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Thomas E. Peterson

Thomas E. Peterson
Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Professor of Italian

Professor Peterson earned his M.A. in Italian at the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Italian Studies at Brown University.  Before coming to UGA in 1990 he taught as visiting assistant professor at Wellesley College, Brown University and Middlebury College.  He was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1999.

Professor Peterson’s research focuses on the lyric and epic poetry of the Italian tradition (Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, Leopardi, Carducci, Pascoli), 20th century Italian poetry (Ungaretti, Valeri, Montale, Fortini, Pasolini, Rosselli, Giudici), and the Italian short story and novel with an emphasis on women writers (Deledda, Banti, Morante, Moravia, Petrignani).  He has also published extensively in the philosophy of education.  Among the pedagogical traditions he has explored in his essays are process studies, pragmatism, constructivism, radical constructivism and complex thought.  He has focused in particular on the educational writings of Whitehead, Cassirer, Piaget, G. Bateson, M. C. Bateson, Readings, Badiou and Agamben.

Professor Peterson’s scholarly work has appeared in such journals as Romanic Review, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Italica, Italian Culture, Romance Notes, Forum Italicum, Rivista di studi italiani, Annali d’Italianistica, Modern Language Notes, Rivista pascoliana and Symposium; in conference proceedings and collections, including Seconda Lettura Pascoliana Urbinate; Il sapere delle parole.  Studî sul dialogo latino e italiano del Rinascimento; Dieci inverni senza Fortini.  Atti delle giornate di studio nel decennale della scomparsa; California Lectura Dantis; Autografo; Pascoli e la cultura del Novecento and Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Biography; in reference works, including Dictionary of Literary Biography, The Literary Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics.  Censorship, Revolution, and Writing; and as chapters in numerous books.

His first book, The Paraphrase of an Imaginary Dialogue.  The Poetics and Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, won the 1990 NEMLA Foreign Language Book Award.  His book, The Ethical Muse of Franco Fortini, won the 1996 SAMLA Book Award.  His other books include Alberto Moravia (1996), The Rose in Contemporary Italian Poetry (2000), The Revolt of the Scribe in Modern Italian Literature (2010) and Pasolini, Civic Poet of Modernity (2012).  He serves on the Board of Guarantors of the Centro Studi Franco Fortini at the University of Siena, Italy, and on the Editorial Board of Mosaici: Learned Online Journal of Italian Poetry.

Research Interests:

Italian lyric and epic poetry, modern and contemporary fiction, women writers, literary theory, film studies, philosophy of education

Selected Publications:


1. The Paraphrase of an Imaginary Dialogue:  The Poetics and Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini.  New York: Peter Lang, 1994. 

2. Alberto Moravia.  Twayne World Authors Series.  Boston and New York: G.K. Hall, 1996.

3. The Ethical Muse of Franco Fortini.  Gainesville:  University Press of Florida, 1997.  Read Italica review.

4. The Rose in Contemporary Italian Poetry.  Gainesville:  University Press of Florida, 2000. 

5. The Revolt of the Scribe in Modern Italian Literature.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.  Read Italica review.  Read Annali d'Italianistica review

6. Pasolini, Civic Poet of Modernity.  Novi Ligure, Italy: Edizioni Joker, 2012.

7. Pier Paolo Pasolini,  The Divine Mimesis.  Translated and with and Introduction by Thomas E. Peterson.  Berlin and New York: Contra Mundum Press, 2014.

Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Encyclopedia Entries

1. “Montale’s Satura,” The Empty Set.  Ed. M. Godorecci.  Flushing:  Queens College Press, 1985. 47-65.

2. “The ‘Feminine’ Writing of Anna Banti: Un grido lacerante,” Northeastern Modern Language Association Italian Studies, 11-12 (1987-1988): 87-96.

3. “The Art-Science Conjunction in Primo Levi’s Periodic Table,” Northeastern Modern Language Association Italian Studies, 11-12 (1987-1988): 143-150.

