Fabian Alfie

The University of Arizona has the fifth largest Italian Program in the United States--and the largest undergraduate-only Italian program in the country!



The primary focus of my research is the poetry of the Middle Ages. In particular, I study the genre of comic verse--the sonnets of Rustico Filippi, Pietro dei Faitinelli, Folgore da San Gimignano, Immanuel Romano, and in particular Cecco Angiolieri. The comic genre was long misunderstood among scholars, and was frequently interpreted as the autobiographical rantings of scoundrels; but medieval literary treatises defined it as fulfilling the moral purpose of castigating vice. It is from that perspective that I study that poetry.

The secondary focus of my research is that of studying the source manuscripts. Many anonymous texts have not been examined--many have not even been published--yet they often shed light on the major literary movements of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Furthermore, I find that a grounding in the actual source material helps in the literary interpretation of many texts.

Pietro Parigi

Woodcut image of Cecco Angiolieri by artist Pietro Parigi


Accepted for publication: “Accessus ad auctores”: Studies in Honor of Christopher Kleinhenz, co-edited by Fabian Alfie and Andrea Dini (Tempe: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies)

Christopher Kleinhenz has many friends in the academic world.  This collection of twenty-seven essays honors his service to the profession of Italian and Medieval Studies.  Essays range in topics from French medieval studies, to the Italian Middle Ages, manuscript research, Dante, the Renaissance, and sixteenth-century Petrarchism.  A few of the contributors include Douglas Kelly, Norris Lacy, Leslie Zarker-Morgan, Victoria Kirkham, Richard Lansing, Dino Cervigni, Veena Carlson, Janice Aski, Zygmunt Baranski, and Fiora Bassanese.  


Comedy and Culture

Comedy and Culture: Cecco Angiolieri's Poetry and Late Medieval Society (Leeds: Northern Universities Press, 2001).

Comedy and Culture examines the ways on which the culture and society of the Middle Ages impacted on the works of the Sienese poet, Cecco Angiolieri (c.1260-1312). It analyses how Angiolieri's poetry conformed to medieval notions and practices of comicality. The study explores the means by which Cecco satirized important cultural movements of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, such as love literature and the ascendant Franciscan order. In addition, it looks at his relations with other writers of the day, including his three insulting sonnets addressed to Dante Alighieri. Comedy and Culture demonstrates that Angiolieri was not an isolated, `bizarre' figure, as some early twentieth-century scholars have described him, but rather an author in step with his times.

SELECTED ARTICLES (follow links)

“The Morality of Misogyny: The Case of Rustico Filippi, Vituperator of Women.”  Quidditas 25 (2004): 43-70.  http://humanities.byu.edu/rmmra

“‘O cinquecento, e cinque, e diece guarda’: A Riddle Poem and Dantesque Mosaic.”  Italica 81: 1 (Spring 2004): 1-15.  http://www.jstor.org/journals/00213020.html

“Giovanni Pellegrino and Salomone:  A Fifteenth-Century Tenzone between a Christian Writer and a Jewish Poet.”  Prooftexts 23: 1 (January, 2003): 94-109. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/  

“Rustico’s Reputation: Ramifications for Dante’s Tenzone with Forese Donati.”  Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America (EBDSA): http://www.princeton.edu/~dante/ebdsa/index.html (linked under “Minor Works”).

“One Year—or Two Decades—of Drunkenness?  Cecco Angiolieri and the Udine 10 Codex.”  Italica 78: 1 (Spring, 2001): 18-35. http://www.jstor.org/journals/00213020.html

“Immanuel of Rome, alias Manoello Giudeo: The Poetics of Jewish Identity in Fourteenth-Century Italy.” Italica 75: 3 (Fall, 1998): 307-329. http://www.jstor.org/journals/00213020.html