Profile picture of Massimo Lollini

Massimo Lollini

Professor Emeritus of Italian
Italian, Romance Languages
Phone: 541-346-0957
Office: 325 Friendly Hall
Research Interests: Humanisms, More-than-Human-Humanism and Ecocriticism, Digital Culture and New Media, Digital Philology, Mediterranean Studies, Italian and European literature and theory.


Since I was a teenager, I have been attracted by literature and and philosophy when I sought meaning in my life and in my relationships with others and with the natural landscape. Starting from this original youthful impulse, I have developed my career as a teacher, researcher and writer. My youthful questions and the search for meaning in my life have never abandoned me and have constituted the deepest nourishment of my long years of teaching and research. Even today I continue on this path and I try to learn by reformulating those questions in the new context in which I live. Indeed, the emergence of a reality organized around the Internet is provoking a profound crisis of identity in which the older principles of self-orientation and communitarian identification lose their effectiveness. What concepts, what methods do we need to understand the “knowledge space” in which we live an increasing part of our life? How can we orient our individual and professional identity within it? These are some of the questions that nurture my life and I keep in mind for myself and my students.

My research addresses from different points of view the problem of Humanism in our time and reflects on the crisis of traditional notions of human subjectivity. In this perspective, in my first book, Le muse, le maschere e il sublime. G.B. Vico e la poesia nell’età della “ragione spiegata” (1994), I have studied the emergence of the mask as an emblem of Baroque culture that for Vico testifies to the loss of the perception of nature as divine substance, producing a loss both of the constitutive referentiality of language and of its supposed “natural” origin. In my recent publications, including the essays “Vico’s More than Human Humanism” and “Vico's Wilderness and the Places of Humanity”, I developed an original ecocritical approach to culture and literature that emphasizes the relationality, processuality, and possible demise of the human subject. I further developed this approach editing two volumes on L'autobiografia nell'epoca dell'impersonale (2007) and on Humanisms, Posthumanisms and Neohumanisms (2008).

In my second authored book, Il vuoto della forma. Scrittura, testimonianza e verità (2001), I studied how writers such as Antonio Gramsci, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi and Paul Celan bear witness to tragic historical events such as WWI, WWII and the Holocaust. In 2006 with Norma Bouchard, I coedited, Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Vincenzo Consolo.

In my research in the area of Digital Humanities, I study  the reconfiguration of literary studies  introduced by the use of digital technologies and the remediation of literature in social and new media. In this context, since 2003 I am the Principal Investigator of the Oregon Petrarch Open Book hypertext project, and I have led students to the creation of the first complete Twitter edition of Francesco Petrarca's Canzoniere (2014). Moreover, I explore the cognitive dimension of computer technology focusing on digital research, topic modeling, textual analysis, close and distant reading. Finally, since 2010 I am the Editor in Chief of the journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. In this capacity, I have co-edited seven monographic issues of this peer-reviewed e-journal including Lector in Rete: Figures of the Readers in Digital Humanities (2015) and Steps Toward the Future: More-Than-Human-Humanism in the Age of AI (2022).




Laurea, 1978, University of Bologna; Ph.D., 1992, Yale University.


Massimo Lollini wrote articles on Dante, Petrarca, Machiavelli, Tommaso Campanella, Giambattista Vico, Giacomo Leopardi, Antonio Gramsci, Grazia Deledda, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Vittorio De Seta, Vincenzo Consolo and Marcello Fois.

  • In 1994 he published a book on Giambattista Vico (Le Muse, le Maschere e il Sublime. G.B. Vico e la Poesia nell'età della Ragione Spiegata, Naples: Guida).
  • In 2001 he published his second book entitled Il vuoto della forma. Scrittura, testimonianza e verità (Genua: Marietti). This book received the 2002 Premio Letterario Nazionale “Grazia Maria Deledda” in Italy and the 2002 American Association for Italian Studies Book Award in the USA.
  • In 2006 he co-edited two collections of essays, one with David Castillo, Reason and Its Others. Italy, Spain, and the New World (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press); and the other with Norma Bouchard, Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Vincenzo Consolo. (Toronto UP).
  • In 2007 he edited another collection of essays, L'autobiografia nell'epoca dell' impersonale (Bologna: Il Mulino, "Intersezioni").
  • In 2008 Prof. Lollini edited a volume on Humanisms, Posthumanisms and Neohumanisms, "Annali d'Italianistica".