4. “Tasso bellico,” Interpreting the Italian Renaissance. Literary Perspectives.  Ed. A. Toscano, Filibrary Series of Forum Italicum 1 (1991): 163-177. 

5. “Lo scialle andaluso:  Iconicity and Social Thought,” Northeastern Modern Language Association Italian Studies 13-14 (1989-1990): 133-145.

6. “Pier Paolo Pasolini,”  The Dictionary of Literary Biography: 20th Century Italian Poetry, v.2.  Detroit: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1993. 226-236.

7. “Franco Fortini,” The Dictionary of Literary Biography: 20th Century Italian Poetry, v.2.  Detroit:  Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1993. 142-149.

8. “Diego Valeri,” The Dictionary of Literary Biography: 20th Century Italian Poetry, v.2.  Detroit:  Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1993. 337-344.

9. “Fortini’s Paesaggio con serpente,” Italian Culture 10 (1993): 285-300.

10. “Parallel Derivations from Dante:  Fortini, Duncan, Pasolini,” South Atlantic Review 54, 3 (1994): 21-45.  

11. “Secularism and Religiosity in the Positive Heavens of Paradiso,” The Centennial Review 39, 2 (1995): 331-54.

12. “Pascolian Intertexts in the Lyric Poetry of Attilio Bertolucci,” Rivista di studi italiani 14, 1 (1996): 153-164.  

13. “The Generation of Mythic Language in Góngora’s Polifemo,” Journal of Hispanic Philology 17, 2-3 (1993, copyright 1996): 195-220.

14. “The Allegory of Repression from Teorema to Salò,” Italica 73, 2 (1996): 215-232.

15. “The Messaggiero as a Key to the Gerusalemme liberata,” Il Veltro 40, 1-2 (1996): 232-238.

16. “‘Le Dernier Coup de Pinceau’:  Perception and Generality in Le Chef-d'Oeuvre Inconnu,” Romanic Review 88, 3 (1997): 385-407.

17. “Review-Article: Inferno translated by Robert Durling and The Inferno of Dante, translated by Robert Pinsky,” Annali d'Italianistica 15 (1997): 349-56.

18. “Verso l’infanzia: contemplazione e apprendimento in Paradiso 23-33,” Dialoghi: Rivista di Studi Italici 1, 1-2 (1997): 43-61.

19. “Scandal and Schism.  Inferno 28,” California Lectura Dantis.  Ed. A. Oldcorn, A. Mandelbaum, C. Ross.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1998.  368-77.

20. “Commenti sciolti su Composita solvantur,” Italian Culture 16, 1 (1998): 99-110.

21. “Of the Barony:  Anna Banti and the Time of Decision,” Modern Language Notes 114 (1999): 126-42.

22. “Whitehead, Bateson and Readings and the Predicates of Education,” Educational Philosophy and Theory, 31, 1 (1999): 27-41.

23. “Amelia Rosselli’s 'Soggiorno in inferno’ and other poems,'" Rivista di studi Italiani 17, 1 (1999): 302-12. 

24. “I Dialoghi  di Torquato Tasso come momento conclusivo della ‘paideia’ cinquecentesca,” Dialoghi: Rivista di Studi Italici  3, 1/2 (1999): 95-107.  Reprinted in W. Geerts, A. Paternoster, F. Pignatti, ed., Il sapere delle parole.  Studî sul dialogo latino e italiano del Rinascimento.  Rome: 175-90.

25. “L’omaggio di Giudici a Pascoli,” Rivista pascoliana 12 (2000): 169-180.   

26. “Justice, Modesty and Compassion in Foscolo’s Ajace,” Modern Language Notes 116 (2001): 74-97.

27. “The Ethics and Pathos of Ungaretti’s ‘Ragioni d’una poesia,” Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001): 171-87.

28. “Out of Babylon:  the Figura of Exile in Tasso and Petrarch,” Annali d’Italianistica 20 (2002): 127-48.

29. “Petrarch’s Canzone-frottola: A Parable of Return,” Symposium 57, 1 (2003): 13-23.

30. “Fortini e Tasso:  epica e romanzo,” Romance Notes 43, 3 (2003): 323-32.

