English Honors Thesis Advisor for Georgia Wood, June 2014-May 2015. Project Title: “The ‘Divine’ Revisited: Reflections of Dante’s Divine Comedy in Toni Morrison’s Trilogy.” George Mason University.

Extramural Teaching

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Fairfax, Virginia. Course title: Dante’s Inferno. Spring 2017.
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Fairfax, Virginia. Course title: Dante’s Purgatorio. Spring 2018.
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Fairfax, Virginia. Course title: Dante’s Paradiso. Spring 2019.

Education

  • Ph.D., Department of Italian, Columbia University (2006)
  • M.A., Department of Italian, Columbia University (2001)
  • B.A., Division of Languages and Literatures, Bard College (1998)

Recent Presentations

  • “Tartar Textiles and Ethical Geography in Dante and Boccaccio.” Panel: “Dante, Local and Global: Towards 2021.” Conference: Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America. University of Pennsylvania, PA. March 2019.

  • “Family Separation in Hell: Parents, Children and Pain in Dante.” Panel: “Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio and the Poetics of the Early Italian Renaissance I.” Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. Toronto, Ontario. March 2019.

  • Panni tartarici and Ethical Geography in Boccaccio’s Decameron and Esposizioni.” Panel: “Civic Boccaccio.” Conference: Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association, New York, NY. January 2019.

  • “Boccaccio’s Works and Influence.” Italian Cultural Society of Washington, D.C., Bethesda, October 21, 2018.

 

In the Media

Professor Olson was featured as one of the "Faces of Mason" in GMU's Fourth Estate.

Interview with News at Mason for her Fenwick Fellowship project.