Feb 28, 2013

Boccaccio's "Famous Women": A New and Humanistic Portrait of Women

(Newport News, Va.) - The CNU Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures will host the lecture "Boccaccio's Famous Women: A New and Humanistic Portrait of Women," featuring Assistant Professor of Italian Elsa Filosa of Vanderbilt University. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 5:25 p.m. in McMurran 101, and is free and open to the public. No reservation is required.

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75) is considered one of Italy's most renowned medieval writers. This lecture celebrates the 700th anniversary of Boccaccio's birth; it also coincides with the initiative "2013: The Year of Italian Culture in the U.S.," for which events have been organized across the country to promote Italy and its cultural legacy.

Filosa will examine Boccaccio's Famous Women (1374), the first collection of female biographies in the history of Western literature, as a revolutionary work of fiction and as a cultural artifact that established new ways of representing women in writing. Famous Women marks a cultural shift from a stereotypical depiction of women, making it possible to view women in a different light: a real and humanistic light. The lecture will begin by making a parallel with the visual arts and by discussing the depiction of women in painting.

Filosa has studied and published extensively on Boccaccio and recently released her first book on the De mulieribus claris by Boccaccio: Tre Studi sul Del mulieribus claris (2012). She has also published several articles on Italy's Three Crowns: Boccaccio, Petrarch and Dante.

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

Media Contact:
Lori Jacobs
Director of Public Relations

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