  • He has co-edited seven monographic issues of the peer-reviewed e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age, including Francesco Petrarca: from Manuscript to Digital Culture (2011), The Mobile Text: Studying Literature in the Digital Age (2012), Textualities in the Digital Age (2013), Lector in Rete: Figures of the Readers in Digital Humanities (2015), Networks and Projects: New Platforms in Digital Humanities (2017), and Semantic Metadata, Humanist Computing, and Digital Humanities (2019), and Steps Towards the Future: More-Than-Human Humanism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (2022). 

His most recent publications includes,

  • “Anima Mundi and Metensomatosis in Giordano Bruno: Religion, Ethics, and Eco-theology.” Italy and the Ecological Imagination. Ecocritical Theories and Practices. Eds. Damiano Benvegnù and Matteo Gilebbi. Wilmington: Vernon Press, 2022, 3-19.
  • “The Blind spot of the Future” and “Time of the End? More-Than-Human Humanism and Artificial Intelligence” in Steps Toward the Future: More-Than-Human-Humanism in the Age of AI. Monographic Volume of the e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. Ed. M. Lollini. December 2022. Web.
  • “Re-Reading Manzoni at the Time of COVID-19: Contagion, Ethics, and Justice.” Forum Italicum, vol. 56, no. 1, May 2022, pp. 38–75, doi:10.1177/00145858221081889.
  • “Petrarch’s Open Book from the  Editio  Princeps  (Inc.  Queriniano G V 15) to Digital Culture.” Petrarch and His Legacies. Eds. E. Livorni and J. Todorovic. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2021. 113-144.
  • “Research and Teaching with the Oregon Petrarch Open Book.” Italian Culture, XXXVII, n.2, September 2019, pp. 116-122.
  • “Pierre Lévy and the Future of Internet.” Humanist Studies and the Digital Age, Vol. 6, n.1 (2019). Web pp.1-4. 
  • "Hypertext and Twitterature". MLA on line journal Profession. 22 March 2018. Web.
  • "Worlds of Meaning." Editorial. Networks and Projects: New Platforms in Digital Humanities. Monographic Volume of the e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. Eds. Crystall Hall, Massimo Lollini and Massimo Riva, December 2017. Web.
  • “Reading, Rewriting and Encoding Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium.Nemla Special Issue: The Italian Digital Classroom. Eds: Tania Convertini and Simona Wright. Volume xxxix, 2017, 100-124. 
  • An essay on "The Wisdom of the Hand and the memory of a Mediterranean More than Human Humanism." Ecocritical Approaches to Italian Culture and LiteratureThe Denatured Wild. Ed. by Pasquale Verdicchio. Lanham-Boulder-New York-London: Lexinton Books, 2016. 1-30.
  • An essay on the history of reading from manuscript culture to the digital era: "Circles: Networks of Reading." Lector in Rete: Figures of the Readers in Digital Humanities. Monographic Volume of the e-journal Humanist Studies & the Digital Age. Eds. M. Lollini and J. Staiger. October 2015. Web.  
  • articles on Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (“Petrarch and the Ethics of Writing and Reading.” Approaches to Teaching Petrarch’s “Canzoniere” and Petrarchism. Edited by Christopher Kleinhenz and Andrea Dini. NY: MLA, 2013; “Petrarch’s Early Manuscripts and Incunabula in the Oregon Petrarch Open Book.” Humanist Studies & the Digital Age, North America, May 2013. Web.
  • on Vico (“Vico’s More than Human Humanism” in Annali d’Italianistica, Vol. 29, (2011), 381-400; “Vico Wilderness and the Places of Humanity” in Romance Studies, No. 2, April, 2011, 119–31; “On Becoming Human: the Verum Factum Principle and Giambattista Vico’s Humanism” in MLN 127.1, January 2011: 21-31).
  • on Italo Calvino (“Autobiography, History, and Writing in Calvino: Toward an Ethics of the Subject.” Approaches to Teaching Italo Calvino. Ed. Franco Ricci. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2013)
  • on Sardinian literature from Grazia Deledda to Marcello Fois  ("Sardinia: The 'Greatest Poem' and Its Maritime Face. Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment. Fall 2013. Web).