31. “Il codice dell’iterazione in Italy,” Seconda Lettura Pascoliana Urbinate.  Ed.  G. Cerboni Baiardi, A. Oldcorn and T. Mattioli.  Urbino: Il lavoro editoriale, 2003.  137-48.

32. “Schismogenesis and National Character: The D’Annunzio-Mussolini Correspondence,”  Italica 81, 1 (2004): 44-64.

33. Introduction to Erminia Passannanti, Poem of the Roses.  Linguistic Expressionism in the Poetry of Franco Fortini.  Leicester, UK:  Troubador, 2004. 17-19.

34. “The Fabulous Petrarch:  La raccolta del 1342 as source of the fabulous in Rerum vulgarium fragmenta.”  Annali d’Italianistica 22 (2004): 61-84.

35. “Notes on Heidegger’s Authoritarian Pedagogy,” Educational Philosophy and Theory 37, 4 (2005): 599-623.  (Listed by the Editors as the 12th most frequently cited article during the period 2005-2008 of all EPAT articles published since 1971.)

36. “Franco Fortini,” in M. Keith Booker, ed., Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics.  Censorship, Revolution, and Writing.  Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2005.  Vol 1: 262-63.

37. “Alberto Moravia,” in M. Keith Booker, ed., Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics.  Censorship, Revolution, and Writing.  Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2005.  Vol. 2: 494-95.

38. “Writing as Translation in the Neo-Baroque Poetics of Severo Sarduy,” Interculturality and Translation / Interculturalidad y Traducción 1, 1 (2005): 135-58.

39. “La spazialità e il potere dell’immagine nel manierismo tardomoderno di Fortini, Duncan e Bonnefoy,” in Laura Incalcaterra McLoughlin, ed., Spazio e Spazialitá Poetica nella poesia italiana del Novecento.  Leicester, UK: Troubador, 2005.  89-126.

40. “Of Travesty and Truth: Toward a Theory of Literary Transvestism,” in Rossella Riccobono and Erminia Passannanti, ed., Vested Voices Literary Transvestism in Italian Literature.  Leicester, UK: Troubador, 2006.  19-64.

41. “Giosue Carducci,” The Dictionary of Literary Biography: Nobel Prize Authors.   Detroit: Gale, 2006.  286-299.

42. “Saggio su qb, di Sandro Candreva.”

43. “Italian National Character as Seen Through the Figure of the Poet-Scribe,” Annali d’Italianistica: Negotiating Italian Identities. Vol. 24 (2006): 247-74.

44. “Aspetti manieristici della poesia di Fortini,” in Luca Lenzini, Elisabetta Nencini and Felice Rappazzo, ed., Dieci inverni senza Fortini.  Atti delle giornate di studio nel decennale della scomparsa.  Macerata: Quodlibet, 2006.  83-92.

45. “La diffusione di Pascoli in America e in Inghilterra,” in Andrea Battistini, Gianfranco Miro Gori, Clemente Mazzotta, ed., Pascoli e la cultura del Novecento.  Atti del Convegno Pascoli e la cultura del Novecento, San Mauro Pascoli, 30 September-2 October, 2005.  Venice: Marsilio Editori, 2007.  449-65. 

46. “Ovid and Parody in the Inferno,” Annali d’Italianistica: Literature, Religion, and the Sacred.  Vol. 25 (2007):  203-16.

47.  “Teaching Visual Thinking, In and Out of the Italian Canon” in Emanuele Occhipinti, ed., New Approaches to Teaching Italian and Italian Culture:  Case Studies from an International Perspective.  Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.  498-518.      

48.   “Il tempo dell’Indifferenza,” Italian translation of Chapter Two of T. Peterson, Alberto Moravia:  “Gli indifferenti” by V. Mascaretti.  Poetiche. Nuova serie, vol. 10, n. 1-2.  Modena: Micchi Editore, 2008. 171-89.

