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Event Details

Humanities in the Village: Francesco Brenna, What Does Literature Do? The Renaissance and the Value of Literature Today

The Ivy Bookshop, Bird in Hand, and the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute present the latest installment of Humanities in the Village, welcoming Freancesco Brenna to deliver a talk entitled What Does Literature Do? The Renaissance and the Value of Literature Today.

Does literature participate in the quest for truth and knowledge? How does it compare to other disciplines? Is it distinguished from them merely by being fictional? Francesco Brenna will discuss how Renaissance reflections on poetry, which are marked by a theoretical rigorousness and artistic ambition that are rarely-matched, can help us define the value of literature in today’s climate, when the arts do not rank on the same level as other endeavors that offer knowledge and data to address pressing social, political, economical, or environmental concerns, and when fiction—“fake news” and “alternative facts”—is associated with misinformation and manipulation.

Francesco Brenna obtained a PhD in Italian Studies from the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins, and will start teaching in the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University Bloomington from the next academic year. He has published and presented on Renaissance treatises on poetry, chivalric romances, and epic poems (Pulci, Ariosto, Tasso, and John Milton). He is also interested in the relationships between poetry and film and between Italian poetry and soccer. 






Event Details

Monday, July 29, 2019 - 7:00pm


11 E 33rd St
Baltimore, MD 21218

by Dr. Radut