49.  “Celebrating Moravia at 100,” Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture 7, 1 (Winter 2008):

50. “The Art of Language Teaching as Interdisciplinary Paradigm,” Special Issue on “Academic Writing, Genres and Philosophy,” Educational Philosophy and Theory 40, 7 (2008): 900-918.   Also appears as book chapter in Michael S. Peters, ed., Academic Writing, Genres and Philosophy. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.

51. “Badiou, Pedagogy and the Arts,” Special Issue on “Alain Badiou,” Educational Philosophy and Theory 42, 2 (2010): 159-76.   Also appears as book chapter in Kent Den Heyer, ed., Thinking Education Through Alan Badiou.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 8-25. 

52. “Alberto Moravia.”  Main entry in The Literary Encyclopedia.  2010.

53. “Introduction” to Alberto Moravia, Two Friends.  New York: Other Press, 2011.  vii-xviii.

54. “Constructivist Pedagogy and Symbolism: Vico, Cassirer, Piaget, Bateson,” Educational Philosophy and Theory (2011): 1-14. Early View: (August 2011). Print:  Volume 44, Issue 8, pages 878–891, October 2012.

55. “Combatting the Law of the Scapegoat: the Civic Poetry of Poesia in forma di rosa.”  Proceedings of Mosaici International Conference: “Poetry in Conflict.,”  Mosaici:St. Andrews Journal of Italian Poetry, 2012.

56. “Between Two Silences:  Renato Poggioli as Retrospective Prophet of Modernity,” in Roberto Ludovico, ed., Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Biography. Proceedings of Colloquium on the Centenary of Renato Poggioli, UMass, Amherst; Harvard U. and Brown U. 24-26 October 2007.  Florence: Olschki, 2012. 163-77.

57. “Giosue Carducci.”  Main entry in The Literary Encyclopedia.  2012.

58. “Educating Across Differences: Gaps, Analogies, Pluralism,” in Intercultural Horizone:  Best Practices in Intercultural Competence Development.  Ed. Eliza J. Nash, Nevin C. Brown adn Lavinia Bracci.  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press,  2012.  3-14.

59. “The Personalistic Pedagogy of Giorgio Agamben,” in  special issue: Giorgio Agamben and Educational Thought, ed. Michael S. Peters.  Educational Philosophy and Theory 46, 4 (2014): 364-379.  DOI:10.1080/00131857.2013.781494.

60. “The Midlife Poetry of Edoardo Sanguineti,” in John Picchione and Paolo Chirumbolo, eds., Edoardo Sanguineti:  Critical Perspectives.  Oxford, UK: Legenda, 2013. 71-89.

61. “Eco-Politics and the Wild in the Late Poetry of Paolo Volponi,” in Federica Santini and  Giovanna Summerfield, eds., The Politics of Poetics: Poetry and Social Activism in Early-Modern through Contemporary Italy.  Cambridge:  Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013.  149-167.

62.  “Un mes d'empelt: 'Monologhetto',” in Giuseppe Ungaretti, ed. Esteban Martinez Serra.  Sabadell, Spain: Papers de Versàlia, 2013.  158-165.

63. “Il manierismo e l’estetica dell’irregolare nella poesia di Amelia Rosselli,” in Maria Antonietta Grignani and Federico Milone  eds., Novissimi e dintorni tra due sponde, Autografo.  Journal of Fondo Manoscritti, Pavia, Italy.  Novara, Italy: Interlinea, 2013.  93-104.

64. “La storia come montaggio in Benjamin,” in Gianfranco Bonola, ed., Walter Benjamin.  Testi e Commenti.  Special issue of L’ospite ingrato. Macerata, Italy: Quodlibet, 2013.  155-71.

65. “L’estetica, la morale e la struttura di Allegoria e derisione,” in Proceedings of “Vasco Pratolini 1913-2013.  Convegno Internazionale di Studi.”  Florence, Italy: Olschki, forthcoming 2014.

66. “Gentile, Gramsci and the Labors of Education,”  in Norma Bouchard and Valerio Ferme, eds., From Otium and Occupatio to Work & Labor in Italian CultureAnnali d’Italianistica, forthcoming 2014.

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